By Mark Kakkuri
Think websites and social media and printed media and even coverage by the media when you think marketing. All have their place in a well-rounded marketing strategy. But think personal communication as well. Sure, you’re selling a product or a service, but behind a product or service are people who are designing it, building it, making it happen. Marketing of course means communicating to reach the masses — generally you don’t personally visit or call each potential customer — but it doesn’t mean you have to communicate in an impersonal way. People buy and sell from people so the more you communicate with a personal touch, the better.
“Here’s a crazy idea: Advertise your company’s product or service by advertising the people who comprise the business.”
The key to being “personal” when communicating en masse includes a few simple, but profound, ideas.
Tell a story. Beware of merely communicating data or facts about your product or service — sort of a bare minimum approach to marketing. Instead, find ways of sharing information in a personal way. I’m guessing your company came about because someone discovered a need and therefore a market, and decided to do something about it. I’ll bet some blood, sweat and tears went into those early efforts to get the business off the ground. Those behind-the-scenes details — in essence, what led to creating your product or service — can become a story your customers would love to hear. And something that may compel them to buy.
Talk about the people involved. Yes, the firearms industry is a product and service industry with a long history. But it’s a people industry, too. And people connect with, are persuaded by and want to read about … other people. So don’t be afraid to bring up the dreams, the failures, the vision and determination of the people who work for your company. Your customers are real people; give them the real people behind your company.
Keep the conversation going. Marketing can seem one-sided but today more than ever it’s a two-way street. Find avenues to listen to customers and commit to hearing from them as much or more as you’re marketing to them. Keep an eye on your social media, comments made online about your company and more. Engage with customers over the long haul and they’ll engage with you. This will build trust — the foundation of any business relationship.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a crazy idea: Advertise your company’s product or service by advertising the people who comprise the business. Don’t hire a model and trumpet out a bunch of marketing lingo; instead, promote the actual people of your business in your ads. This kind of real, personal touch can have a real, positive effect on sales.