The balance between traditional and non-traditional media for small business operators.
Not every customer is the same.
My mother does not use social media. She is not one of those grandmas’ who wants to connect with her grandkids through socials or Skype or messenger. You will get a text or a phone call (and she prefers a landline) but that’s as far as she is prepared to go. She is going nowhere near social media not is she signing up to Internet banking ever. She still has a chequebook and goes into the bank rather than use an ATM.
She is only 68, but she is not changing. She still orders clothes and products from a mail-order catalogue, she buys local. You will reach her through a catalogue, flyer, ad in the local newsletter, an ad on the TV. You are not going to reach her through your Facebook page or website, nor a commercial radio station. She is a woman of means. She is not alone.
These people like my Mum are fiercely loyal to their brands. On social media, you’d call them your raving fans – but the only tool they have to rave with is their word and their mouth.
I work with many small business owners who still have customers like this. Loyal, consistent, predictable. The ideal client in anyone’s terms!
Mark Zuckerberg ended 2019 with a prediction the ‘future is private’ and while he was talking about public vs private social media feeds, the sentiment is right from a traditional sense as well.
In our ever-connected world, people want to be seen and to be heard. Face to face, belly to belly. People still like going to the shops – for social and mental stimulus.
There will always be items we cannot buy or try online. We still need to get a haircut, change our car tyres, find a last-minute gift or enjoy a coffee made by a barrister. We want to feel art as much as see it, be immersed in music as well as hear it. We are social creatures. And social does not have to end with the media word.
However, in business, you would think the only way to reach your customers is on-line. All we hear about is the absolute power of the Internet and social media channels for business growth. And they are powerful and necessary tools. And they might be the only tools you need if you only have millennials or Generation Z as your target audience, but for those of us who straddle the old with the new –how do we navigate the thousands of options available to us for marketing our business?
We do it by looking for the right mix. Marketing has always been about a mix – whether it’s getting the 4 P’s right (Price, place promotion and product), or having a promotional mix that appeals to different aspects of your target market at different levels of your sales funnel.
Finding the balance of time and money across our marketing and promotional channels and budgets is an ever-changing challenge.
So how do we find this equilibrium between a world of traditional and new media?
It starts by having an understanding of your current customers and your potential or target customers. How do they get their information? Do they require different mediums?
It is also about being true to your brand. It does not matter which platform you use – traditional or new media – your brand message, the way your business looks, feels and sounds, should always be the same.
With a constantly changing market comes a constant need to analyse what is working for you and what is not. There is no point spending time and/or money on campaigns that do not achieve the results you want – whether that is raising awareness, building your brand or putting customers into your sales funnel.
People like my Mum will remain Luddites but that doesn't diminish their ability to spend. And if we still have these people in our customer mix we need to ensure we are looking after them as much as our new and Internet literate fans. As my mum would say – “don't throw the baby out with the bathwater”!