Conventional or traditional advertising for most recyclers, including print and direct mail, has declined in value and ceded ground to the web for most recyclers. The other advertising mistake I see businesses, including recyclers, making is trying to build a brand or just making sure that prospects are seeing their name out in the marketplace.
In 1963, when Quaker Oats (now owned by PepsiCo) created Cap’n Crunch, they spent 10 million dollars on a TV campaign and instantly jumped to a decent market share. Back then, it didn’t matter so much about the quality of the product; the most important thing was the box and marketing. Today, you could spend 100 million dollars on TV (or whatever) and not capture much market share because the ways prospects find out about new products are spread over so many platforms and media outlets.
I would contend that the internet is likely the best way to introduce a new product or service. That said, where on the internet? There are so many venues even on the internet that it’s just hard to get in front of your customer. Gaining a decent market share is likely not even attainable. And guess what, customers simply aren’t loyal; they are all about what you are doing for them right now and at the lowest price.
Forget using advertising to “get your name in front of the customer”; it simply doesn’t work the way that it once did. Also, let’s examine the loyalty angle. I have a little story I like to tell recyclers who are still selling parts for $20-$50, who insist that their customer appreciates these helpful small parts and will be loyal. I get that, and on its face it sounds good. NOW, after you’ve helped that customer out with small parts, will that same customer call you when they need, say, a Cummins diesel engine?
OF COURSE, and because they like you, they will call you FIRST!
Sounds like a win, right?
BUT, will they then check prices at a few other suppliers?
And when they find that Cummins diesel engine for a few hundred dollars less, will they come back to you? (There is a pause in your thinking, isn’t there?) Sadly, not. And worse, they may even tell the other supplier what you’re asking and give them a chance to beat the price, so your loyal customer has just made you the mark. Oh, they likely didn’t even have to make more than one call; they just looked online and called the cheapest provider. Because they aren’t going to be loyal, if you insist on selling those small hard-to-get parts, just do them a favor and charge them $100.
Now back to that brand. There are two kinds of advertising, brand advertising and selling advertising. Think about a billboard “Jack Daniel, SMOOTH as glass, next exit, Tom’s Liquors”. That’s brand advertising. Now imagine “Jack Daniels, $15.99, July Only, next exit, Tom’s Liquors. It’s clear which billboard will bring in the most revenue. Think like that on all your advertising, from web to print. And if you insist that $500 to sponsor the little league in your town needs to be spent, know it won’t get you customers, but might make you feel good. Your not-so-loyal customer will still buy from the lowest priced provider for that Cummins. (Don’t let me dissuade you from giving back to your community in some amount, however.)
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.
Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.
As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.
To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com, 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.