Intercepting Customers on the Way to the Bank
Big businesses tend to rely on mass advertising to attract customers. They have deep pockets and saturate our airwaves to enforce top of mind awareness for when customers are ready to buy. If this happens in your sector, it can be daunting to overcome.
Clearly it is not possible to outgun the elephants in your sector so different strategies must be employed. Fortunately smaller businesses have some competitive marketing advantages.
Take the mortgage broker industry. Until about 20 years ago, most mortgages were written by the banks directly, and usually to customers who already had accounts with them. One reason for this was the difficulty in going from bank to bank to compare loans. Now mortgage brokers, who can compare loans from all banks are offering a valuable service which saves their customers a lot of time and money.
However, they still have to compete with the direct marketing from banks. Successful brokers don’t try to beat the banks at their own game. They market under the radar by finding buyers at the stage where they are just thinking of buying. They intercept their potential customers on the way to the bank.
Their campaigns tend to be intensely local and relationship based. They are active in their communities, for example, members of Rotary. They are personally involved with their local schools. They stay in touch with their customers so that when their friends and family are thinking of buying, they refer back to them. They form relationships with Real Estate agents, Accountants and Conveyancers to cross refer business.
These strategies take time, not money, which is why the elephants avoid them because it depends too much on individuals and initiative. While business systems that don’t depend on individuals are generally a strength for elephant businesses, they become a weakness in their marketing.
In the most highly competitive sectors, low cost under the radar marketing which intercepts potential customers even before they have made a decision to buy from your sector are the ones that work best.
May Your Business Be – As You Plan It.
Dr Greg Chapman – The Profit Whisperer
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