People do marketing because they either need to make more money or they’ve got product that hasn’t reached its full capacity in terms of sales yet.
With marketing there are 2 main options: either you can ride the wave, or, create the wave.
By riding the wave I mean if you have an area in your business that has capacity for more sales, this is the marketing option with the best short term return on investment.
Creating the wave is when you have a new area of your business that you’re wanting to develop. This should be seen as more of an investment with a longer term pay off.
Riding the wave
One way to grow your business is by making people aware of something that’s already there.
Say, for instance, a restaurant that is full on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they are only half full. The right sort of marketing strategy for a restaurant like that can see them increase their capacity on the nights that are not as full and significantly increase their income as a result.
The business is already paying for the building expenses, they’re already paying for the kitchen, and they’ve got staff that, at a portion of the cost that it would take to have more customers come in, they could actually see a good return on their investment. So it makes a lot of sense to market in that sort of way, to boost awareness of the product that already exists and build the area that has room for growth.
It makes good sense to market a product that has capacity, is proven, is already getting results, but is just underperforming at a particular time of the week or potentially has seasonal slumps.
In one business that I previously managed, we always had a seasonal slump in January, and I thought it that was just how it was always going to be. But one time, I was thinking about how I was going to get through this January, where the income drops to half of what it normally does, and I thought, “You know what? Let me just have a try and see if I can make it so that isn’t the case.” What we found was, by putting the right sort of promotion in place, we actually turned that January into the best month in that year.
Oftentimes, seasonal slumps don’t have to be the case if you can come up with the right promotion and the right sort of messaging to go with it. Whether it’s filling your Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or whether it’s filling your seasonal slump, marketing is a great way to increase the sales of product that you already have capacity to sell.
Of course this advice has to be taken with consideration for your product and your knowledge of the market. It may just be a fact that people don’t go out to restaurants on Monday nights. In that case work on building the customer base for Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and test your theories, in a safe way.
Creating the wave
There’s another type of marketing that businesses often do, and that is the marketing to create awareness of a new product that doesn’t exist in the marketplace yet or hasn’t had penetration yet.
Say for instance, you realise that there’s this new thing you can provide as a business, that’s going to provide you much better margins. It’s going to potentially be a real winner with your new market, but at this point, no one knows about it.
When you invest in this sort of way into marketing, you’ve got to know upfront that this is actually an investment and the fruit of it will come further down the track. It’s takes a while for that to build up and you’ll see that initially there’s a fair cost before you get the sorts of returns that are going to repay your marketing. But the alternative is, if you don’t do this sort of marketing, then no one will ever hear about your product. Your great idea will never get to market and your potential new income stream will never see fruition. This is an investment and should be seen as such.
Businesses often like to diversify their income streams to mitigate risk. Sometimes creating a new product is the best way to grow. Sometimes it can also be an answer to slower periods.
An example of this is the business that sold wood heaters during winter but had few sales in the warmer months. To address this seasonal slump they began to sell barbeques as well as heaters, creating a new market for their business in summer. Of course a marketing campaign was needed to let people know that their new product was available and generate sales during their previously slow season.
Where can your business grow?
Here’s my question to you. Do you have an area in your business that has the capacity to do more? Whether it’s a product that’s underperforming because of a seasonal or weekly slump, or it’s just not performing as well as it could be? Or do you have an area in your business that you would like to see do even better, or a new product that you’re wanting to bring to market? If you have something like that, then this is when you should think about doing marketing.
It might be that radio could be a good part of your marketing mix, or it could be the main part of your marketing for that strategy. If you’d like to have a chat to one of our team, to find out whether it would work for you, why don’t you get in touch with us?