Remember the TV show “Cheers”? It was the bar you could go to where “everybody knows your name.” In marketing circles, the Cheers secret to success is called “top-of-mind awareness.” After all, making sales is easy if everybody already knows you. To achieve top-of-mind awareness, you have to set yourself apart from the sea of businesses competing for your customer’s attention. Everyday people are bombarded with messages, and cutting through the clutter can be a challenge. The key to rising above the fray is to create a consistent, distinctive marketing message that responds to your customers’ unique needs.
If you have many competitors in your field, you might be wondering how you can stand out. Even in a small niche market, you might be competing not just with local businesses, but with any business your customers might find online as well. The key is to figure out what you are best at and capitalize on it. When you narrow your focus and position yourself or your company as the expert in your chosen area, you will be the first person people think of when they have that specific need or problem.
Now you just need to get the word out about why you are the obvious choice! You have to hone down your marketing message to a razor sharp point and then share it with the world. For top-of-mind awareness, people need to see information about you multiple times so consistent, compelling communications are important.
You might create a mailing to your best customers, place advertisements in publications your customers read or start up a monthly postcard campaign. Newsletters are another great way to get the word out. Because they are considered a periodical publication, people don’t treat newsletters as advertising but as news. You might even find that your customers start to look forward to your newsletters!
The main point to remember is that if you start up a newsletter or postcard campaign, you must send them out consistently. Missing deadlines will cost you sales. Remember that those people have a lot going on in their lives so they need that repetitive contact to keep you at the top of their minds.
The good news for you is that if you embark on a top-of-mind awareness campaign, you’ll probably draw customers away from the competition because most businesses don’t bother to create (much less implement) a systematic marketing program. They place an ad here or there and then give up. This type of haphazard marketing just doesn’t work.
Studies have shown that people need to see your message anywhere from 9 to 27 times before they will do anything. You want to make your message completely familiar to your customers. For example, when someone says “rental car” most people think of Hertz first. Even though Hertz is sometimes the most expensive rental car option, they still rent a whole lot of cars because people are so familiar with the company.
If you can focus on what you do best and remain consistent in your marketing message, just like at that famous bar, everyone will know your name.