Tony is a strategy-driven, brand-focused 19 year veteran of the advertising industry. Prior to founding The BLÜ Group in 2004 he served as a senior account executive for a variety of large, national brands including Hickory Farms, NEBS, and Betty Crocker. Since BLÜ’s inception, Tony has dedicated his time to helping small-mid size businesses and organizations build strong brands while volunteering for a variety of civic and professional organizations, including serving on multiple boards and chairing a variety of committees.

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3 Words To Remember To Grow Your Business

My wife and I live in a small Midwestern town and have for the past 20 years. During this time I have gotten to know a little bit about the “natives”. They are good people. Many of whom grew up in the same town or at the least, the same area. They love attending Friday Fish Fry and drinking light beer by the case. They don’t care about wearing the latest fashion trends or having a current hairstyle. And a handful of them participate in “Boulevard Shopping Days.” What are Boulevard Shopping Days you ask and what does it have to do with growing my business? Well, it’s a term I coined years ago while watching this weekly ritual unfold. It all started one spring afternoon while I was chipping golf balls in my yard. I left my golf bag and clubs on the boulevard and while I was at the other end of the yard someone in a truck drove by and asked if I was throwing “this stuff” away. The answer of course was no, but it opened my eyes to this local tradition – drive around the day before garbage days and turn one person’s trash into your own personal treasures or mini investments. From that day on I have used this information to get rid of a lot of stuff with very little effort…and this is where my three magic words come into play and how you can grow your business and become a better marketer – List, Offer, Creative – and they are listed in order of importance. For some these three words may be self-explanatory, but let’s explore them a little more below:

  1. List – The most important thing you need to know is your target audience. And I mean know them, not kind of know a little bit about them based on what some friends at the coffee shop said or what you read in a 500 word blog post. In order to be incredibly successful, you have to know everything you possibly can about them. There are the oldies, but goodies like age, sex, income, marital status, children, etc., but what are all the variable to consider when reviewing this information? Plus, in today’s day and age there is so much more to understand. What are the influencers your target audience uses in order to make buying decisions? How are they most comfortable purchasing products? What is their preferred method to receive marketing messages? You really can’t know too much about the people that will buy what you are selling. Do your homework or hire someone to do it for you.
  2. Offer – This is what you are selling and everything that is included with it. It could be a special offer such as Free Teeth Whitening, but it doesn’t have to be so specific. It could just be your everyday product offering(s). If you are a dentist for example, your product is you, your education, all of the services you offer, your demeanor, your office, the amenities at your office, your location, your staff, your financial options, and your follow-up procedures to name a few. Create something (an offer) that your target audience truly desires and you are one major step closer to running a profitable business.
  3. Creative – The least important of the three, but important nonetheless is how you communicate your offer to your target audience. This is where using a professional advertising agency can come in handy. What is the message (big idea – copy), how should it be portrayed (design), and how should it be distributed (advertising channel). Developing great creative doesn’t mean coming up with something that will win the agency an award. It means coming up with something that sells your product or service.

I used this insight just last night, the day before Boulevard Shopping Days. We wanted to get rid of an entertainment center. We tried to sell it and even offered it for free on Craigslist, but nobody would buy it or come get it because entertainment centers are no longer in demand. So what next? I knew my target audience and I had a great offer – a free entertainment center. The creative was simple. A white piece of copy paper with “FREE” written on it with a black Sharpie. Sure enough someone drove by this morning and put it in the back of their truck. They got a free entertainment center and I didn’t have to pay to have it taken away. Now that’s what I call Win / Win! Now get to work on truly defining your target audience(s).