Is your small business having some down time? Maybe incoming work has become a little bit slow? If so then you’re probably thinking of some new marketing ideas for your small business. Typically, small businesses will start flyering or even do a bit of social media marketing. These can have great results but it might take a while to get that return on investment so you’re thinking of other marketing ideas. Something new, something different and something doable!
Sorry to disappoint but the marketing tactic I’m about to share with you is nothing new or ground-breaking but it’s a sure fire hit to getting new business and not a lot of people talk about. Watch a bit of telly and you’ll see it in action, or listen to it on the radio and you’ll hear it in the adverts.
It’s a creative bit of marketing that uses demographics.
Typically big businesses use demographic marketing intensely, to shape their brands but smaller businesses can use it intuitively to increase sales.
The premise of this marketing idea for smaller businesses is to simply pick a different audience to target! Loads of big businesses do it all the time and it works, and smaller marketing savvy businesses do it even better. Check out these examples of bigger businesses strategically targeting different audiences and how smaller businesses can do the same:
Sainburys New Generation of Marketing
Quite a few years back there was a power struggle between the big supermarkets in the UK and whilst they were fighting over who was the cheapest, Sainsburys took an alternative route. Sainburys focused on quality, family and a new generation of customers.
From the early days when they took Jamie Oliver as their brand spokesman to today where their television adverts are featuring urban music, young families and smartphone technology, all Sainsburys have been doing is tapping into a new audience, and its worked for them for years now.
Apple’s future proof marketing
Apple redefined how we live when they introduced the Ipod, Iphone and the Ipad. Although they’re both pieces of tech aimed at an adult market, it’s a younger generation like my nephews and nieces (9 and 12) who have now grown up with it. They’re so familiar with Apple products that they don’t think that there’s any substitutes but what they don’t know is that Apple was a maker of computers who went out on a limb to produce the Ipod, a mobile music player, in a sector which they had no experience of. They targeted a different audience and became who they are today, as well as inadvertently creating a loyal future customer base.
Edward Bernays Torches of Freedom marketing Campaign
In the 1920’s, an excellent marketer by the name of Edward Bernays had the brainwave of selling cigarettes to women rather than just men. The demographics showed that most women at that time were housewives with time on their hands to smoke cigarettes and socialise but a woman smoking was frowned upon. Capitalising on the women’s liberation movement in the U.S. and creating a liberation marketing campaign of his own, he increased sales of tobacco to women from 5% to 33%, just by expanding the target audience.
Our own small business marketing ideas
We’re a B2B brand and design agency in Essex, UK and over the years though I found new segments and trends with my customer base. This helped me to target new audiences based on demographics and geographics. Here’s what I found and implemented:
- All of my clients were based in and around London and nationally throughout the UK but none were local in Essex.
To resolve I started marketing to local businesses and won new clients
- My customer base was always B2B service providers but in the last 3 years around 75% of new business have been B2C businesses in retail.
My new website design and marketing materials is now less corporate looking to appeal to that audience
- I’ve also won a number of clients in the medical and science field.
This is something I never planned for but now I can market to them directly
All of this information led me to market to different audiences specifically and increase my sales.
Marketing ideas for a small business
These are all examples of big business marketing but the premise of changing or expanding your target audience actually works even better for smaller businesses.
Smaller businesses don’t have the red tape to cut through in order to set up something fairly quickly and start targeting a different audience. With the use of the internet you can experiment quite easily with the likes of landing pages and social media without interrupting your regular customers or diluting your main brand.
For small business I think there’s four factors that can help you increase sales with new marketing ideas and picking new audiences.
- Look for gaps in the market
- Look at trends in your business
- Look at attracting a younger generation to secure the future of your business
- Look at attracting the complete opposite of your current target audience with a product or service that appeals to them
To implement a marketing campaign based on a new client base you can do it properly by expanding your business services, use sub-branding, research and creative design solutions or you could simply gather a list of contact details and make some calls.