Ask Mr. Marketing: Is your marketing run down?
By Rob Weinberg
How do I market a mature business?
Every business, regardless of industry, requires marketing to survive and thrive. A willingness to risk unique approaches should help increase your profits.
Observing the success of fresh young companies like Apple and Facebook, one might assume marketing handles itself. A snappy logo, pretty colors, nice music — et voilá!
Only it’s never that easy — especially in more established industries, where just showing it isn’t enough to sell it. Mature businesses — realtors, accountants, restaurants, etc. — must actively market themselves in increasingly broad-based forms.
A great deal of marketing success is positioning yourself to appeal to specific audiences. Translation: companies lacking newness must repackage themselves to garner attention.
The answer may be finding new things to sell. Or new people to talk to. Or presenting yourself from a different angle.
Consider cosmetics, in use since 3500 BC. Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, took this mature business and repositioned it, observing “We sell hope.” The industry today is worth over $170 billion in annual sales.
Rather market housekeeping services? Take a page from Chicago-based Maids ‘N Heels, selling to guys fantasizing about girls in French maids’ outfits. Oh yes, they also clean, cook, and perform light housekeeping duties.
Washing cars? Young women in bikinis probably aren’t as efficient as area gas stations, but by positioning their services to customers with dirty cars and dirty minds, they get their share of sales.
The commonality: old ideas, new twists, and people lining up to pay boatloads of money.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting naked tax accountants or (shudder) marketing professionals are the next wave. I’m just saying you need to think differently.
Because here’s the bottom line: doing what everyone else does may not work for what you sell.
And with such a fluid marketplace, just doing whatever you’ve done before may not work either.
Your experience tells you what folks will buy and who they are. Now borrow ideas from others, combine with your previously successful approaches, mix with fresh concepts, utilize new technology, and build something new.
As they said in “Bull Durham,” “Hit ‘em where they ain’t.” You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.
For 30 years Mr. Marketing has created unique marketing solutions and profitable results. Ask him your questions at www.askmrmarketing.com.
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