Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Marketing on a Shoestring - Part 2 Targeting Opportunities

Targeting Opportunities

Marketing on a Shoestring


In my last shoestring marketing ideas article (Part 1) we looked at how to create flyers with tear off vouchers offering a free balloon or incentive with a first order! This is a great way to get customers either through your store door or to call your business. 

Very best balloon blogWe can make the flyers target specific by creating posters for big seasonal dates such as Valentines and Mother’s day or we can make them more general and target certain groups such as people with babies & young children. How you design your posters and where you leave them will be the key to your success! It has been suggested that gyms and sports clubs are a great place to find new customers, milestone birthdays and wedding designs could be how you approach this market? Remember, your marketing efforts may also lead to bigger and greater enquires, so it would not hurt to state that you offer a full decorating service too! 
Use your flyers wisely and show a few key designs that will appeal to the market that your are targeting! 
Do not be afraid to add prices to the designs that you are showing, lets face it, would you ever go to a restaurant or a shop that does not show any prices? It is an automatic reaction, if there are no prices shown, it must mean that it is too expensive or that we cannot afford it!


Now it’s time to look at some other marketing ideas!



If you are a decorator, let’s think about all the different ways you can promote your services to venue’s and local business’s? I suppose it is easier to think about what does not work. Sending out brochures, business cards and any amount of literature is pretty unproductive, we all get showered  almost daily with so much unsolicited mail and generally most of it get filed in the bin! So, again it’s time that we think outside of the box and think of unique ways to promote what we can offer.



Again we need to be target specific otherwise our efforts could be totally wasted. Early this year I saw a great Valentine’s day campaign by one balloon business, who had created a very simple but effective flier offering bunches of 25, 50, 75 or 100 Red 18” Helium filled Hearts to be delivered free within a specified radius, each package was priced and of course the more balloon ordered the better the unit price was. I am sure that this campaign was targeted specifically at restaurants, hotels and night clubs, a very quick and easy ‘decorating’ solution for the venue’s. However, this campaign is not just about Valentines day, once you get your foot in the door, there are no end of selling opportunities to these new customers! 

Colin Stewart of Sbb-reliadrop, very generously shows us his decorating campaigns on the Qualatex Facebook group. His work covers all the seasons, as well as other key events, such as ‘back to school’ and as soon as one season is over the new decor is installed! It is obvious that he work very hard to find new business and suggests that you need to make 'cold calls' to new customers each day! I suppose what Colin is saying, is if you want the business, it is there, but you have got to go out and find it, as it sure isn’t going to find you! 

I know of other very successful balloon business’s who do the exact same thing, rather than sending information about their decorating services they target shopping centre’s, stores, car showrooms and venue’s by visiting each of the sites asking to make an appointment to see the marketing department or store managers, on many of these calls they actually get to see that person there and then and a booking is made!

So, let’s look at the benefits of targeting opportunities:

Targeting opportunities is about you being able to sell the benefits of balloons and  balloon decor, maybe for seasonal decorations in a store or shopping mall or a product launch - if you have done your homework you may know that a new car for example is being launched and therefore the garage may want to make a ‘big splash’ to celebrate it arrival!
Once you have opened these new doors it is the chance to establish good relationships and gain respect for you and your business, that can lead to many future decorating opportunities.
The fact that you have made the first move means that you will pre-empt the competition and maybe supersede existing suppliers?

To be successful you need to be prepared, there is no point contacting a prospective client and telling them that you ‘do balloons’! You need to know what you are offering them, and remember we don’t sell balloons, we sell the emotions that they create:

Balloons create:

  • A sense of fun & excitement.
  • When you think balloons you think celebration!
  • Balloons are very visual and create big impact!

Targeting opportunities is not about making an immediate sale, it’s about opening the door of opportunity and hopefully leading to an appointment or meeting and the chance to show what you can offer.

It is important to be prepared, professional and business like. Show enthusiasm and be informative and thought provoking too. 

Make sure that you know what you are going to say, include a greeting and an introduction. Knowing who you need to talk to is a great start... and if you can get an introduction or referral that is even better!

Example:  "Good morning Mr Smith, I am Sue Bowler and I run ‘Awesome Balloon Company’! I understand that you are launching a new 'product' (be specific) next month and I just wanted to let you know that I have some truly exciting balloon decor ideas that I believe would be perfect for your launch. I have worked on a number of similar projects before (add names and clients here) and I would very much like the opportunity to show you my idea’s and what I can create specifically for your event! The great thing about balloons is that we can create huge impact on a cost effective budget, I was wondering when would might be convenient for me to come in and meet with you or alternatively if it suits you better I can email you some of my design ideas?
Be confident and polite, not pushy or demanding, a friendly approach is more likely to get a better responses.
You may not be successful the first, second or even third time of making your calls, but once you break through and have success, you will gain the confidence to do it again! Do not be afraid to follow up your calls or emails, as there may be a very valid reason why they have not managed to get back to you and you never know, you may have sparked a hint of interest!

Remember, it is up to you to find your customers, and not for the customers to find you, many customers are unaware of the beauty or the power of balloons for marketing! How many times do we find a new customer who after the first time of using our services use us repeatedly and each time with a greater budget!

The moral to my blog is have a go, and you never know, you just might start opening new doors of opportunity!

I would love to hear any idea's and suggestions that you may have on this topic!

As always you are welcome to leave me a message in the comment section below or contact me personally - Sue@suebowler.com

Happy Ballooning!
Sue
www.suebowler.com

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