Pay Attention so Attention can Pay YOU!!!!

Reviewing this past year and evaluating our portfolio of clients, there seems to be a common theme. Before our services were offered to these organizations they all had a major hang-up. One of the most important aspects of any succesful small business is effectively identifying and knowing who your customer is. If you ask most small business owners, they would simply say “everyone”. While this approach may work for some types of businesses, more often than not it is a flawed mentality. If you want to make more money and slim down marketing cost, listen closely to the following.

We live in a society that has been overcome by designation. Designation is the process of separation based on common goals, values or task. For example, being dubbed a ” family man” is a designation compared to be dubbed a “ladies man”, which is also a designation.

This is about to get deep…

Even though the two men in question can hold the same career, earn the same salary, work for the same company, and drive the same car, these two men are placed in two separate designations and should not be marketed too using the same strategy. This is the first step in knowing your target marketing. Based on my example this might sound complicated. However, in order to identify our market we must pay attention to trends in our business. For example, if you own a store/front brick and motor business, ask yourself these questions:

1. What does my average customer look like?
2. What does my average non-purchasing browser look like?
3. What types of vehicles are most often in my parking lot?
4. What is the most used type of credit card at my business?

Lets take a closer look at how asking these questions can help you designate your target market.

1. Is your average customer younger, older, male or female etc? Do they wear professional clothing which suggest a white-collar position, or do they wear casual clothing which is harder to designate? Noticing these trends will help you designate your customers.

2. This question will further assist you in designating your customer by telling you who is not your customer!

3. This question can often be to sensitive to our clients because they feel like we are telling them to profile their customers. This question is not intended to do that. This is more of a shortcut to find your target. For example if you have majority high-end luxury car owners, BMW, Lexus etc, then use those companies’ target marketing as your own. Research where which outlets they advertise in and conform their wording for your product. This can save you a lot of money and time.

4. This is one of the more obvious observations. For example, if you have a lot of check-card customers it might mean your customers are financially responsible and more aware of price. If you have more American Express, or discover card customers, it might imply that your customers are high income earners, or are not moved by certain sales or promotions. You will not be able to tell which type of cards are used unless you are the one doing the transactions or the person reviewing the credit card processing payments each day (as a business owner you should have a hand in both).  Isn’t interesting how much your customers can tell you, without telling you!

We know every business is different. However, some if not all of these questions will apply to you in your own way. This is the simplest and most inexpensive way to begin YOUR market research. To understand how to further use these tactics to prosper your business please post a comment on this blog and we will reach out to you, or “like us” on Facebook!

Thank you for reading and remember “Pay Attention, and Attention will Pay you!!!!!”.

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Can LinkedIn help you or your business?

LinkedIn can be a great tool for professional networking, potential entrepreneurs, and networking for small business owners. LinkedIn allows users have the opportunity to find potential clients, employees, vendors, and business partners. The time spent on LinkedIn can become extensive with the massasive amount of professional groups, network updates, and other features.

What make this time any different than that of Facebook or Twitter? We all have become victim of spending hours searching through the pictures of our Facebook friends and tweeting on the current trending topics. Those are reasons these sites are defined differently. Social networking vs Professional networking site.

LinkedIn users are generally more educated, business oriented, and acceptable to develop relationships in part to reach common goals/successes. Business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals must attack LinkedIn with a plan. SquareBall Marketing is here to help.

NO MATTER WHAT…..Determine what YOU need from LinkedIn. Do not get caught up in EVERYTHING that LinkedIn can do for you! The Iphone 4s can Google search for you through voice command. Is it worth it, when you can purchase the lesser expensive Iphone and type for yourself? ….. Point is, lots of things can do for us but not everything is need.

Professionals – If you are seeking employment, determine an amount of time that you will be searching. Searching for employment should be treated like a job. However, spending a limitless amount of time on one site at a time is not efficient for your job search nor daily productivity. Most job sites post new jobs 1-4 times a day. Searching LinkedIn for over 3 hours ( at approximately 90 minutes at a time) a day is plenty. Narrow your searches to new posts only, if you frequent the job postings.  (Also see Small businesses for networking tips)

Small Businesses & networking – Your profile speaks for your company. THIS IS NOT FACEBOOK!!! The LinkedIn world does not need to know everything about your personally life. Also, every job you ever had is not needed either. Small businesses on LinkedIn is all about networking. Your connections must match the image you want your brand to convey (applies to individual professionals also). If you are the owner contact other owners, marketing executives, CFOs, and top level execs. Connect with others on your level allowing your page to have a “status” that fits what you represent of your business.  It doesn’t hurt to simply explain to others that you have a small/new business and are looking to connect with those who have the same experiences and professional background. Also, join groups that fit your organization’s niche and begin discussions within the group. It is useless to join internet groups and not be active. This is FREE marketing for your company. USE IT WISELY. This is not the best time to post your upcoming discounts. However, it is a time to ask questions on business related issues and voice your opinion.

REMEMBER…..LinkedIn is a professional site. Approach it in that way. If you don’t know how….. JUST ASK US! We know Marketing.