How Consumers Find You

Marketing can be more disorienting than ever before. There are old and new types of media, trends coming and going by the day, more competition than before, and professionals claiming giving out watered down information at seminars. So, for our recent Lake Chamber Morning Connections session, we wanted to cut out the middleman and go straight to the consumers.  We pulled together a panel of people ranging from 20-70 years old and asked them, “what gets your attention?” and summarized their responses for you!

Quality over quantity

Our panelists unanimously agreed: Don’t bombard your audience with social media posts. Keep messages direct, eye catching and relevant. Over-advertising makes the business look desperate and untrained. We’re in the age of information, don’t add to the clutter, stand out against it when necessary. Sometimes less is more, it shows that your business has something important to say when it does advertise.

This goes alongside with identifying your target audience. Who are the people most likely to be buying your product? If you’re marketing toward community members, go to local events, stay involved and angle your sales and messages toward relevant topics. Before reaching deep outside your target audience, capture the one that’s most likely to be interested.

If you’re going to make an app, make it worthwhile

As our oldest panelist, Bob Moffat said: “Apps are easier than ever to write, but I don’t want to download something unless it has something I want.”

True across every participant we had: Apps can waste a lot of time, so don’t push one on your customers if it’s just a sleeker version of your website. Offer exclusive coupons, relevant reward systems, and consistent upgrades. Starbucks does this incredibly well, pulling in customers with free drinks and an eye-catching star system.

Apps are an extra hurdle that your audience will have to jump through when they’re judging your business. A nice looking and easy to navigate mobile website can be just as, if not more effective.

We all Google, we all look at reviews

No matter who you’re marketing toward, get your business a Google listing. When people are new to an area or seeking something, in particular, they’re most likely to turn to a Google search. Google loves working with new businesses and make the process incredibly easy. They even call it “The best 10 minutes you can spend on your business today.”

Similarly, make sure to Google your own business. Look at what people are saying on Yelp or similar sites, see how you can improve. Consumers value those little stars next to your name. Our panelist and avid traveler, Chip Wiesel spoke on this.

“After a lot of traveling, I’ve made it a point to only go to places with 4/5 stars. It has saved me so many times over the years,” said Wiesel.

Also, please, please make your website mobile friendly. All of our tech-savvy panelists (and myself) noted that a non-mobile friendly website was likely to make them click away and find another option.

Younger people look toward their elders for trade service recommendations  

If you’re in landscaping, HVAC, plumbing or any of the major trade professions, aim your market sights a bit higher. According to our youngest panelist Natalie Reed, she and all her friends go straight to their elders when it comes to these services.

“We don’t know much about these services, so it’s natural that we go right to our parents for advice about landscaping or insurance,” said Reed. “I’m much more likely to ask for advice on a business like that compared to other businesses.”

So what can you do as a business to get the parents’ attention? Show up on time, do your job and be efficient everyone over 30 echoed.

“I don’t want someone telling me that they’ll be at my house sometime between 8-12. I have kids, I have places to be,” our panelist Shelley Sprang said.

Word of mouth trumps all

After our meeting was over, people began sharing stories about asking janitors, car salesman and other locals where the best local spots were and being blown away with their recommendations.

Anyone who comes into your business could be that special patron who recommends you to all their friends, so treat them like it! Good customer service brings loyalty with it.

We would like to thank all of our panelists for helping us with this event: Natalie Reed, Seth Marana of Ramsburg Insurance, Shelley Sprang of Pegasus Farm, Chip Weisel of Hartville Health and Wellness and retiree Bob Moffat.