A company put on a weekend blitz at a home show. It was their first venture in this “visual market place” where they were one of over 200 businesses displaying their products and services. The show ran on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday and was attended by almost 15,000 people. I asked them to tell me what they learned, and the following are a few of their answers:
- It was an expensive marketing effort ( both time & money)
- Because of the wide variety of products and services it was hard to know who was interested in their specific product.
- The show sponsors advertised the show as a “home improvement show” and everything from jewelry making, cookware, cleaning material, etc. were represented. ( many exhibitors had nothing to do with home improvement)
- Many people were there only for the “give a ways” offered by the exhibitors
- They only spent quality time with several dozen people
- Three full days resulted in six names of possible customers.
- Their best lesson was, “We need to revise our marketing program will you help us”?
I explained that trade shows that are aimed at the target market may be worthwhile, but a wide open show is like “shooting and arrow into the sky and hoping that a duck flies over so you can get dinner). The four people who spent three full days working the show and perhaps several weeks getting ready for the show could have used their time more effectively.
The effort did provide some benefits in the way of lessons learned. I complimented them on the fact that they did do something. If lessons were learned, then the time and expenses were worthwhile.
The moral of this story is to define your target market. Within your target market may be many subsets that can become customers. A strategic focus marketing plan will define the general target market as well as the sub categories within the general target market. It will also develop methods for reaching your target market and the best way to get them to listen to your story.
Not succeeding in a marketing effort is only a “bad thing” if it doesn’t teach a lesson. Success often comes after multiple efforts are made and many disappointments occur. If success was guaranteed with every effort made then there would never be any business failures; but, because so many people quit when confronted with a failure, over 60% of all businesses fail.
The keys to ensuring success and growing a Sustainable Business is to have the right ongoing support. That support comes in multiple ways including: a subscription to www.onebizcentral.com ( in my opinion the best business support website available) , a support group that meets at least once a week, or a coach/mentor that walks with you on your business journey.
Too many people, when they make a mistake, just keep stubbornly plowing ahead and end up repeating the same mistake. I believe in the motto, “Try and try again,” But the way I read it, it says. “Try, then stop and think, then try again. William Dean Singleton
Nick J. Petra CFP I am here to help your grow your business www.strategicduck.com