Halifax-based Progress magazine presents top business ideas from and for Atlantic Canada. But sometimes those ideas are so good the rest of Canada deserves a crack at them.
A recent article by Kathleen Martin recapped a roundtable of top marketing strategists sharing their advice for more effective advertising and promotion. Here are a few of their most intriguing observations.
- Talk to your target market: Paul Card, vice-president of Halifax-based Prime Creative, stresses the importance of knowing when and how to communicate with your best prospects. “Having basic conversations with your customers about what they do in the run of their day can give you hints about how to connect with them at the right time.”
- Don’t get dazzled by social media: Lara Wood, vice-president, digital and social media, at Revolution Strategy in Saint John, N.B., says not every company has the right stuff for Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. “Even though social media is free, if you don’t have the right message for the right person, even the small amount of resources you put into maintaining it is wasted.”
- But don’t neglect email messaging, either: Greg Whynot, president of Maverick Communications in Kentville, N.S., and owner of two Boston Pizza franchises, says both his restaurants have about 6,000 customer email addresses. “I’d have to say that the email club is more productive right now than our social media sites.”
- There is clout in numbers: If your marketing budget is too small, Mike Smith, CEO of MyBoxBuyer.com in Halifax, suggests teaming up with like-minded brands. “Retailers in our area have grouped together to do media buys. If you have eight or ten businesses, you can afford good creative and good copy and placement.”
- Create consistent brand impressions: Tara Wickwire, senior consultant at Halifax-based MT&L Public Relations Ltd., says great experiences will keep customers coming back. “Make sure your brand message comes through consistently in every part of your business — from your signage and the font on your website, to your employees and what they’re saying, to your store lighting. Sometimes people let little things go, thinking they don’t matter. But every detail does.”
- Nothing beats feet on the street: Whynot hired two people at each of his restaurants as local store marketers. “They’re out 25 hours a week in the community, knocking on doors and generating leads. That two-way conversation is very important, especially for small business. You need to meet your clients at the street level and find out what they’re saying.”