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This is another in our ‘odd questions that have interesting answers’ articles. In this case it’s asking if you have thought about using your office, reception, and other semi-public spaces as a tool for your marketing. Now the normal answer a lot of you might give is that you do have a few brochures on the waiting area table. You might even a poster or two on the walls that came from one of your suppliers. And yes that’s a good start, but that’s all it is. So I want to talk about a few ideas of how to you can use your public spaces as passive advertising.
What is passive marketing? Simply put, it’s marketing that is not trying to sell a product or service, but more focused on presenting of a company in a positive light. We have all seen companies logos on the seating signage on a sports ground. They aren’t directly marketing to you but you associate the brand with the sport. For a smaller business, it’s presenting a image to people that reinforces what it sees as it’s differences in the market. You already have the people in the waiting room / reception, you might as well reassure them that they have made the right choice in being there. You might be able to sell them extra services or products if you set your space up right. So what areas should you look at to get that extra marketing potential.
Part of this is the original business fit-out of the space. The choice of colours and finishes on the walls, the type of furniture you use, the lighting, things like plants and sculptures, all effect how people feel and how they see the business when they wait there. This sort of decorating is expensive to do, and can’t be easily changed on a whim. So instead look at these areas that can be updated or adapted as the businesses needs change.
It almost goes without saying that you should have your company brochures within easy reach of people in your public area. The question is are they effective. Do they sit upright easy to see in a display stand, at the center of a coffee table? Are there copies of them both at the counter and where people sit? Do you have more than just the one style of brochure on hand? Are they designed to encourage people to pick them up, read them, take them with them? Are there plenty to hand out? If they are provided by a supplier, do they have your company details on them too, even if it’s just a sticker? If your answer is no to any of these question then you are missing out on potential passive advertising.
Looking around the walls, how are they decorated? It doesn’t have to be like the ad posters you have in a supermarket. It can be more indirect and either evoke the image of the company that you want the clients to have of it, or just show some aspect of what your business does. For example a restaurant will have images of the types of meals they serve, and decorations that match the restaurant’s theme. An accounting service might have images of successful business owners, or happy retiree’s relaxing at their holiday home. If your services are more retail oriented, such as a clothing, then you can have product images up there, or ‘menus’ which list different services. The trick is to put the focus on what the product or service does, not the price. Ignoring the fact the prices change, it’s making the price the focus of your business is a losing game as there will almost always be someone cheaper that you at any point at time. Customers driven by price are the most fickle of all, and you want loyal customers who come back so focus on the service instead to build loyalty.
Do you sell add on products or services? A classic example is a beauty salon where they sell the creams, makeup, etc so clients carry on the treatments at home. You don’t have put everything out, a sample selection is enough, and you don’t have to put visible price tags in front of everything, it’s more showing people how they can get that ‘wrap around’ service from you. If your business doesn’t carry much in the way of physical items, you can still highlight the add ons with targeted flyers or posters that each focus on a theme or service.
This has been a quick introduction to the concept of using your business’s public spaces to passively market to clients. If you want more ideas of how to advertise without advertising, then why not book a meeting with us at Copy Express. We can help you find countless low cost ideas to promote your business.