Founder and CEO of Shelly Cove & co-founder of TidalWave Holdings, Matt Schroeder stops by the Pitstop garage to fill you in on the secrets to successful out-of-home advertising
More than just billboard-buys and magazine ads, out-of-home marketing is often seen as the standard of true advertising, when reaching either the consumer or the wholesaler. While anyone can buy some ad-space online, out-of-home marketing is an investment, and like any investment can lead to nothing but a money-pit for the inexperienced.
Here's a cost-effective experiment you can run for your own business that can help you break into your hardcore niche markets with out-of-home marketing and give your brand a smarter start to making you money
- 2:18 The $1000 Ad Buy. If you're looking to move into out-of-home marketing, start small to get your bearings and to test your potential audience. If $1000 for a full page ad is too much for you, you're not ready for the next step
- 3:20 Know your audience. Make that $1000 ad buy stretch as far as it can by knowing who is reading it. Find a publication within or popular with your industry, define who you specifically want the ad to attract the attention of (consumer, or business?) and craft the message just for them. "Not a big distribution" says Matt, "just extremely targeted"
- 3:46 Funnel your replies. Before you can measure any ad campaign, you need to have a way to gauge the reaction to that specific ad, and not just general consumer traffic. Include a unique url or link in the ad, and direct readers to that rather than your landing page. If the only way to find the page is through the ad, then just the traffic for the page alone will tell you if it was a success or not
- 4:05 Count what you have. You may feel like your ad's a failure, but take a closer look at the figures once responses start rolling in. Matt may have only received 12 replies from wholesalers to his ad in one week, but that's 12 interested parties taking the next step to buying or selling the product. That's just $90 for a lead that then has to spend at least $500 minimum for a wholesale order through Matt's store. If even just half of them make a purchase, that's a return 3 times as much as was spent on the ad. For Matt, the figure was actually closer to 10 times as much.
If you're not taking these small, affordable chances and always looking for ways to make your marketing strategy more effective and efficient, you'll soon find yourself left behind by both customers and competitors.
Big Mistakes As A Founder
Founder and CEO of Shelly Cove and co-founder of TidalWave Holdings, Matt returns to Pitstop to warn you away from three of the biggest mistakes you're likely to make on your first time out the gate.
At-home advertising can pay off big-time for your ecommerce business, but it can also be a painful and expensive path to profits, full of mistakes if you're not properly prepared. Thankfully Matt Schroeder's made some of them already, and shares his hard learned lessons in the hopes you'll avoid repeating these common missteps.
The Three Biggest Mistakes First-Time Ecommerce Marketers Make:
- 1:30 Stay Focussed. Don't get overwhelmed with too many options & apps. Make a list of every extra thing your brand does or uses, and keep only the top 5 performing activities. Everything else will simply stall progress by eating up your time and money. No matter the allure, there are no magic apps or additions that will transform your store into a success overnight, so choose hard work and reliable growth instead.
- 4:53 Don't Jump The Gun. Promotional tactics like campus referral programs are a great way to build a community of customers once you're known and noticed, but are an entirely unnecessary and wasteful strategy for anyone to concentrate on starting out. Without brand recognition, your campus referral program and other promotional tactics will flunk out long before finals.
- 6:03 Diversify To Avoid Surprises & Shocks. You may have a fantastic deal with a wholesale retailer now, but what happens when they change their mind and stop buying? Is your business ready to take losing such a large client? Will this just undermine your profit margin, or could it result in layoffs and closures? Not all wholesale is to be avoided early, but you must make sure it doesn't start making your business decisions for you. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, and never stop looking for more markets to carry your product.
Hands Off Customer Service Experience
Founder and CEO of Shelly Cove and co-founder of TidalWave Holdings, Matt is back in the Pitstop garage one more time to talk about staying focussed on offering a great customer service experience without losing perspective
Every business owner believes that if you want something truly done right, you have to get your hands dirty and do it yourself. Often for self-made successes who are used to putting in hard work for their brand, the toughest lesson for many to learn can be that most of their time is better spent delegating and focussing on the bigger picture.
Here are why you should delegate customer service to your staff, and ways you can stay involved with your customer's experience, without getting in the way of your team.
- 2:35 Recognize Biases Toward Yourself. It's you business and your bottom line, so you may take criticism a little harder than the average employee. You may even feel like you're right in denying a refund, simply because as the boss you're the final word. But this is business, so don't make it personal.
- 3:10 Remove Yourself, Remove The Bias. The best customer service isn't an advocate for either the customer or the store exclusively, but a team dedicated to resolving shopping issues as fast as possible. They are working to protect your reputation just as much as serve your customers or defend your bottom line, without getting hung up on the details.Don't worry about how much it costs, within reason, just get it done.
- 4:45 Use Customer Service As An Opportunity To Learn. Don't treat every customer complaint as a negative interaction that didn't go your way. Listen to what they have problems with, and take steps to improve them. Put their feedback to work for you.
- 5:15 Share Outliers And Experiences Among The Team. Don't let your team members work in isolation or keep them in the dark. Set up an internal chat among your staff, and share with each other. Good experiences, bad experiences, reoccurring issues, upcoming crunches. The more your entire team knows, the few chances for mistakes and the better they will perform.
- 5:35 Weekly Meetings For Recurring Issues. If you do identify an ongoing problem that keeps popping up no matter what, coordinate weekly strategy sessions to go over the latest data and brainstorm solutions. Two heads are better than one, and the more minds working a problem, the more likely you'll quickly arrive at a solution that benefits your business. At the very least, stay updated yourself, so that nothing surprises you down the road.
Remember, you're not losing control, you're just delegating responsibly. None of this means you can't hop on when your team gets hit by heavy traffic and it's all hands on deck. It just means that unless it's extraordinary circumstances like Black Friday sales, you shouldn't have to to personally maintain the standards you expect for your customer experience.
- Tags: out of home marketing