Posts Tagged ‘Small Business Marketing’

The Unique Selling Proposition For Small Business

August 27, 2010

I spent three hours yesterday working on a foundational marketing issue for a client – the development of their unique selling proposition.

It was the first time I had worked on developing a unique selling proposition in years.

Having competed online now since 1999 – which by definition is a global market – differentiation and competition offline looks almost pedestrian.

Yet the skills required to successfully compete online are quite handy when it comes to developing positioning and messaging for any business whether their byproducts are executed online or offline.

There were several key points surfaced during my meeting yesterday.

1. Every business competes within a competitive monopoly.

2. Most “new” business is not new at all but new to that particular business. “Switchers” – as I like to call them – are how most small businesses gain new customers – not orchestrated customer acquisition campaigns.

That being said – in order to attract Switchers, small business owners must have a unique selling proposition and the accompanying messaging that speaks to those buyers unmet needs – those needs not being met by their present provider.

Buyers switch when they aren’t getting what they want and when the attractiveness of alternatives attract their attention.

This is where a well researched unique selling proposition embedded within consistent messaging can prove to become an invaluable investment for the small business.

Ideally – the sophisticated small business owner employs a unique selling proposition that plays to the weaknesses of their competition while simultaneously emphasizes their unique strengths.

Simply put – the small business owner’s best prospects for attracting “switchers” – buyers who are switching providers – is to first determine who of their competitors customers are not going to become their customers.

Once these static segments are identified, the unique selling proposition should be built on communicating what value the business offers to those customers who will switch provided  they become convinced their needs can be met by a new provider.

For the small business competing in a crowded niche, their best prospects for new business aren’t going to be created out of the blue but out of the “blues” – the blues they get from dealing with their present vendor.

Customer “blues” are the pallet from which a successful unique selling proposition is created  – a unique message that the small business can predictably and confidently use to acquire new business.

Free Small Business Commercials: I Love Local Commercials

December 2, 2009

I came across an interesting small business marketing site “I Love Local Commercials”.

Two guys – Rhett and Link – ask their site’s visitors to nominate a small business to win a free commercial produced by their company ILoveLocalCommercials.com.

So they actually don’t give away a free commercials to every small business owner who asks – the small buisness owner has to win first.

How do Rhett and Link do it?

Through sponsorship by a company called Microbilt.

I Love Local Commercials

I Love Local Commercials

The concept of giving away free commercials which is really a twist on the “register to win a prize” tactic is subtle yet innovative.

I am not sure what direct return on investment Microbilt has received from their sponsorship of ILoveLocalCommercials.com

However, Microbilt most certainly has established their brand name as a result of their sponsorship.

Rhett and Link’s work like the commercial below also appears to be effective for the medium.

A question I have for Rhett and Link is – how come they don’t advertise and sell their commercial production services as well?

Google Local Business Center Testing Local Listing Ads

October 6, 2009

Greg Sterling reports on his blog and at Search Engine Land about Google’s announcing their new local advertising product called Local Listing Ads.

Google Local Listing Ads

Google Local Listing Ads

More about the features of Local Listings ads from Google’s Local Business Center:

Drive more sales
Over 80% of people look to Google for local information. Make sure your listing stands out.

See – and hear – the results
You’ll hear “this call brought to you by Google” with every call from your ad.

Free for 30 days
Try it out, risk free. You can cancel anytime.

Local targeting
We’ll make sure your ad only shows to people near your business, with no work for you.

Local Listing Ads are currently available only in San Francisco and San Diego, CA.

From a Google and Small Business Marketer’s perspective, I have to wonder what kind of resources – both human and financial – Google is putting into this new program to make it a success?

Who is running the Local Listings program within Google – a Google Maps or Google Adwords team, the “Local Business Center” team, a new team or a not yet formed team?

I think Google’s answer to this question lies the fate of the Google Local Listings advertising program.