Thinking Through Your Brand's 7-Touch Strategy
Lots of research shows that it can take seven or more times seeing your brand before a potential customer will remember you. And some of that research is several years old, meaning that as our world gets busier and noisier, we actually think it might take even more than that.
Though word of mouth is still the most effective way to bring in new customers, you should still be investing in other forms of media so that people have the opportunity to learn about you, become aware of what you do, and build trust in your brand. Your goal should be to create as many opportunities for people to interact with your brand as possible to make it more likely they reach their 7-touch threshold.
These touchpoints can look different, depending on who your ideal customer is and where they spend their time, but some examples might be social media content or ads, direct mail, digital advertising, event sponsorships in your community, traditional radio or print advertising, billboard ads, signage at your business, vehicle wraps, meeting your employees at networking events, etc.
So how do you decide which strategies are best for your business?
To start, you need to identify your ideal client. This matters because you will be able to more easily narrow down the best strategies for your business. If you have a business where you identify 30 to 40-year-old women with children as your ideal client you, won’t find that newspaper ads have high ROI. You would likely find that digital ads and social media posts do better. However, if you own a Senior Center and want to promote your weekly dance night, you would likely find newspaper ads to highly effective.
After identifying your ideal client, take the time to create a plan which includes a variety of ways someone will be exposed to your business over a specific time period. The goal is for you to have a consistent plan for marketing. This is where you get to be creative and make your strategies something that work for you and your business. And depending on where you live, your options will look a lot different. If you live in a more urban area, you may have the chance to advertise on buses, park benches, billboards, etc. In a more rural area, you may have to get more creative with sponsorship opportunities, special events, and community outreach. Do what works best for your business, in your regional area.
Your strategy doesn’t need to be overwhelming. You just need to have a plan and stick to it. Maybe that means posting consistently on social media, sending out a monthly newsletter, sponsoring a few events in your community each year, asking current clients to leave reviews of your business, plan and promote giveaways periodically, follow up with new leads, etc. Having a plan and being disciplined enough to stick to it will result in growth.
Finally, if you’d like a quick baseline for what works best, start by polling you current customers to see where they heard about you. Tapping into your customers (and rewarding them for their insights) is a great way to learn about the ways people in your community are responding to advertising. And you can show them you value their business and earn even more loyalty.