It is a well known marketing fact that it is more difficult and expensive to find new customers than it is to keep existing ones. That’s why great service is so important. Happy customers will come back again and again. But small businesses such as plumbers, solicitors and tree surgeons with lots of satisfied customers find that they also get new customers from referrals – in other words customers who recommend them to other people. Referrals work because people are prepared to trust a company that has been recommended to them by a friend much more than one they know nothing about.
However, when a business does need to increase its customer base it will probably have to invest in some kind of advertising. It’s essential to think about trust here too. Local directories such as the Tadley Roundabout Book are trusted more than national ones because they verify that every advertiser really is local. Customers can still be nervous about calling a business they know nothing at about. This is where organisations such as Checkatrade come in. It removes some of the worry about contacting a new business by building confidence, not just through its online recommendations, but also because its members have to adhere to the Checkatrade Standard. Checkatrade checks addresses, qualifications, insurance and other criteria to ensure the business is above board. Buy with Confidence is a similar scheme with vetting, approval and monitoring by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Services.
That just leaves how to write your advert. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – it’s the process a prospective customer goes through when they see an advert and act on it. To gain attention write a headline that gets you noticed – a startling fact or a provocative question. To maintain interest explain how this fact affects the life of the reader and give an example of how, then create desire by explaining how your service can solve the problem and finally provide a sense of urgency by asking them to take action now, for example, “Call to get a free estimate”.
Andrew Whiteman, independent marketer at
FarSight Marketing in Tadley. www.farsightmarketing.co.uk
More for your Money
Because it is such a useful source of local information the Roundabout Book is kept by households for the whole year.
In addition to your printed book advert you also get :
• An entry with an advert in the Tadley Chamber online directory where your business can be found by name or by the type of service you provide. It also includes your contact details and a link to your own website. An example is shown below.
• Your advert in the online version of the book
• A bi-annual newsletter with a chance to win £500 to spend on your business.