Recap: The First R – Reach
Last week, we covered the topic of marketing, starting with the first R: Reach.
Reach is the keyword to the success of a business. As we mentioned in the previous session, reach is all about reaching out to your potential customers in order to let them know about your business and your products. As more and more people know about your business, it is a given that your sales will get better as it increases the chance that a potential customer will convert into an actual sale. This is true for all kinds of businesses and industries, regardless of whether you are a restaurant, a bank or a travel company.
Many businesses divert a lot of money and funds into advertisements every year precisely to increase their reach. Even marketing firms themselves require marketing. Without marketing efforts to reach out and promote themselves to more clients, the marketing firms will also not be able to grow their business and survive as well. Therefore, marketing is important for ALL firms in the world and reach serves as an important part of marketing that focuses on all the reach methods and platforms available to help you to expand your business.
As small entrepreneurs or as start-up companies, you do not have the spending power or budget to spare on paying for reach all the time. Paying for Reach such as advertisement panels or even on search engines can be costly. That is why it is important to turn to reach methods that are low cost and yet as effective as the chargeable forms of reach, especially when you are on a budget crunch.
Reach can be done in many forms. Other than the payable forms of advertisements, even simple acts such as decorating your store-front, training your staff and also actively connecting with all your customers act as good reach methods to help you to spread word of mouth and also to catch the attention of your potential clients.
Do not underestimate the simple acts of reach that can be free. Even the simple act of posting on your social media platforms consistently are free forms of reach that can help your business to grow.
By being willing to put in your time and effort in managing all these free and simple forms of reach methods, you will also be able to create reach for your business without having to spend large sums of money.
The Second R – Read
The next R in marketing is READ.
When you do reach, you find means to let more people be able to learn about your business. However, just by reaching out to them, it is not sufficient.
Think back to your last journey on your way to work. At the MRT station itself, there are many advertisements that we see. How many do you remember seeing and do you remember the contents of all the advertisements?
More likely than not, you probably do not remember the advertisements that you saw.
The act of placing the advertisements at the station is reach. Such a reach methods is able to reach out to a large number of people as many people enter and exit the MRT station each day. However, most people just walk past the advertisements and do not remember what they have seen. This means that the reach method was ineffective. The potential clients you reached out to did not READ your ad.
Simply put, after considering and implementing all the reach methods possible, you also have to consider the next R: Read.
Read considers how effective your advertisement is in delivering your message and getting your potential clients to remember your business and potentially contact you to make their purchase.
It is at this stage where we start to consider the design of your advertisement.
Designing your advertisement
In Read, we need to consider the content delivered and ensure that it is effective. There are too many advertisements around us. This has caused consumers to develop advertisement blindness. Advertisement blindness is the act of consciously or unconsciously ignoring the advertisements that we see.
Being able to overcome advertisement blindness is important to ensure that your marketing efforts will be seen and read by the viewers.
Put down your pride
As an advertiser, your main goal is to get your product or message across to your reader. Once they read your ad, you will have a higher chance for them to Respond to it.
One of the fatal flaws of many advertisements, is that the designers are too concerned about the logo of the company.
Let’s take an example using a reach method that we have explored in our previous session: name card management.
As mentioned in our previous session, name cards are a good form of marketing that has been used for many years. By passing your name cards on to others, you are engaging in reach. However, after passing on your name card, how can you ensure that your client remembers you the next time they pick up your name card?
For many, their name cards are designed such that their company logos are outstanding and large. It is a common misconception that featuring your company logo prominently on your name card will ensure that your potential clients remember your company. In fact, it is highly likely that they will not.
Despite this, many companies continue to feature their company names prominently on their name cards. Why?
The simple answer is actually: self-pride. As a business owner, you are proud of your company and your company name and logo. That is a given. To you, as someone who understands the business at its roots, it is obvious what your logo means and what your company specializes in. Therefore, in your opinion, it is a given that putting your company name and logo onto your name card is enough for customers to remember you.
In actuality, that is not true. For a customer, they may only be hearing about your company for the first time when they receive your name card. Your company name and logo may not be as impactful to your client as you have thought it will be. Hence, it is only your pride at play causing you to believe that your marketing material is effective.
As a small business, you should remember to put down your self-pride and assume that your customers do not know what your company does. Instead, design from a layman perspective and try to instead insert some elements of your products into your name card instead. This will help your clients to remember exactly what you have to offer and make it easy for them to reach out to you in future.
This is also true for other forms of advertisements, even for your shop signage. Always Ensure that your product is featured in some way and never prioritize your logo instead of your message.
Don’t tell your Grandmother’s Story
The design of your advertisement needs to be eyeball catching. Consumers usually only give 1 second or less of attention to ads. It is important for your advertisement to be able to catch their attention during this short span of time.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your advertisements are succinct and to the point. Don’t tell a long story and put in a lot of content into your ad. Choose the important messages that your product would like to showcase and just use it.
The message that you select needs to be short and sweet and yet can grab the attention of your reader. For example, it is common to use the price or promotions available as the headline of your advertisement. Imagine seeing 2 ads side by side: “S$75/month unlimited co-sharing usage!” vs “Co-sharing office usage available”. Most likely, the first headline will be the one that catches your attention because of the cheap price written in the ad. Therefore, the content of your ad needs to be eye-catching and shocking to invite the reader that you have reached out to to continue reading your advertisement.
Choose something out of the ordinary about your product and focus on your chosen point. Never ever tell a long story in your advertisement. Get straight to the point.
Leave a Response Channel
After you have designed your ad, another very important part of the design to take note of is the response channel.
What is Response? After your potential customers have been Reached, they need to successfully be invited to Read your ad and then they need to Respond to your ad in order for you to make your potential sale.
For many marketing campaigns, the response channel is too weak. Some campaigns may outrightly forget to include the response channel.
Having a response channel for your clients is not difficult. Leaving your contact details at the end of your advertisement already means having a response channel. As long as you provide a way for your potential customers to contact you, you will be able to receive responses.
Never ever leave out your contact details. No matter how much reach and read you complete successfully, you will never be able to see an increase in your sales if your response channel is absent.
If the customer is unable to contact you, they will not purchase from you. It is as simple as that.
The results of Read
Once you have completed your designs and started to push out your advertisements through your various reach platforms, it is then time to sit back and collect the responses that come through your reach and read efforts.
Understanding whether your reach and read methods are successful can be done through observing the Responses. How many people contacted you after you pushed out your Reach and Read? Taking note of these numbers will help you to determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
If there are unsatisfactory numbers for your Response, do not be discouraged. Always remember, there is no 100% response rate. Not all those who pass by your ad will read it, and not all who read it will respond to it.
Instead, try to work on your campaign. When the responses collected are unsatisfactory, scale back and review the first 2 Rs. Perhaps your Reach platforms are targeting the wrong groups of consumers. Perhaps your total Reach is too small. Perhaps your Read strategies are not eye-catching enough. Scale back and make changes to your campaign as required. Monitor your progress slowly and you will surely see a change in the Results of your campaign.
Always remember, a successful marketing campaign is not done in 1-day. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of time in order to tweak your campaign towards success.
Marketing for your business need not be expensive. As long as you keep an open mind to all the possible channels of reach for marketing and ensure that all your advertisements are designed properly and effectively, you will definitely see responses and leads that will convert into actual results for your company.