Every community you sell within has a unique composition. There’s a different balance of:
- Men, women, and children
- Family lifestyles
- Faiths, values, and beliefs
- Advertising Mediums
- Schools and sports teams
- Local and national businesses
And the list goes on. When entering a new community, aka “market,” it’s important to gain an understanding of the make-up of the people as a whole – and more importantly, the segment of the market containing your ideal customer.
Once you know exactly who you are trying to reach and where they are, it’s time to let them know of your pending presence in their community. Each market you enter has unique marketing and advertising opportunities – so your first step is to research those and determine which are most likely to garner attention from the right people.
Here are some general ideas to get you started:
1. Claim Your Business on Google
This is an essential first step for any business establishing a new building, storefront, office space, etc. – regardless of market or target audience. Almost all buyers today use the Internet. And once your name and presence becomes known within the new market, people will head to Google and look you up to learn more about your business – your location, your hours, your website, your brand. Make sure you are there when they do.
For step-by-step instructions on how to get your business listed on Google, read this blog: Google is replacing Phone Book Ads – Here’s How to Get Listed.
2. Get Some Press
Opening a new business or location is some of the most newsworthy information you may ever have – so take advantage of it. Let the community know you are coming and what you hope to achieve by opening your doors in their neighborhood. To get this word out you can write and send a press release to the news outlets in your new market – or contact the outlets directly and start the conversation.
3. Do Some Branding
When entering a new market you need to raise awareness about two primary facts:
- Your Presence in the Community
- Who You Are
In addition to PR, billboards, radio, TV, and the Internet are great avenues for spreading the word to a wide audience. Since these mediums cast a wide net, placement is key. Run ads when and where your audience is paying attention. For example, buy a billboard close to your location or on the freeway right before the exit to get to your business - not on the other side of town where a viewer can’t make the connection.
My final note on these advertising mediums - be sure to send a clear, consistent message across all channels. When branding and raising awareness, you want to first get their attention, then send them the message – again, and again, and again. Repetition is key – the chances of recall are much better if the messages remain consistent.
4. Get Involved In Your Audience’s Circles
Now that you’ve reached the masses, fine-tune your targeting and identify opportunities that speak more directly to your potential customers. This might be in the form of event sponsorships, chamber memberships, church bulletin advertisements, and so on. Show your customers that you support and have passion for the same causes and events as they do by financially supporting the same things they care about. Again, make sure each message is consistent.
All of these advertising efforts will draw attention to your business – so before implementing any of the above, make sure you are ready for it. Prep your sales team, polish your website, organize the shelves, scrub the floors – whatever you need to do to make the best first impression. It’s true what they say – you never get a second chance to make a first impression.