Caught between a Rock and technology
As a small business, chances are you are more focused on your local traffic and that makes perfect sense, you should be completely dedicated to picking up all of the local traffic, after all, that is how you will stay in business.
Many local small businesses have noticed a downturn in their "walk-in" traffic and are curious and even concerned about what causes their traffic to drop in recent years. Naturally, as a brick and mortar location the first thing you would do is drive around, pick up a local newspaper and begin scoping for local competition.
Keeping a leg up on the competition is harder now than ever before, because your "local" competitor may no longer be local, in fact your competitor may not even be operating from the standard "store-front". Now you can tell yourself that you don't need all the websites, social media and mobile stuff and to an extent that is true. The fact is, you don't NEED all of that mobile and social stuff, but unless you want to steadily see your business close, little bits at a time, year after year then you might want to look in to developing even a simple strategy.
For years business owners, local or other have participated in marketing their businesses in one form or another some of the standards are newspaper advertising, cable TV, signage, sidewalk or window sign and several others that could make this an even more boring article. All of the listed media at one time were a good source of marketing but just like using a horse for your main source of transportation, it has kind of ran in to the end of its usefulness.
Now we have even changed the game more from advertising you business in a place where there was a likelihood of someone viewing your advertisement at a particular time of day as in newspaper, magazines, cable television and, well you get the picture. Now, in this day of "I want it and I want it now" mindset we have found the best marketing that you as a business owner can do is Mobile Marketing using SMS and mobile coupons.
Here is how it works and how you want to work it, because like most good things if you abuse it, it stops working properly and you don't want to let that happen, because the key is to use your customers phone to make them a Raving fan.
Find a company that specializes in this type of advertising and marketing. Just so happens I can recommend a good one. The company that you go with is very important and you want to make sure they have your interest at heart, not just signing you up and making a few bucks and being gone. As a customer, you need to be able to create your own ads or be able to lean on them when you need work done.
Plan, you have to develop a strategy, DO NOT go in to this blind thinking that just because you start using these services that all things will begin to work. If you have bad practices in marketing and cannot plan then it will fail, listen to your MM Representative and give them the time they need to listen to what you want or need. Planning is a crucial step because your Mobile Marketing company is going to work through a lot of steps to make this successful and I can tell you that it is much easier and much more successful if you start out on-board along with the rest of your staff. Planning means developing every aspect and step every coupon, and contest along with when they will go out, why they go out then and what message you are sending your customer base.
Honor what you send to your customers. It is amazing how many times communications have broken down in a store between owners and managers to sales or counters. Be sure you are all on the same page, this kind of goes back to planning but it is important, because this allows you to treat that customer like a king or queen or another very important person. Why? because as long as they don't opt out, you have a customer looking for YOUR next big deal.