A small business owner once told me about the latest advertisement she placed in a printed publication. She was hoping it would draw new customers to her business, located in the heart of the town’s business district. Here’s the issue. The magazine was a publication geared toward tourists and it was only being distributed at visitor centers.
You may be thinking, “what’s wrong with that?” Every business could benefit from a few new customers, right? But here’s the thing.
This small business, in the heart of the business district, wasn’t open in the evenings. Most days, the shop was closed by 4 p.m. And the shop was only open for a few hours on Saturday mornings.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t find myself in a new town in the middle of a workday very often, except for the occasional business trip. People are usually doing their leisurely travel on the weekends. In fact, weekend travel ranked as one of the top motivators for domestic travel in a recent study by AARP.
As expected, they didn't see much of a return on their investment.
So what could they have done differently to make sure their message matched their audience? Hindsight is always 20/20, but let's use this as an example so you'll be better prepared the next time you're presented with an advertising opportunity.
Option 1 - Research your audience beforehand.
If you’re trying to reach tourists, know their habits & patterns, then adjust your hours of operation accordingly.
Option 2 - Change your message.
If changing your hours of operation to reach your original audience is not an option, target your message instead to a group that's better suited to respond to your advertisement. In this case, it may be the other businesses within the downtown district.
If you go with option #2, make sure the content within your advertisement matches your audience. For example, mention your complimentary gift-wrapping service for busy shoppers, or other convenient offerings, such as local delivery.
Does your message match your branding? If you need to talk it through, drop us a line.