By Barbara Brewer LaMere
Cheryl Paulsen, while running a mobile app company for two years, observed that there were many companies out there who didn’t have a handle on how to market themselves. They may have been wearing themselves out and losing money marketing themselves to everyone, rather than choosing a specific target market, she said. Or they may have viewed marketing as an expense in terms of both time and dollars, rather than an investment.
The institutes’s mission, she said, is to provide businesses, regardless of size or type, with a step-by-step road map to follow to better profitability. Nonprofit organizations can also benefit from an improved focus on marketing a clear message of who they are and what services they provide to both consumers and potential donors.
Paulsen said younger target audiences may be attracted on Facebook or other social media sites, while baby boomers or seniors may respond better to offline approaches — mailings, telemarketing, billboards or TV and radio ads.
Paulsen said consumers may have an interest in what a company has to offer, but are not immediately poised to make a purchase. It is important that, on initial contact, that person has an opportunity to establish a relationship with the company.
The potential customer may receive more information — reviews of the company’s products or services, trial memberships, or automatically dispersed marketing materials — at regular intervals until such time as they are ready to make a purchase. Based on the information they receive, sample products or memberships, that customer has then had ample opportunity to determine if it is a company with whom they would like to continue a relationship when they are ready to make a purchase.
Paulsen said automated marketing removes for busy executives the burden of deciding what to do and how to market on an ongoing basis. They can then count, predictably, on potential customers receiving ongoing reminders of why their business is the one to choose for their purchase.
There is a mindset that Paulsen recommends to customers that she calls, “thinking like an entrepreneur.” It entails thinking through, deciding who the potential customers really are, and finding the most creative ways to market to them.
Planning one’s day to achieve maximum use of time is one of her seven rules. People are in charge of their own use of time.
Another rule is to build a powerful support network, she said. To avoid, a person can join with other business people, and profit from their experience and suggestions.
Direct Response Marketing Institute offers a monthly class called Saratoga Marketing Summit on the third Friday of the month at the Hampton Inn on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs. Participants are from a variety of businesses, large and small, seeking to learn how to better market their businesses.
January’s topic will be setting up a marketing plan for the year. Attendance at an introductory class is free. Class size is about 20 people. For those unable to attend a particular session, classes are taped so that they can be watched later. All participants receive a copy of her book and templates to use for automated marketing for that month. There is a different topic each month. People can join or leave the series of classes at any point. Registration is at www.saratogamarketingsummit.com.
Direct Response Marketing Institute is also available to provide marketing critiques on a company’s particular sales campaign.
Paulsen may be reached at 288-8620. Her hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.