Long before the phrase “Street Smart carried a “gangsta “feel, it was used to refer to an individual who knew how to get things done, with a commons sense no nonsense approach. It is this common sense approach which makes “Street Marketing”, ideal for the small business owners with limited budgets.
Built on the same foundation as traditional marketing; clear goals, concise description of a target customer, and a well thought out plan, Street Marketing simply finds low cost alternatives to traditional big advertising plans. .
Traditional vs Street Marketing: It is a matter of Focus
Let’s face it, you don’t have the budget of Nike or McDonalds, so a true mass market campaign, that reaches all consumers is out of your reach. But you don’t have to try to talk to everyone! Savvy Street Marketers know how to narrow their focus to the people who are most likely to buy.
Spend money wisely, by working to connect with a concentrated group several times, rather than trying to touch everyone once.
And remember, creating a target does not limit who you sell to, just who you actively try to reach with your marketing materials.
You Need to Do a Little Leg Work to Make it On the Street.
So now that you know who you want to talk to, how do you decide where do you invest your money? Before you spend any money, take time to do some analysis and planning.
Study your past sales, where does most of your business come from? Those networking groups, social media platforms and advertising vehicles which worked in the past, may work again. Having a good CRM tool which helps you track leads and connections over time, so you can make better decisions over time.
Hit the streets. Find new opportunities by looking at census data, local real estate information and business publications to find uncover regional trends. The local chamber of commerce may have some additional insight into where the "action" is.
Go where others don’t. Are some sub-groups or communities ignored by your competitors? Each of these groups may make attractive targets. At Roundpeg, we like “unsexy industries”. While our competitors chase the glamour businesses, like restaurants and retail, we like working with construction and HVAC. If you are going to pursue a niche strategy, just be sure the community you select is large enough to support your business objectives.
Go Big or Go Home. Your goal is to get their attention. It is about reaching the right customers, with the right message, at the right time. Instead of running a 1/8 of a page advertisement in the Sunday paper, alongside five of your competitors, consider buying a larger advertisement in a smaller newspaper, or neighborhood directory.
You are more likely to be noticed and remembered for supporting their community. And if you advertise on a regular basis, these smaller newspapers are more likely to make room for your press releases and informational articles.
Be on the Street on a Regular Basis - Be Consistent!
If you join an association, show up for meetings on a regular basis. You won't necessarily get referrals the first time you attend a networking meeting. But hang in there, as you become part of the "regular" crowd opportunities will drift your way.
Work Smarter Not Harder
You don't have to spend a lot of money, you simply have to learn how to spend well. You don't have to outspend the biggest competitor in town to be successful; you just have to outrun him on the street.