Make Your Advertising Dollars Count

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of The Profit on CNBC, and would love to somehow partner with Marcus Lemonis to help his LA-based businesses.  I need to stop watching the show when I’m home sick though.  Invariably, it motivates me to do new things for my customers, or write a new blog (hence this one!), and I don’t rest and recover like I should.

The last episode I watched was this incredibly passionate fashion designer that just couldn’t get focused.  He made great product, but he was all over the place.  He knew what he wanted to offer, but he didn’t have keywords that focused his designs and therefore he couldn’t nail down his customer.  It got me thinking about my clients.  Some are great at figuring out who their customer is, and delivering their product or service to them.  But other clients are kind of like this fashion designer.  They’re great at what they do, but they’re a bit scattered in their deliverables.

I just got my latest issues of the San Fernando Valley business Journal, and I’m reading about  Guitar Center, and their recent credit downgrade by Moody’s.  They have a great product lineup too, but they’ve stagnated in how they deliver that to the customer.  It makes me think of my own business.  I’m great at what I do, but I’ve become a bit stagnate in how I deliver that to my customers.  I haven’t embraced technology as much as I can or should.

So how do you improve your delivery?  I think a lot of it goes back to the episode of The Profit.  Marcus had the client write down keywords on a big board.  Things he wanted his brand to be known for.  What words came to mind when he thought of his product.  What words he wanted his customers to think of when they bought his product.  Taking that a step further, then you need to think about those words, and then build a picture in your mind of what the customer for that looks like.  Down to the eye color and hair style, if possible.  Then brainstorm where you find those customers.  Where do they shop?  What are their hobbies?  What do they read?  What do they watch on TV?  Make yourself relevant to that.  Put your advertising dollars there where your customer is.

Guitar Center needs to do the same thing, if it’s not too late.  They need to find a way to market and sell to customers that don’t want or care to buy a cheap guitar from Walmart.  Perhaps they focus their advertising on knowledgeable, in-store customer service.  Maybe they focus on custom pieces somehow.  I’m sure they’re looking at all options, and my ideas certainly aren’t new.

The take away from this though is that all people in business are selling something.  It may be a tangible (clothing or a guitar), or a service (bookkeeping, law, etc), or an intangible (financial services).  In all areas though, you need to become definite on who your customer is, where they are, and get hyper-focused on marketing to them.  Don’t scatter your advertising dollars, but make them count.