I get so excited when I see small business owners really crushing it with their marketing.
By crushing it, I mean having the guts to be crystal clear on what their business stands for, and then consistently rolling out marketing initiatives that hit their best mates (my phrase for what some marketers insensitively label the target audience) right between the eyes.
In doing so, these businesses get remembered, talked about (gotta love that word-of-mouth stuff) and bought from … again and again. Oh, and in the process, they build a strong, healthy brand – something that so many businesses (large and small) don’t do.
You see, as business owners, what we must keep reminding ourselves about is that no-one is sitting around thinking about our business. So, it’s incumbent on each and every one of us to create marketing based around an idea that is relevant, useful and meaningful. That way, we can at the very least grab people’s attention with the aim of then being able to share our offer with them.
Three years ago I founded and continue to host the Small Business Big Marketing show, a weekly podcast in which I interrogate (ever so kindly) successful small business owners who have the courage to do just this. Here’s how some of them are crushing it with their marketing:
Wicked Campers, those crazy graffitied vans you see being driven up and down the east coast of Australia, run an annual nude promotion where, if you go to one of their stores naked during the promotional period, you get a discounted rental.
VinoMofo, the online wine retailer, recently bought by Catch Of The Day, lovingly refers to its customers in its email marketing as mofos and mofettes – yes, it pisses a few people off, but endears them to so many more.
The owner of BlackMilk Clothing, makers of the coolest leggings going around, is on Facebook daily, hanging out and engaging with his brand’s 180,000 friends. In fact, when they heard that his factory workers were under the pump, the brand’s groupees arranged for a team of masseurs to head around and ease the stress.
Big Richard Condoms (what a brilliant name!) have a condom delivery van that delivers the love around Sydney – and, when the driver pulls up at the lights alongside a couple, he occasionally jumps out and gives them some freebies!
Flip Shelton, Founder of Flip’s Porridge, founded and now runs National Porridge Day (imagine that, a national day for your industry!).
St Kilda Boat Sales, a luxury boat dealer in inner city Melbourne, has placed a webcam atop the lighthouse that streams (via their website) Port Phillip Bay conditions for all to see in exchange for an email address.
Terrain Tamer 4WD, a Melbourne 4WD mechanic, have created a video show called Ask Allan, in which they send their oldest mechanic (I think he’s mid 70s) around the country to people’s homes to fix their 4WD. They film it, then distribute it via DVD in Australia’s biggest 4WD magazine.
The makers of Starlettos, a must-have stiletto attachment that prevents women sinking into the grass, wrote and distributed a clever press release that saw their much loved product end up in the show bags of every attendee of this year’s Emmy Awards.
My point? There’s never been a better time to market a small business. The opportunities are endless, the cost of bringing those opportunities to market isn’t as high as many business owners think and a big idea is king. Always was, always will be.
So, get out there and crush it, and hit your best mates between the eyes.
This is an opinion piece I have appearing in the September 2012 issue of Netregistry’s magazine NETT.