John T. Child, professional marketing presenter and also professional graphic and website designer, spoke to a small group at ELP Utah County in Orem 10/21. His subject was marketing. This is the first of two articles.
Passionate About Marketing
“I am passionate about teaching marketing to small business,” was his opening line. The reason: because “90% of the marketing out there doesn’t work. Many flush money down the toilet using this marketing.” He then showed us a series of pictures depicting poor advertising–misleading headlines, contradictory words in a headline, headlines conveying the wrong message, double meaning words, and a SEO keyword rich website that was absolutely crammed with words…so many words, the minute you saw it, you’d click off it. Oh, it was readable and conveyed a message, but it was way too much. Yet, this was the first entry under “Gates and Fences, Miami” that came up as a result of looking it up on Google search.
These crazy things are done because “business owners say, ‘Who knows. Maybe it will work.’ No one cares as much about your business as you do.” So unless you are sure something you do in marketing is going to work, the smart thing to do is put it aside and do what you know works. “Just because you think it’s working, doesn’t mean it is working.” Everyone is trying to pitch you to try the latest marketing fad. So you buy it and “throw it against the wall to see if it will stick.” No one is taking the time to connect the dots for the customer, to show him or her that we can meet their wants.
He gave an illustration. He once had a kiosk in a mall selling scented candles. People would come up and smell one or two scented candles and then walk away. So he trained his sales people to never say, “Can I help you?” Instead they would let the customer check out one candle and then ask them, “What is your favorite scent?” The customer would answer, “Lavender.” The sales person would connect the dots, “Oh Lavender is wonderful in the bathroom or the bedroom as it calms and soothes you. Here are three other scents that work well with Lavender.” And she’d go on to tell about those scents, explaining what they would do for the customer. If they chose cinnamon, it was tied to the kitchen with other scents’ benefits to the customer. If the holidays were approaching the sales person would suggest that these scented candles would make wonderful gifts for grandma, your child’s teacher, or a special friend, depending on the person. It was friendly, informative, helpful and reminded the customer that this was a unique gift that would work in many situations. Many would walk away after purchasing 4 or more candles. They almost never left without purchasing at least one to try.
The Core of Our Business: Name, Logo, and the Face We Present
As small business people, we need to get to the core of our business to figure out what works as in the story of the candles above. What is our name, logo, and the face of our business? How are we going to convey it to our target market? Our perceived image is important. If your logo looks cheap, your business will be perceived as cheap. You cannot afford that image. You need a professional quality logo.
One of the first marketing hurdles a small business faces is coming up with a name and a logo. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that only big businesses need to worry about a professional logo, and that your small business can get by with some simple clipart. There is so much competition for small businesses these days, that having a professional looking logo can make or break your potential success, because customers still want to do business with a PROFESSIONAL company – no matter how big or small you are.
Don’t make your logo too complicated! Most of the professional logos that you see out there are very simple in their design. Look at Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Coca-cola, and other big company logos. They are clean, simple, and easily used in a variety of formats. Resist the urge to have a lot of details, fonts, and colors in your logo. Simplicity is the key.
Ensure that you’re getting a professional logo by relying on a professional. This is the image, the face, and the brand to your business. People will make decisions on whether or not to buy your products or services based on how professional they think you look. As I previously noted, this is something in marketing we call “perceived reality”. Make sure you look professional and successful, then people will think that you’re successful and professional, and will be quick to do business with you, rather than your competitor.
Check out John’s ELP special if you need a new logo. It’s on our emails to members the week of 10/23. To reach John for marketing advice, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His logo business site is www.perfectlogodesigns.com.