At the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, Paul Tagent of Bath Marketing Consultancy discusses what businesses should do about their marketing during Covid-19.
Do you have a website?
Of course you do; you couldn’t resist it eh?!!!
After all everybody has a website these days so you had to have one too. How did you go about finding someone to help you? Yellow Pages? Google? Find a friend? Either way, one of the main problems with a lot of websites is that they fall into the “About Us” category……they all look the same and say the same thing.
To make your website stand out, you must do something different. Remember the rule – “be helpful” – and that means offering interest and/or value. For example, a website that offers advice, tips, free data, training, instruction or even has a game of some sort is more likely to illicit some sort of response which ideally takes the form of someone identifying themselves and/or giving up their details.
We feel that Internet Marketing could be grouped into 3 “eras:”
Yesterday – the first era of Internet Marketing
This was the online brochure era. If you “were on the web” you were cool! Just being able to show your company there lead to an immediate increase in status! Then came the hip design side of the web usually created in “Flash” with lots of whizzy bits, colours and design bits. This then lead to all sites looking the same – the About Us syndrome.
Today – the second era of Internet Marketing
People have started to include something of value to their site visitors. About YOU vs About Us! These sites build traffic and relationships by giving the visitor access to information. The hoped-for payoff is that they then navigate around the site clocking up page views and possibly enquiring.
Tomorrow – the third era of Internet Marketing
The purpose of the website has shifted full scale in this era. The purpose is now to crystalise the company’s personality – to provide a rich and interactive experience; to make the company seem like an old friend before you’ve met the people behind it. The stylistic effects used are not for self indulgence, but for the identity of the company.
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I am pretty sure that this post applies to the vast majority of us in that using advertising as a route to market is probably not at the top of the list and, even if it is, the budget is going to be small. This means that, if you are going to use advertising as part of your marketing strategy, you probably need to get as much bang for you buck as possible.
So…..imagine you are a plumber in and around Bath – i.e. some sort of service company. Your budget for marketing as a whole is probably £5k per annum so you’re probably very tempted to use the local free-sheet (because it is cheaper than the local paper) and something like the local Parish magazine. Neither of these are, in my opinion the most cost effective way to spend your small budget as the need for something like a plumber is occasional and only usually once something bad has happened. Therefore, the 2 main areas to invest in are something like the Dentons Directory and online as people use these when actively looking for services.
But…….these 2 platforms are probably exactly where every other plumber with any intelligence is also advertising so how do you make your advertising stand out?
If we take advertising in this case, all you have to do is ask yourself 2 simple questions (the answers are probably more tricky than the questions!) 1. Why should anyone flicking through the plumber section phone me? 2. What do I offer that no one else is offering?
The answer to these may be functional – “we guarantee to have someone round within xx minutes or we’ll do it for free.” The reasons may also be non-functional – “all our plumbers are clean, well presented, transparent and clean up after themselves.”
The next step is to make your ad look good, professional and then make your phone number/contact details stand out. You’d be surprised how many companies do not do these basics!
I will address the online side of things in the next post!
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