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In today’s market it is more important than ever to inform potential clients about your company. It’s no longer enough to take out print ads informing the market that your company creates great products at competitive prices. That’s a message that every company touts for every product and has simply become noise in the marketplace. In today’s market great products, great service and competitive prices are a basic requirement. If you fail in any of those areas you won’t stay in business very long. So, what’s the required marketing in today’s world?
Wine Cellar featuring Fine, Handcrafted Custom Cabinetry by Superior Woodcraft, Inc., at CustomMade.com
First, you need to make sure that your message rises above the noise. Yes, it’s important to inform clients about the value of your product and competitive prices, that’s a given. After that required ritual you need to inform the clients about the added value they receive from purchasing your products and services. Use this as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from others. One example is to talk about how your company is active in its community. Educate your clients about your community activities and inform them that your community support wouldn’t be possible without your great clients – it’s a partnership. Your clients will realize that a portion of their purchase price will be helping to support the very community in which they live. They are becoming partners with you and investing in their own community; now that’s added value that’s hard to ignore.
The next message to communicate is to make clients aware of your entire product offering. I find it amazing how many clients pigeonhole producers into one particular category. Maybe they purchased a wooden chair from you and now you became their “chair guy”. It’s quite possible that they don’t think of you as the potential provider for built-in cabinetry, wooden tables or other similar products that are part of your repertoire. To overcome this challenge it is import to continue to market to existing clients and educate them about other products and services that you provide. I wish I had a dollar for every time an existing client told me that they didn’t realize that I also produced XYZ, which they just purchased elsewhere, but wished they would’ve purchased from it me. That is my not so subtle reminder that I need to do a better job in this area.
Utilizing different channels to rise above the constant noise is also a requirement in today’s marketplace. There isn’t one sure-fire way to get your message to potential clients. You need to participate in trade shows, network, consider print ads, utilize a website and internet listings onapplicable consumer websites. Consider using sites such as YouTube and Facebook to help rise above the noise and reach your potential client base. You need to use as many avenues to reach your audience as possible. As an example, I am using videos not only as a different medium to reach potential clients, but I’m also using them to highlight our entire product offering. The goal is to reach the client searching for custom made cabinetry and to combat the urge for clients to pigeonhole my work.
Finally, create community and allow others to help tell the marketplace about your great work. While many of us work alone in our shops it doesn’t mean that we are isolated. The internet is a great tool to build your community and supporters. Your community will probably have different subsets of members. Your community will consist of your friends, family and clients. Your community can also consist of other makers of custom made products and other fine woodworkers. Like minded people or groups can also be members of your community, which I think is great. You can work cooperatively and strengthen each other’s efforts. Don’t be shy in allowing others to tell your story. By developing your own community you can harness the power of the entire community.
Rise above the noise and create success in a crowded noisy marketplace.
CustomMade.com member Patrick Kennedy of Superior Woodcraft, Inc., is a frequent contributor to our Pro Shop blog. He is interested in hearing about your own methods for marketing in this economy.
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