Are You Visible?

Picture this

(1) You’ve just launched a business and you’re looking for customers. Or maybe (2) you moved locations and you’re trying to retain your current customers while acquiring new ones. Maybe (3) you recently launched a companion website to complement your brick and mortar. Maybe (4) you have an online store or sales tool, but you can’t seem to increase revenues no matter how much money you throw at it. Or maybe (5) your company has 20 years under its belt and not much has changed.

Whatever your recent history is, you realize it’s not the “golden era” you wish it was.

Here’s the deal

We need to target your market with a solid, poignant approach. Unless you’re Apple with $9.8 billion in cash lying around (as of Sept. 24), you’re not going to be able to plaster every media outlet with your next best thing like Steve Jobs did when introducing the iPod for the first time.

(Interesting caveat: As of July, Apple had more cash and marketable investments than the U.S. Treasury, along with 29 other companies. You probably already knew that; but if not…well, there you have it.)

So, you’re on a budget and you have to build brand awareness. But it’s not good enough to build awareness at random. You have to be able to find where your target market hangs out and deliver your brand message directly to them. TV and radio are nice, but if you’re mostly a B2B company, why are you spending money pasting your brand on consumer media sources? (See this article by Rance Crain on advertising to understand what I mean in light of UPS’s attempt to sell B2B services via mainstream TV ads)

Hypothetically, would you rather spend $5,000 with an ROI of 5% – 10% or an ROI of 100% – 200%? It’s simple math if you ask me. And just like with the building blocks of mathematics, you have to start with the basic understanding of what marketing truly is–offering the right product at the right place and time with the right promotion and the right price to the right people. We need to maximize our marketing efforts by first identifying the unique characteristics of who those “right people” are.

Let’s say your customers (target market) are young married mothers. Here is a partial list of questions you can use to truly understand her and communicate a message in which she would be interested:

  • What does she look like?
  • What are her greatest worries/dreams?
  • What does she think about when she wakes up?
  • When she goes to sleep?
  • Where does she spend most of her day?
  • What are her needs?
  • How does she relax?
  • Does she have time to relax?
  • Why?

(If you’d like to discuss my full list of empathy questions, click here and contact me by selecting one of the social mediums near the bottom of the page.)

Be able to not only find out who you want to target, but where you can find them and what you can say to attract them at their point of need according to their perspective.

Building brand awareness starts with:

  1. Finding out who needs to be aware of you (your target), and
  2. Creating points of contact with those consumers where they are heavily concentrated

Brand awareness is just the first step to acquiring customers, and it’s definitely not the most important. Stay tuned to The Spark for the second and third installment of the series “Are You…?”

What have you done with your company to build brand awareness?


This article is a prequel to Part 2: “Are You Attractive?” and Part 3: “Are You Worth It?”

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!

You can also contact me directly via this page.

And if you liked the article, show me some love and share it with your peers however you like to share content (common sharing buttons are provided below).

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