Snooping (Respectfully): A Marketer Must-Do

18 05 2011

Market research doesn't have to be nosyFor this blog, you’ll need your binoculars, tape recorder, telephoto lens, phone bug and… just kidding.

All you REALLY need for some good, old-fashioned dirt-digging is your computer, your common sense and your courtesy. Here’s the deal…

Knowing where to advertise is half the battle when you’re making your marketing decisions. And deciding where to advertise starts with an understanding of your customers’ interests. What do they read, watch and do? Where do they travel, relax and work? When do they buy, daydream and socialize?

The answers will give you important clues about where you should lay those marketing dollars.

You can pay an arm, a leg and a first-born child to have demographic and target market research managed by professional firms. And if you’re on your way to Fortune 500 status, this may well be a viable and valuable option. But, if you’re a smaller company with a budget to match, there is another way.

So, let’s start our respectful “snooping”, shall we…

Lay It All Out There
Let’s start with the most forthright fountain of information – the customers themselves. Asking well-thought-out questions with total transparency makes people feel comfortable, excites an eagerness to help and provides you with just what you need to know. Questionnaires, surveys and “how did you hear about us?” at the cash register are excellent places to start.

Do the majority of your customers read the Sunday paper? Then that’s the perfect day and place to advertise your kite repair service!

Do they spend week nights on Facebook? Post your pizza coupons!

Travel the highways on their work commute? Get those hand-brewed coffee billboards up!

Working Social Media
Savvy marketer that you are, you’ve been on Facebook (or Twitter, or LinkedIn, or…) for ages, “friend”ing your wonderful customers, and building up “likes” on your business page. You’re posting great information regularly. But are you “listening” as well as you “talk”?

Your customers’ comments, the pages they “like”, and the causes they support are valuable nuggets of marketing information. A runners’ shop might notice that their fans are all raving about a particular race. Perfect! It will receive the shop’s full support – advertising and man-power – next year. Maybe you catch your customers quoting regularly from The Wall Street Journal. An ad there could be worth it’s weight in gold.

This is non-creepy, perfectly respectful information gathering at it’s finest.

Through friendly chats and social media, you’ve learned about events, shops and restaurants that your customers totally “dig”. Now go the next step.

The ones that pop up regularly in these conversations are ones you should consider visiting. There may be marketing options there, OR you may be wise to advertise where they’re advertising OR a visit may inspire some zany and wonderful marketing ideas. Just be creative!

Understand that I in no way condone underhanded, disrespectful or illicit acquisition of information.

So, rather than private eyes and magnifying glasses, think in terms of honest curiosity. The information is there. See what you can discover!

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neal Hurston

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |

Zombie Advertising: 5 Ways to Revive a Dying Campaign

28 04 2010

"Zombie Crossing" sign$500,000 into your advertising campaign, you’re pulling your hair out. Where are the scores of eager buyers who desperately need what you sell? Why aren’t they responding to your message?

Looks like you’re suffering from a bad attack of zombie advertising! It devours your budget and scares people away without contributing anything to your bottom line.

It’s time to make a move before your campaign saps the life out of your business!

Take a look at these top 5 zombie-marketing culprits… and how to bring them back from the dead:

1) Location, location, location. Who is your target audience, and where do they go? Do they frequent the web, devotedly read the paper, live at the coffee shop? Are they constantly driving, addicted to their smart phone, an avid e-mailer? That’s where your business needs to be.

Zombie advertising happens wherever it’s cheapest, coolest or most convenient to advertise. Forget that. Advertise where your target market is most likely to see you.

2) Judge a book by it’s cover. First impressions count when you potentially have just one shot to make an impression.

Zombie advertising creates ads based on, again, what’s cheapest, coolest or most convenient. But what’s appropriate for your target market? “Caviar”-style advertising is fine, if your target market is elite, high income individuals, but may not mean much to a high school freshman.

3) I’m sorry… have we met? Today’s consumers are wary of nebulous, generic advertising … it’s too much like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind a curtain and blowing a lot of hot air. We want to relate on a human-to-human level, so that we know just who we’re buying from.

Zombie advertising has a corporate, impersonal feel, and lacks personalization. That won’t fly today. Be unique. Be warm. Be human.

4) Huh? I don’t get it. Don’t talk over your potential customers’ heads.

Zombie advertising assumes everyone’s an expert. News flash: we’re not. Shoot for making your advertising understandable, without being condescending.

5) Isn’t that nice. A pretty ad doesn’t mean a sure sale.

Zombie advertising makes a momentary impact, without giving potential customers a reason to follow up. Give people a call to action and, when possible, a deadline to act. A little urgency, and a direction to take, will go a long way toward reviving your stagnant campaign.

What actions have you taken recently to bring your advertising campaign back from the dead, or to keep it in a zombie-free zone?

Have you unleashed a zombie with your recent advertising? Call me to hunt down and revive your campaign: Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  Professional Zombie Hunter  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |