Often, the first impression of a business will come from just the marketing materials that the business produces. A potential client may pick up a flyer or see a poster and decide whether they want to know more about the product or service within a few seconds. What does your marketing material say instantly about your products/services?
A client came to us recently and asked us to coach them to improve their sales abroad, which predominately come from groups such as hobby associations. They appeared to have a really good sales process but were finding it hard to get enough first contacts made.
We always dig in deeply with a new coaching client to investigate the cause of each issue so that we know we are helping the client to fix and improve the right areas of the business. Firstly we sharpened the communications objective for this target market, which became ‘generating traffic to the business website’ (because that seemed to be their main sales point with a solid process in place). In this case, the first impression was one of the problems. The materials that the associations were passing out didn’t appeal to the target customers’ needs and didn’t accurately reflect the value of the product for them and the benefits of using it. Another issue was that the marketing materials did not clearly guide their target customers to the website.
It was like giving a square peg to a round hole....
To dramatically improve the first impression that many of their potential clients around the world get, we started our coaching journey by helping them establish:
What their target market needs and values are. Is the product/service for this market perfect, clean and angular or soft and comfortable, is it reliable or is it a good bargain?
For example, compare these three flyers and think about what each target market values – does a potential client of a spa like sharp, angular lines and dark, serious colours?
Together with our client we defined what the reader of their marketing materials should do next. They should head to their website. If you want your target customers to go to your website, then the website address should be clearly stated. When the target customer gets to the website, they need to know what they should click on to book something.
By helping this client recognise and formalise their objective and their target market needs and values and what they want their prospective customers to do next, they now can get on with redesigning their material to make a much better first impression and get their target customer to visit their website (their main sales portal). That better first impression should see more visitors to their website and requests for more information and we know that once people come into contact in both those ways, they usually buy.
Watch this space for the results!
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.