The other day, I was driving on Beach Boulevard, right across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm. It was a busy day, the traffic was increasing, as it was almost time for the afternoon rush, so everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get out of the area. I had some business to take care of around there, and I almost missed him, as I whizzed by the intersection. There he was, a man wearing a purple shirt and holding a sign shaped like an arrow, waving it up and down with a blank stare on his face. As I drove by with the caravan of cars, I did not get a chance to read the sign properly, but I saw enough to understand that it was a jewelry store and an invitation for those interested in selling their broken jewelry to come to his store. I first ignored the street sign guy, because I had other things on my mind.
Once my business was taken care of, I was headed back, and this time I was waiting at the stop light, right across the street from the man holding the street sign. It was a long light, really long, so I started to read all the information on the street sign, although I could not see it well. Sitting at the light, I was wondering why the jewelry store still uses such an ancient marketing technique, doesn’t he or she know that this does not work?
Being in the business of online marketing, I knew that something was not right, so this time I talked myself into going into the jewelry store and finding out more, and ways in which I can help. Usually, I would ignore it, but this is part of my personal mission to be more assertive.
To me, it is pretty obvious that the jewelry store is not doing well. As a matter of fact, I would think it is pretty obvious to most of us that such techniques are considered old-school and for most marketers, I would think it clearly seems like a call for help. We are talking about a jewelry store, not a fried chicken mom and pop shop.
This jewelry store was located inside the mall. Because the sign was not specific enough, I had to navigate through the mall and ended up at their competitors’ location first, which is a lot closer to the main intersection. I eventually found the jewelry store and walked in. It was empty, with just one employee and the owner was sitting at this desk.
The owner seemed pleasant when I started talking to him. I did not see nor analyze his website prior to our meeting because it was a spur of the moment decision to visit his store (instead of going back home), but I thought I should see if I can help. So, I was pretty straight-forward and mentioned the sign and asked about his online marketing techniques. He quickly responded without even thinking. He said he was doing it himself, and mentioned some directories that he entered his business information into. He said that “he did it all”, all probably meaning all that he thought was necessary to do in order to increase his business.
I then tried to ask questions and offer some tips, knowing that there is a lot more to do, and most importantly, I knew there was no strategic approach to his online marketing, based on what he told me. If he had a strategy that worked, then he would not need the street sign. However, he did not want to listen. He seemed to think that he knows everything there is to know about online marketing. I am not pushy, so I replied: “That is great, so I guess the street sign is just an added benefit for extra business”. And then I walked out. I did not realize it at first, but later I thought I might have been a bit cynical. But I don’t think I would have changed my comment, because here is what I know:
- When you have a successful local online marketing campaign, you do not need a street sign at the corner of the street. What are the odds of finding people with broken jewelry in their pockets during a week-day afternoon, who are rushing through a busy intersection and who have no idea who you are, where you are, and why is what you have to offer better than the competitors’ (who are closer to the inside the mall to that intersection, by the way)?
- What are the odds that the drivers were even being able to read the sign quickly enough? I know I wasn’t able to read it the first time, and the second time, I still missed some important things.
Why is a successful marketing campaign working as opposed to holding the street sign and crossing your fingers, hoping for the best? First of all, when you create a successful marketing campaign online, you don’t just wave a sign and hope that people will walk in, you will target only the people who are interested in selling their jewelry and who are in thea area, not just busy passer-byes. It takes time to do so, but it works. It is all about strategy and technique. What technique does the street sign have? Nothing but hope. Does hope get customers? I think we can all agree it is not enough.
Careful analysis, planning and research is required, then continuous adjustment to the marketing campaign until we figure out what works best. This is a process that takes a few months, sometimes up to a year or longer but it is a long-term success formula, something which you can apply over and over again.
Perhaps hiring an oline marketing specialist instead of cutting corners is something that it is more important that you realized. Is that not worth the investment if it helps for the rest of the business life?
Then, it is about building a list of qualified prospects whom you form a relationship with and you nurture continuously, adjusting it for improvement.
To me, this whole process is pretty obvious, but the jewelry store owner obviously missed the point. Let’s just hope that others learn from this story and use better marketing techniques than a street sign.
What are some of your favorite marketing techiques for your business?
Filed under: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | Tagged: anaheim seo, buena park seo, Business Marketing, Internet marketing, jewelry store marketing, Local SEO, marketing campaign, online marketing, Orange County, Search engine marketing, SEO, street sign | 2 Comments »