Updated: Mar 15
This morning I passed a park at around 10am & I couldn't help notice how many Dog Walking vans were parked along the street. I recognized several from their social media profiles, which feature fun brand names relating to canines, & have lovely online personalities.
For some reason this triggered off a thought process for me, which was along the lines of,
I'm pretty sure that 10 years ago amazing branded dog walking companies didn't exist, or maybe they did but I didn't see them. Last night I also had a conversation with a handyman, who is extremely busy doing jobs like putting up pictures, shelves & making flat pack furniture. It made me think how our busy modern lives lead to the need for dog walkers, and amazing handymen.
Marketing question 1 -Are you offering a feel good purchase or a necessary one?
For you as a small business owner, it is so important to understand where your product or service fits in the eyes of your customer. Are you selling a necessary product like a dog walking service? which people with dogs, who work out of home, have to take up. Or are you selling a product or service which promises the feel good factor for people and is seen by them as more of a want to buy than a must buy?
Some illustrative examples of a feel good purchase would be
- Coffee from a coffee shop
- Having your nails done in a nail bar
- Buying from an independent baby clothes supplier
- Art or products like ceramics
- Photo shoots with your family
And some examples of a necessity purchase would be
- Dog walking services
- Solicitors advice
- Shoes for your children
- Food shopping
Marketing question 2 - How do I market to my customers if I am offering a feel good experience?
These two categories are simplifications granted, but for the feel good section you will be more successful if you focus on the feelings of the customer in your Marketing. Messages about wellbeing, happiness, the emotions they will experience whilst enjoying your product, all of these will help the customer justify their choice & guide them closer to you. In this category it is all about how you are helping to improve the life of your customer.
Marketing question 3 - How do I market to my customers if I am offering a necessity purchase?
Again this is simplified. I have had some excellent feedback on an instagram post I did on this topic and there is a lot more to it when someone chooses a dog walker for example. The customer will love their dog very much and want to know that their day time carer will do the best for their dog. However, the customer is also very likely to choose the service of the company based on the convenience of the offer (can the walker pick up the dog in a van? Can the walker provide additional services like talking a dog to have its nails cut or hair trimmed. Or to a vets appointment) over whether booking this service makes them feel good.
In this category value is going to be very important, people will be thinking of budgets more, they know they need to buy shampoo or get an appointment with a solicitor if they are in need of legal advice, but they are far less likely to really want to do these things than say treat themselves to a lovely coffee or get their nails done ahead of a lovely meeting with friends.
Quality of offer is also highly important, people will want to know that whilst they are spending money to satisfy a need that must be for filled, they still want the best quality they can afford.
If you are finding that your marketing is falling flat, and you arent converting as many people to sales as you would like, go back and look again at what category you fall into and how you can clearly communicate your offer in a way that speaks the right language to your customer.
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Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in Nunhead near Peckham. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing. Based at 61 Cheltenham Road, Peckham, SE15 3AF