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, Sainsbury’s 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.
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 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, inadvertently creating a loyal future customer base in a totally different sector of technology.
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 widening the demographic.
Our own small business marketing ideas
We’re a B2B brand studio in Essex, UK and over the years 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 material
isnow 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 market to them directly
- A lot of recent clients found me when they needed website
support,after their old supplier let them down. Website support is one of the biggest services I provide and led to p romote it more, leading to a new wave of clientelle.
Overall I looked at trends in my business, studied the data and began marketing to specific different audiences to increase my sales.
Marketing ideas for a small business
In every one of the scenarios above, the business didn’t change, they just changed who they were marketing to, and in some cases found something else to sell.
Smaller businesses don’t have the red tape to cut through 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 to 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-brands, research and creative design solutions or you could simply gather a list of contact details and make some calls.