Textbooks and marketing professors have said for ages that sales and marketing are separate but this doesn’t hold true anymore. Without marketing, whether it’s word of mouth, street signs, internet, billboards or radio you won’t get new customers because they won’t know the business exists. Imagine having a business in the middle of the woods where foot traffic is minimal. You set up shop, fail to tell anyone and sit waiting until the sale is made. At that point, you better start digging a grave (or get a really large dumpster) for your business. To attract new customers you must be reaching out with effective methods of marketing.
Since moving to the San Fernando Valley, I’ve noticed a troubling trend. Businesses that produce excellent food, and have no website or twitter/facebook presence. The Valley is packed with people and congressman Brad Sherman’s site says it best:
The more than 1.75 million people who live in the Valley exceed the populations of all but the four largest cities in the United States – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. The Valley’s population has increased 3.5% since the 2000 Census.
There is clearly a HUGE opportunity to attract more people via web based media and many businesses simply fail to capitalize on this opportunity.
A frozen yogurt shop called “Nummy Nums”(I’d link but there’s no website) is a self serve low fat and fat free frozen yogurt shop. Not only do they have over 10 delcious flavors like dark chocolate, praline, and red velvet, they have recently changed their menu to offer candied apples, and yes, fried chicken. I know because I’ve re-visited the store and seen the menu change. The repeat customers are educated by a sign in the store, but what about attracting potential new customers? There’s nothing wrong with putting up a few signs around your business, or having an expensive interior design, but why spend the money first when you’re not taking advantage of the cheapest way to get more customers?
Between properly using social media and having a website I’m betting Nummy Nums could double, maybe triple the customers they bring into the store. Double the customers = double the profits. The Valley is filled with frozen yogurt shops– a saturated market and strong competitors with multiple locations like PinkBerry.
As a small business how are you going to stand out of the crowd when you can’t even use the easiest, cheapest resource to gain new clients?