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               Beyond the Niche




     Beyond the Niche:
        Essential Tools You Need to
Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results




        Kathryn Hendershot-Hurd
                       Beyond the Niche



                      Introduction

  Are you ready to move beyond the "spray and pray"
approach to marketing your products or services?

   Are you tired of the empty promises of secret marketing
formulas which promise guaranteed and instant success?

  Do you want a proven method of creating marketing
messages that truly "speak" to your customers?

   Then this book was written just for you.

   There is a simple, intuitive formula to uncover what
customers are REALLY looking for when they enter the
doors of your store or click on your web site. It really is
possible to create marketing messages that literally break
through the clutter and spur people to take action!

   My name is Kathy Hendershot-Hurd and I’ve spent 20
years helping businesses you’ve never heard of achieve
measurable results, many times within the constraints of
ultra thin shoestring budgets.

   The focus of this book is not on what has worked for
corporate giants with seven-figure monthly advertising
budgets, but rather what works for the “shop down the
street.” Most of these lessons were learned during my tenure
as a media rep (for both newspaper and radio) while
working with clients who couldn’t afford the services of an
advertising agency.
                        Beyond the Niche




    I spent the formative years of my advertising career as an
account executive with a regional advertising agency. The
time I spent within those hallowed halls were enlightening. I
learned more during my time there than I did earning a BS
in marketing and economics. However, I have to admit that
the most important lessons I learned were not absorbed
while insulated and isolated inside a meeting room with
other insulated and isolated advertising execs. In those
meetings, we dealt with a lot of theory and we had the
luxury of playing in the world of “theoretical reality.” After
all, we were dealing with monthly ad budgets of between
$8,000- $20,000 per month (in1980’s dollars), so we could
afford to express our “creativity” freely. Because we had
complete control of our client’s budgets, and because the
first course of business when we landed an account was to
slash newspaper spending by up to 80%, we were assured
that the client would see measurable results.

    At the time I didn’t know how pampered we were as we
literally turned around business after business in the region.
During those years, inside those hallowed halls, I learned the
theory behind the lessons. Little did I know that the “real
lessons” in application were to be learned later, as I sought
to apply the “theoretical knowledge” I had gained within
the agency to the individual needs of businesses within a
small community as a media rep.

   My husband’s job moved us to an area without the
population base to support a full service agency, so as a
result I took a position at the local paper as an account
                        Beyond the Niche


executive. Because my career had begun in an agency, I had
the unique vantage point of knowing the pros-cons of each
media, because I’d worked extensively with television,
billboard, newspaper, radio and direct mail during my work
at the agency. That foundation made me “more than a media
rep” with my new clients. As a result, I approached my
clients as though they were my advertising clients instead of
just trying to sell them advertising space/time.

   It didn’t take long for my newspaper clients to begin
asking me to help them develop their radio campaigns.
When I made the move to radio sales, not only did my
newspaper clients make the move with me, my radio
advertising clients also began seeking my advice for help in
developing their message and help with choosing the
appropriate supporting media.

   When I made the move from agency to media sales, it was
quite a paradigm shift. Not only was I working in a “highly
rural” area as opposed to the “urban jungle” from whence
I’d come, but the biggest struggle in making the transition
was not traffic (or the lack thereof) or even the sophistication
of my clients. The biggest change I encountered was in the
monthly budget of my typical media advertiser. When I was
working with agency clients, our typical advertising budget
was between $8,000 and $20,000 per month. (Remember,
these are mid 80’s figures.) As a media rep, I found myself
working with clients who spent less on all their advertising
in a year than my former clients spent in a month. Suddenly,
I was plunged into a situation where it felt like I was
                        Beyond the Niche


walking a tightrope without a net. In my work with my
“new” clients, there was truly no room for mistakes!

   It’s little wonder that my time in media sales is where I
learned my most valued lessons. It was literally almost a
decade of “think tank” experiences for me as I applied the
strategies and principles discussed at length during my
agency days and applied them to my clients in the “real”
world.

   It’s easy to theorize about what works and what doesn’t
when you’re sitting in an air conditioned meeting room. It’s
very, very hard to sit down with a client when the campaign
falls flat on its face and the buck stops with you. It doesn’t
take too many failures to motivate you to learn quickly how
to avoid having to sit down with your client at the end of a
campaign and perform an autopsy as to why a campaign
didn’t work. That is where the rubber meets the road; when
there is no “creative staff” or “management team” or anyone
else to blame.

       The tighter your budget, the more you need this
                       information.

  Here’s to your success.
                        Beyond the Niche



               Table of Contents
1. Beyond Marketing: The Bigger Picture
     Mapping Your Strategy
     Beyond the Basement: The story of Ida Mae's

2. Beyond the Filter: Fishing for Customers
      Choosing the Right Bait
      Narrowing your Focus
3. Beyond Statistics: Breaking the Ice
      Trying to Reach Everyone
      Creating Conversations
4. Beyond the Basics: Knowing your Audience
      Operation Survival
      Focusing upon Solutions
      Examining the Process
      Desires vs. Goals
      Speaking the Language
5. Beyond Targeting: Composite Customers
      Putting Surveys to work
      “Me Mode” Marketing
      The Customer’s Viewpoint
      Illustrating the Composite Customer Process
6. Beyond Clever: Advertising that Sells
      The Nissan Story
      Your Advertising as Sales Staff
7. Beyond Incidental: Advertising the Minor Sale
      Creating TOMA
      The Door Buster Tactic
      Choosing a Loss Leader Product
      Creating your Own TOMA
                       Beyond the Niche



8. Beyond Information: Advertising and the Major
Sale
     Building Trust in the Major Sale
     Shifting the Focus
     The Time Factor
     Focusing on GDP: Goals, Desires and Problems
9. Beyond Features: Focusing Upon Benefits
     Why Do They Buy?
     Creating your USP
     Distilling your Marketing Message
     A Compelling Message is a Selling Message
10. Beyond Introductions: Telling Your Story
     Familiarity Breeds Business
     Building Familiarity
11. Beyond Familiarity: Delivering Your Message
     Building a Solid Foundation
     The Power of Conditioned Response
     Building Upon the Strong Foundation
     Advertising Scheduling Basics
12. Beyond Budgeting: Planning Ahead
     The “What Can I Afford” Method
     The Reactionary Method
     The “Whatever It Takes” Method
      The Fixed Percentage of Sales Method
13. Beyond Basics: Creating Your Campaign
     Building the Pyramid
     The Foundation Layer
     Add Complementary Layers
14.Beyond Measurement: Evaluating Success
                       Beyond the Niche




    1. Beyond Advertising: The Bigger Picture



I
   f you’re a business owner who has a love/hate
   relationship with your marketing and advertising, then
   you’re in good company. When you consider how little
time you have to devote to the task of promoting your
business and then consider the fact that advertising media
options are rapidly changing - and are very often presented
in a confusing manner, it is easy to see why most business
owners love the promise but hate the actual execution of a
successful marketing strategy.

  As a result, many business owners often find themselves
chasing after an array of marketing tactics instead of
implementing a cohesive marketing strategy. Unfortunately,
marketing tactics which may result in great success for one
business may fail miserably for the next. Yet many business
owners attend seminars, buy books and subscribe to
newsletters that do little more than provide a never ending
                         Beyond the Niche


list of various marketing tactics, hoping that eventually
they’ll find the tactic that will provide the significant return
on investment they are seeking.

   The search for tactics to increase the return on investment
dates back to the earliest recorded history. One tactic used
by early farmers to improve their farming “return on
investment” was to plant discarded fish parts to improve
their production of corn. Modern science has shown there
are practical scientific principles behind this ancient practice.
The decaying fish parts provide the steady supply of
nitrogen which corn needs to grow abundantly. It seems the
decaying fish parts are a great “lo-tech” method for
providing the steady fertilization needs of growing corn
plants.

   It turns out that in ancient cultures there were two schools
of thought about the role of the planting fish with corn. On
one hand, there were the cultures that, at some level, seemed
to recognize the science behind the practice. Farmers in these
cultures believed that the corn was literally feeding upon the
decaying fish. So while they used the “tactic” of planting fish
parts with corn, they were aware of the overall strategy
behind the tactic which was to provide nourishment for the
plants so they could produce an abundant crop.

   However, there were other cultures that also planted fish
parts with their crops but did so without any understanding
of the science behind the practice. For these cultures, the fish
were thought to have magical properties. They believed that
the spirit of the dead fish magically helped the plants to
                         Beyond the Niche


grow. These cultures were using the same tactic; however
they were using it without any understanding of the
strategy behind the tactic’s success.

    From our 21st Century perspective, it’s easy to see that
the farmers that viewed the fish as having magical
                          properties       were      putting
                          themselves      at     a     severe
     "IT TOOK MILLIONS
  OF YEARS FOR MAN'S      disadvantage. Without being
INSTINCTS TO DEVELOP.     aware of the underlying strategy
 IT WILL TAKE MILLIONS    of feeding the plants, the farmers
   MORE FOR THEM TO
       EVEN VARY.
                          who subscribed to the fish spirit
                          as magic tactic could not
     IT IS FASHIONABLE    understand how placing too
     TO TALK ABOUT        much fish in with each seed
     CHANGING MAN.
                          could     actually      lead     to
     A COMMUNICATION      undesirable results. (If you are a
  MUST BE CONCERNED       dog owner and have brown
   WITH UNCHANGING
      MAN, WITH HIS
                          spots in your lawn, then you’ve
  OBSESSIVE DRIVE TO      seen firsthand the results of
     SURVIVE, TO BE       excessive        nitrogen        on
 ADMIRED, TO SUCCEED,     vegetation.)
  TO LOVE, TO TAKE
  CARE OF HIS OWN."
                              Imagine that you were a
      William Bernbach     farmer who subscribed to the
                           fish as magic school of thinking.
At some point as you watched your corn fail to grow, you
would have to ask yourself: Is there such a thing as too
much magic? How can some magic be good but more of the
same magic be bad? Only when you adopt the scientific
view of using the fish as part of a fertilization strategy can
                        Beyond the Niche


you begin to see where too much of a good tactic can
actually lead to undesirable results.

   The same is true in modern marketing. For example,
offering a limited time discount can improve your sales
initially but when used excessively, consumers become
conditioned to wait until your next big discount to buy.
Even the big players in the market, like GM and Macy’s
aren’t immune to the underlying principles at work. Limited
time discounts are a great way to motivate buyers to make
the final step and purchase; however when used excessively
they can actually backfire and condition customers to wait
for the next big discount. Not understanding the underlying
principle behind the limited time discount (discussed in
greater detail in Chapter 8 can lead to misusing the discount.
Just as early farmers who didn’t understand the principles of
using fish as fertilizer were in danger of destroying their
crop by overusing the fish, such are the dangers faced by
business owners big and small with regards to their
marketing tactics. No matter what size your business, the
going gets tough when you learn that there is such a thing as
too much “magic.”

   When you understand the underlying principles behind
creating a successful marketing strategy and successful
marketing message, then you’ll be able to choose the right
marketing tactics that will help you to achieve your
marketing objectives.

  It’s important to realize that the rules of successful
message development have not changed due to the latest
                        Beyond the Niche


technology. The Internet, iPods or Tivo aren’t the reason
advertising messages today aren’t working. The principles
behind successful marketing messages remain the same
today as they were 50 even 100 years ago. The reason why:
Human nature hasn’t changed just because of advancements
in technology. While the latest “buzz” in the industry is
focused on how to reach an audience that doesn’t appear to
be paying attention to the ads, these “experts” fail to realize
is that no one in recorded history EVER paid attention to
poorly constructed and irrelevant marketing messages.

   Fortunately, you don’t have to spend years studying the
social sciences (psychology and sociology) to create a
successful marketing message. Even a simple understanding
of the basics of targeting your message will yield better
results than just buying ad space and hoping that customers
and profits will pour in.

   If your advertising and marketing messages so far have
produced ho-hum results, the good news is the tools within
this book will help you to create compelling and selling
marketing messages. If you’ve resisted putting a marketing
strategy together in the first place, then this book will help
you to lay the foundation.

   The first step in creating a marketing strategy is to
identify your niche or target market. This will provide the
foundation you need to develop your marketing strategy.
Much of the focus of this book is to help you zero in on your
target customer. Many businesses find identifying a niche
                         Beyond the Niche


market difficult and this book will help simplify the process
for you.

   Once you’ve identified your target audience and
identified their Goals, Desires and Problems, then the second
step of creating a marketing strategy is identifying how your
product/service helps solve a problem, quench the
customer’s desire or help the customer achieve that goal.
Once you have those two steps nailed down, then you can
get down to crafting your message. The final step is finding
the right method of delivering your message to the people
who want or need your products or services.

                              In case you were wondering,
  "STRATEGY AND            there is a difference between
  TIMING ARE THE
   HIMALAYAS OF
                           marketing         and      advertising:
    MARKETING.             Marketing is the bigger picture. It is
 EVERTHING ELSE IS         the whole set of the activities
  THE CATSKILLS.”          involved in transferring goods or
  Al Ries and Jack Trout   services from you to the consumer.
                           Advertising, on the other hand, is
                           just one facet of marketing. It is the
act of paying someone to deliver your message to the
masses. If you retain nothing else, know that your
advertising is just one small part of your marketing; it’s the
part that issues the invitation to visit or call the business.

   When you think about it, effective advertising is merely a
persuasive conversation between you and your prospective
customers. Just as you can’t force your political or religious
views down people’s throats, your advertising will never
                       Beyond the Niche


convince them to buy a product or service they don’t need
or don’t want, no matter how many times you shove your
message at your target audience.

   When your goal is to persuade someone, you must get to
know them first. This is true whether your goal is to
persuade someone to change their political stance or their
religious views, not to mention trying to persuade them to
change what they buy and from whom!

   You’ve probably heard the advice of “Just get your
message in front of more eyeballs and you’ll be successful.”
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to try to follow that
advice, you’ve probably already learned that the wrong
message, even when it’s delivered the right people, still
delivers mediocre results.

   The time spent getting to know your customer is a wise
investment. It will enable you to open the lines of
communication between you and your target customer so
you will effectively communicate your marketing message.
You’ll be delivering the right message to the right people
and that is the foundation for marketing success.

    Once you recognize your customers as individuals, it
becomes a simple matter to choose the best media to deliver
your message. Then, as new technologies emerge, you’ll
know enough to decide whether or not you need to integrate
it into your marketing program.
                       Beyond the Niche


   Remember the days before email? Even then, there were
small businesses that recognized the value of staying in
                      touch with their current customers
    MANY CUTTING      on a regular basis. These forward-
 EDGE COMPANIES       thinking companies sent out a
  WHO WERE THE        regular newsletter using what was
   FIRST TO USE
 EMAIL TO DELIVER     then the current technology - the
       THEIR          United States Postal Service. The
NEWSLETTERS ARE       purpose of the newsletter was to
   NOW SHIFTING       keep in touch with existing
  BACK TO “SNAIL
  MAIL” DELIVERY,     customers. These newsletters were an
  THANKS TO THE       opportunity to keep the company
  AVALANCHE OF        name in front of people and keep not
    SPAM NOW
  FLOODING OUR        only the company’s name before its
     INBOXES.         customers, but also to keep
                      customers informed of new products
                      and services.

   When new technology provided email to the masses,
these companies didn’t have to scramble to find a use for the
exciting new medium. They just switched to mailing those
newsletters electronically.

   When Myspace.com exploded in 2006, many businesses
were scrambling to try to capitalize upon the social
networking site’s immense popularity. For those who were
already well-prepared with a marketing strategy were able
to simply refer to the marketing strategy already established
to determine how the new technology fits into the current
marketing plan.
                       Beyond the Niche


   One such “company” was the United States Marine Corp.
The USMC knows who its target market is and it didn’t take
long for them to recognize that many of its target market
members were using Myspace.com. So, the USMC set up a
free Myspace.com account. At last count, the USMC had 350
“friends” listed and, according to a press release issued by
the USMC, approximately 170 people have enlisted as a
result of their Myspace.com contact. Not a bad return
considering the investment on the part of the USMC was a
few hours creating the page and content.

   Of course, it is possible to advertise without a marketing
strategy. Launching an advertising campaign without a
marketing strategy in place may or may not drive new
customers through your doors and increase sales. However,
one thing is certain; at best a poorly executed campaign will
do little to increase your bottom line. At worst, a well-
executed campaign that delivers the wrong message could
actually hurt your business.

                  Mapping Your Strategy

   Planning your marketing strategy is like mapping out a
road trip. You identify in advance where you want to be so
you can easily see which roads will take you to there.
Advertising is merely gas you’ll pay to put into your vehicle
so you can reach your destination.

   The key to a successful road trip is to determine your
destination in advance. Let’s say you’re planning to drive
from Detroit to Miami. On your way, you’ll pass hundreds
                        Beyond the Niche


of intersecting highways that can take you east or west. You
might think you’d only take roads that go south. But if you
consult a trip planner or map, you’ll see that it’s necessary to
take a few of these east/west highways to reach your final
destination.

   Without a destination in mind, any intersecting road will
take you to interesting places, but few of those roads will
take you to Miami. Similarly, the key to successful
advertising is to use a marketing strategy to map your route
to wherever you want your business to go. Otherwise, you’ll
find yourself taking unproductive detours that can not only
waste your precious operating capital, but also have the
potential to do damage to your company’s reputation along
the way.

   A plastic surgeon recently made one such unwanted
detour. His series of full-page, four-color ads featured some
truly impressive “before and after” photos of patients. From
a technical standpoint, the ad was superbly put together. It
was a design success! The problem was that he placed this
ad in a freely distributed “junk” advertising mailer.
Advertising was the only content of this low cost publication
delivered via the US Post Office to tens of thousands of
homes. In each issue, the plastic surgeon’s ad was positioned
directly across from a page filled with various coupons,
ranging from oil change specials and “free” real estate
market appraisals to “buy one, get one free” coupons from
local sub shops. The surgeon, as if inspired to join in the
coupon madness, actually included his own coupon - $100
off your initial consultation.
                        Beyond the Niche




   How do you want to choose your plastic surgeon? If
you’re like most, it wouldn’t be from a coupon in a piece of
junk mail. As a matter of fact, the appearance of that ad
alone might be enough to cross that surgeon off your list all
together. Talk about poor positioning!

   The use of the coupon mailer by the plastic surgeon for
his advertising can immediately cause readers to question
this doctor’s credibility. Even if he is as gifted as the before
and after photos indicate, the plastic surgeon will have to
work long and hard to overcome his coupon-wielding
image. Sans the coupons, the superbly designed ad should
have appeared in a publication that would not only reach
the clients he hopes to attract, but would also enhance his
image as a skilled and practiced professional. Nearly every
major metro area has at least one upscale magazine which
would be a better fit for this surgeon than the coupon
magazine.

   This is not to say that the coupon magazine mailer has no
place in a successful advertising campaign. It does, just for
other businesses wishing to reach this market. The furniture
dealer who proclaims he is the “DISCOUNT FURNITURE
KING” should have his message delivered via this medium,
rather than via a high-end Style and Living magazine.

  A coupon mailer is a perfectly good “highway.” It just
doesn’t go in the direction that a highly skilled plastic
surgeon should have wanted to go. The discount furniture
                        Beyond the Niche


king’s final marketing destination is not the same as the final
marketing destination for a plastic surgeon.

                               Your marketing destination or
        "I KNOW OF A        strategy should be to let the right
  BREWER WHO SELLS          people    know     about      your
 MORE OF HIS BEER TO
    THE PEOPLE WHO
                            business and what your product
      NEVER SEE HIS         and services can do for them.
 ADVERTISING THAN TO        Developing a marketing strategy
 THE PEOPLE WHO SEE         will then help you determine
     IT EVERY WEEK.
                            who the right people are and
 BAD ADVERTISING CAN        how you will deliver your
 UNSELL A PRODUCT."         message to these people. In
         David Ogilvy
                            marketing lingo, the right people
                            are defined as your target
                            market or target customers.
Quite simply, these are the people who need or want
whatever it is you are selling. You’ve already reached some
of these people; they’re already customers of your business.
You just need to find more of these kinds of people, the ones
who are the most likely to be receptive to your marketing
message.

    As you begin mapping out your own marketing journey,
it is important to remember that no form of advertising ever
forced anyone to buy something s/he did not need or want.
Many authors and “marketing experts” seem to overlook
this important detail. They preach, and their followers seem
to believe, that if they pummel a message long enough and
hard enough, they’ll eventually get results. That’s not to say
that it’s not your advertising’s job to persuade people, it’s
                        Beyond the Niche


just that you need to remember that brute force is rarely
effective when it comes to advertising.

   Pinpoint those people with whom you would like to
engage in conversation. Ideally, these are people who are
most likely to purchase your goods or services. That’s your
target market. Once you recognize who they are, then you
need to take a good, hard look at your product or service
and determine why these people are coming to you. Only
then will you be able to construct a message to persuade that
specific group of people.

       Beyond the Basement: The story of Ida Mae’s

   Ida Mae’s (name changed to protect the client’s privacy)
was a small bakery started by two retired nurses who
launched their business with very little cash and a huge
investment of “sweat equity.” The two women had found
space for their business in the basement of an aging office
building, which was located in the heart of a dying
downtown area.

   Originally constructed in the 1950’s as a four story office
building, the building they chose for their business also
housed an eclectic and ever-changing assortment of offices
and shops in its attempt to remain viable in the midst of
small scale urban decay. Most of the businesses that were
tenants in the building were poorly funded start-ups who
hoped to buck the trend of the downtown decline and make
a go of it despite the odds.
                        Beyond the Niche


   The reason the women chose the location was simple; the
rent was cheap. We’re not talking cheap as in “cheap rent,”
we’re talking cheap as in “cheap suit.” There was a reason
the rent was so cheap: To say the women had chosen a
terrible location for Ida Mae’s would be an understatement.
Even if the bakery had been located on one of the floors
above ground, it still would not have had the benefit of foot
traffic. Very few determined souls ventured downtown from
the busy bypass that had drawn virtually every remaining
retailer in town five miles to the west.

 "I’VE NEVER FOUND A           By locating their bakery in the
  CLIENT’S BUSINESS
    PROBLMEN THAT
                            basement, the owners had signed
   COULD BE SOLVED          a lease on the worst spot within
   SOLELY THROUGH           the worst building in a dying
     ADVERTISING.”          Rust Belt factory town.
        Lee Clow
                              Location wasn’t the only
                           obstacle that Ida Mae’s needed to
overcome. The bakery also had to contend with limited
parking for their customers. The nearest parking area was
located more than a half a block away, and it was a strictly
enforced pay lot. Customers who wanted to visit the bakery
would have to be unwavering to their mission. The little
bakery would have to be their intended destination and they
would have to be very determined to find and then reach the
bakery.

   Ida Mae’s had been in business for over a year when I
entered the picture. The owners had been desperately trying
to build their business. Their first choice was to use word of
                       Beyond the Niche


mouth advertising, since their creations were truly above
and beyond anything else available in the area. However,
the ugly reality of the situation was the fact that customers
are necessary to build a word of mouth campaign, and Ida
Mae’s had very few customers. They had tried to attract
those initial customers with a regular dose of print ads
which was failing to deliver results. By the time I met with
them, it was obvious that this hobby bakery was going
under if business didn’t turn around quickly.

   Ida Mae’s shoestring budget meant that we needed to
create a tightly targeted marketing strategy. We couldn’t
afford to waste our precious ad budget on spray and pray
marketing tactics. Their advertising dollars were so limited
that we needed a method of message delivery that provided
maximum “bang for the buck.”

   First, we identified the target market for the bakery. The
two founders of Ida Mae’s had always loved baking but
rarely had the time while pursuing their careers in nursing.
Only upon their retirement from nursing and their headlong
plunge into entrepreneurship were they able to bake to their
hearts delight. So we chose to target working women who
also didn’t have the time to pamper their families or friends
with lavish home baked “goodies.”

   The message we created spoke directly to these women’s
desire to have their cake and eat it to, so to speak. They
could work full time and still treat their friends and family
to delicious, home-style baked goodies.
                        Beyond the Niche


    Once we identified our target audience, we then had to
choose a media to deliver the message directly to these
women. Because of our shoestring thin budget, we chose a
small AM radio station which featured a nationally
syndicated talk show as part of its programming. Due to the
nature and content of the show, show’s audience was
primarily women. Because this station only had about 10,000
listeners (it was the lowest rated station in the market), we
were able to afford a schedule of ads airing exclusively
during this show. By choosing a single show, we reached the
same audience repeatedly with the carefully crafted
messages while staying within the confines of Ida Mae’s
extremely limited budget.

   The campaign began in April and by the following
August, the results were beginning to be seen. People were
actually coming to the basement of this building in the
middle of a dead downtown area in search of the bakery. By
Thanksgiving, Ida Mae’s had a backlog of holiday orders. By
Christmas, the bakery’s owners were actually looking
forward to a first quarter slowdown and a return to
“business as usual.”

   In the chapters that follow, I will share with you the basis
for the success of Ida Mae’s advertising campaign. While the
Ida Mae story is now over 15 years old, it’s a theme that has
been repeated hundreds of times throughout my history of
working with small businesses in creating effective
advertising and marketing messages.
                        Beyond the Niche


   I chose to share Ida Mae’s story with you here because I
have never seen a case, before or since, where the odds were
stacked so heavily against success. Their location was horrid,
their budget was tiny and the competition was fierce. The
only glimmer of hope for their fledgling business was that
they had a truly outstanding product.

   Probably the biggest reason their story stands out in my
mind is because of their awful location; hidden in a
basement of an office building, with no signage, no parking
and no other businesses to help draw foot traffic. When their
business began to improve, there was no doubt that it was
the advertising that had made the difference. However, had
the women who founded Ida Mae’s not been creating
culinary perfection combined with treating each and every
customer who walked down those basement stairs as a long
lost friend, then their advertising campaign wouldn’t have
achieved anything other than accelerating the micro
business’ demise.

   Ida Mae’s built success within six months on an extremely
limited budget by advertising on the lowest-rated station in
the market. You can build a success story like that as well by
using the principles in this book as well.
                       Beyond the Niche


                         A word of caution: Launching an
    "A GREAT AD       effective advertising campaign will
 CAMPAIGN WILL
   MAKE A BAD
                      bring new customers to your business,
  PRODUCT FAIL        but that is only the beginning.
 FASTER. IT WILL      Remember, marketing includes all
    GET MORE          activities involved in transferring
PEOPLE TO KNOW
    IT'S BAD.”        goods and services from you to your
                      customers. Advertising is just one
   William Bernbach
                      piece of that complicated puzzle.

  Just as advertising can work for you or against you, so
can all of your other marketing activities. An effective
advertising campaign that promotes a business with shoddy
product or lousy customer service will merely hasten that
business’ demise.

  Your advertising won’t make your business an overnight
success. There are many factors that will come into play to
determine your level of success and your advertising and
marketing messages are just a few pieces of the puzzle.

   Whether or not the increased customer traffic that results
from your effective advertising leads to a healthy bottom
line is up to your execution of the rest of your business
model.

				
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