Discover Montserrat Editor and Business Strategist Nerissa Golden shares five things that local businesses should do to improve their marketing and increase revenue in 2021.
If I asked you to tell me one ad you remember hearing on the local radio station what would it be? For me, it would be the Ashok Supermarket spot done by calypsonian/songwriter and radio personality in his own right Cepeke and also the Bank of Montserrat jingle sang by Arrow. The first, plays on Ashok’s accent and his friendliness with the question of why am I frowning. The answer, is that Ashok’s Supermarket has the best prices and the variety and guaranteed to put a smile on my face.
The Bank of Montserrat jingle features several good things, the late soca king of the world Arrow, who is also a national hero. He’s singing a song that makes me want to get up and jam and he’s singing about a national bank, a place that was created by Montserratians. You feel a sense of affinity to the singer, the song and thereby pride and confidence in the bank.
This is not a plug for either business and whether they live up to the promise in their ads is left to their customers to decide, but I use them to note that both ads are quite old but they are still effective.
Today, your customers need much more than “please come in and buy” to get them to release their money. There are so many options now to get what they need and you can no longer operate as if you are the only option. Your customers must feel that you are the best answer to the problem they have. This is a confidence you must build in them whether you are doing a radio ad or a social media campaign.
Montserrat’s small size fools us all. We believe we know everyone and we know exactly who does what. Someone is preparing right now to compete with you. Here are five ways to position yourself to stay top of mind and the only option for your customers.
1. Set Your Annual Revenue Target.
How much money do you want to make this year in your business? Even in your business of one, you should set a target. I follow this trick from finance coach Sandra Baptist and add a zero to whatever that figure is I come up with. When you have a target to work towards, it will give you a direction to aim at. This figure will help you look more critically and what you are doing and offering to ensure that you get as close to or overshoot the target.
- How many people would you need to serve to reach this target?
- How many products would you need to sell?
- How many service calls would you need to make?
2. Identify your Ideal Customer.
We love to believe that our services and products are for everyone but that is not the case.
- If you run a supermarket or grocery store, which member of the family usually comes in to make the major purchases? Is it a man or woman? Are they over 40, single parent or married? Do they always purchase fruits or head straight to the junk food aisle? Are their children usually tagging along because they’ve just collected them from school or it’s the weekend? Answering these questions will help you get a clearer picture of who your primary/ideal customer is and what problems you can solve for them.
- For a service based business, who makes the most frequent purchases, are they homeowners or renters? What is the most common problem they have? Are they entrepreneurs or work for the government? Learning about your main customer profile will help you to craft messages and specials to appeal to them. It does not mean you are excluding everyone else, but when the message is clear we can know exactly who to recommend your business to.
3. Create Products and Services for Your Ideal Customer.
Now that you know how much you want to make this year and have a profile of this ideal customer, ensure that the products and services you offer are in line with what they need and want. The prices you set should allow you to reach your financial goal as well as be attractive to them. Think about their greatest pain points and design an offer to resolve this.
- A bar/restaurant can do the same. Happy Our Specials, free snacks, samples of new items you want to introduce.
- Are you an accountant or provide another administrative type service? What is the main issue that makes them call you? What product could you create so that if they used it by the time they got to you, their problem would be much easier to resolve? How about templates that they can plug and play? You can sell these or offer free when they sign a contract.
- This is the year to create digital versions of all of your services and products. Brainstorm with your team ideas that can transcend a location and how to create virtual experiences and products your ideal customer will pay for.
4. Go Where Your Ideal Customer is.
- Radio. Local radio is still popular here for many and investigate whether it is true for your target customer. Do a quick survey. Do you listen to ZJB Radio? What time of day do you listen and what programmes or DJs do you enjoy? Ask if they can think of two radio ads they remember. This insight can you help to decide whether radio is a suitable space to reach your ideal customer. Remember what I said about ads that stand out. Invest in creating ads that will become iconic and memorable.
- Online. Get on social media. Yes, but which one? You neither have the time or resources to manage multiple social media platforms. You don’t have to. Data shows that 100% of the Montserratians with a mobile phone also use social media, especially Facebook. WhatsApp is also the number one messaging platform for Montserrat and much of the Caribbean. Instagram is popular for young adults and TikTok for tweens and teens on island. Your survey should include questions about where people hang out online. What do they do online? This data is essential for creating content that will connect with them. Some people will want more than pretty pictures and inspirational quotes. Teach them how to solve their problem. Show them how you resolved the problem for someone else. Build confidence in your ability to do the same for them.
- Which ever platform you choose, posting when you feel like is not a recipe for success. Make up your mind to actively promote your business then take the steps to learn how to do this effectively.
5. Invest in Marketing Your Business.
We love to preach that social media is free but that is not true. It is free to set up an account, but it will take time, which is a valuable but limited resource to execute. To see increased results over time, you must commit to a long term marketing strategy. You will not see results on a one-off, when the mood strikes basis. Allocate a budget for regular marketing. Even if these funds are spent to hire someone to market for you, to pay for virtual assistant to design your campaigns, or a photographer or videographer to supply you with beautiful photos and videos. To reach the financial target you set above, will cost you. How much are you willing to invest to receive the results you want?
Reaching your 2021 goals should not be left up to chance. It is a challenging time but yet, opportunities abound. Take charge of your year by setting intentional goals and creating steps to execute them.
I wish you every success.
Nerissa Golden is the Editor of Discover Montserrat. She is a media and business strategist and the author of seven books, including In Plain Sight and The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Visit www.nerissagolden.com for more resources and to subscribe to her newsletter for more tips on growing your business,