Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire    May 2007




Customer perceptions - which is right?

You know what your business is good at delivering ... or do you?  Ask your customers and you might be surprised at what they think are your best attributes and why they come back to buy more.  Knowing this will help you improve your marketing.

Perception is reality

Imagine that you are running a restaurant.  You've spent a lot of effort theming it and creating a great ambience.  Naturally, this is the attribute that you choose to promote in your marketing.

Get someone to ask your customers about what they liked in their experience of dining at your restaurant and typically you will get answers like;

  • "The portions were large and the prices were small ... excellent value for money."
  • "The service was especially good.  Always friendly and we didn't have to wait between courses."
  • "The food was fantastic.  Great flavours and always well presented."

You might be disappointed that no-one mentioned the ambience that you had worked hard to create.

Speak their language

It is very easy, when constructing marketing materials, to become too submerged in the thought processes and aspirations of yourself as the vendor ... and forget how the customer would describe the experience in their own words.  Yet we expect the resulting marketing material to communicate effectively with prospective customers and to motivate them to purchase our product or service.

The trick is to take time out to imagine that you are a customer for your own products and services.  Then imagine how you, as that customer, would describe their most important aspects to someone else.  What words and phrases would you use?  Which attributes of the experience would stand out for comment and which ones wouldn't?

Then make sure that you embed those words and phrases in your promotional materials.  Put them in the order that a customer would value them.  Then 'test' the materials on real people before you commit to printing or advertising spend.

And don't be disappointed if your first thoughts for what should be important end up on the 'cutting-room floor'.  Customer perception is reality to them and they are the people with money to spend.  Always respect that.

Memorable marketing

Thinking and working pragmatically like this will help you to make your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way. This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors and clearly see the value in buying from you.

If you would like some advice on memorable marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.


Promotional Mix

Download this handy guide which explains how best to manage the mix of promotional tools (Advertising, PR, Sales Promotions, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling), in order to improve effectiveness in the market.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their ‘10 Minute’ series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.


Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing activities that the business can implement immediately and at low cost.

Download the factsheet now.


Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)