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Stop Using Out-of-Date Marketing and Build Your Small-Town Business Right

Communication has changed, and your small-town business message must change with it.

By Thomas EgelhoffPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Stop Using Out-of-Date Marketing and Build Your Small-Town Business Right
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

We know from prior experience that customers buy things based more on emotion than logic.

We also know the first rule of advertising: "When logic and emotion come into conflict — emotion always wins."

This actually makes marketing and advertising easier because the advertising and marketing messages can be tailored to a wide range of customers.

But times have changed.

Even though the old style of selling benefits — not features are still in place, how and where that message appears has changed drastically.

Price, Value, and Quality

Many shoppers used to base their purchasing on those three words. Will they get the quality and value for the price asked?

But there is another element that is slowly making its way into the buying decision.

And that element is the ethics and philosophy of the business.

When customers talk about your small-town business, what do they say?

Do they talk about the brand of motor oil they bought from you or what it was like doing business with you?

Currently, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, TikTok, and Google connect over 6 billion people all over the planet.

Seventy-eight percent of all computer users are on social media. And one of the biggest topics on social media is how businesses treat their customers.

Word-of-mouth has taken on a whole new meaning. Customers are no longer talking face-to-face. They're talking screen-to-screen.

Reviews on social media platforms like Yelp can direct customers to you or deflect them to your competitors, and you have no real retaliation for what's written about you.

A minor misunderstanding can escalate into a full-blown business crisis.

Social media is redefining how customers view small and big businesses.

Your customers are on social media somewhere — but which ones and how often.

It's fine to make a profit if you're not greedy about it. Servicing the customer is preferable to exploiting them.

But bad news travels faster and in more places than ever before.

Do The Right Thing and Take Care of Customers

Business is getting a bad rap these days as our politicians talk about corporate greed and sky-high profits.

News feeds are full of stories about corporations putting profits ahead of people and growth ahead of the damage that growth might do to society.

Bad businesses get the bulk of the press, and as a result, you're guilty by association.

Bud Light and Target are just two of the major retailers who are alienating their customer base by going political.

That's the reason your business ethics and philosophy need to be one of the principal parts of your marketing and advertising plan.

Who are you and how do your customers perceive you?

Using this technique triggers the emotional consideration of your product and reinforces that you're the company that should supply the product or service to the customer.

It's more powerful than features and benefits alone.

And even more importantly, it increases the buffer between you and your competitors.

When the dust settles, people want to deal with businesses they perceive as ethical, even if they might pay a slightly higher price.

Some Final Thoughts on Out-of-Date Marketing

There is little difference between customers and employees when it comes to company ethics and doing the right thing.

Employees will talk about their job outside of work, and they're much more comfortable talking about working for an ethical company than the alternative.

If the employee is positive about the company, that philosophy filters down to any potential customers they might encounter.

So be ethical with employees and customers alike. Putting customers first will set you apart from your competitors. It's the new "old" way of marketing. It's how companies used to operate.

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About the Creator

Thomas Egelhoff

Author, Radio Talk Show Host, blogger, YouTuber, Vietnam Vet, half-fast guitar player, average cook, and a really nice guy. I read all my articles; you should too and subscribe. Thanks very much.

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