I was at a mixer the other day at West Palm and my high school buddy was there and we started talking about marketing. It apparently was difficult for him (in the cabinet business) to 'break in' to the local market. And he had been there for over 15 years! More about that later...
He asked me this: "Do you notice that you are bombarded with many forms of advertising, especially print or billboard ads, and that they typically do not make an impact on you. But if someone mentions a business to you and you recall their name for some reason, you can't say where you saw that, but as soon as you drive around again you start noticing that name EVERYWHERE.
This is a form of Scotoma.
From Wikipedia: A scotoma is an area of partial alteration in the field of vision consisting of a partially diminished or entirely degenerated visual acuity that is surrounded by a field of normal – or relatively well-preserved – vision.
The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in several fields. The common theme of all the figurative senses is of a gap not in visual function but in the mind's perception, cognition, or world view.
You never know the effectiveness of much of your advertising at first. It comes into play as a reinforcement to a suggestion or reference and then the light comes on in someone's mind. That person, since your name has been cataloged in their minds, will be more likely to call you and use your services now.
I think that any form of advertising is useful to keep your name out there. I believe that the sign on the lawn is the most effective way to make visible your name. It says that you are real, you are currently in business, you have been cutting deals, you are a Player.
I went to Naples a couple of months ago to see what was the latest being built. There is an area south of downtown on the Gulf coast that is filled with $15 to $55 million properties. The houses under construction have some combination of signs of the Realtor, Builder, and Architect. If someone was planning to build in that area -- they understand immediately who KNOWS what they are doing, WHO is creating and selling product NOW, and WHO should be contacted above the other players. This is the first string.
Maybe you need to be in the first string by pondering the above story...
Like myself, I was interested in the area, I drove by, and took photos of the signs. I plan to call on them shortly. People looking for houses to buy or build especially will drive in neighborhoods of interest and see the signs and undoubtedly do the same. Will they search online for these professionals? My guess: no.
Sorry, I can't ponder any more today. I had promised to discuss how to break into a market at the beginning of this article. I will save that for the next time I walk the dogs. The photo at top is one of two pugs that are being used as lovable props to market retail goods in Winter Park -- and will be in a movie shortly. The owner has posed them with handbags, wedding dresses, jewelry, etc. and it has been a novel hit. There are several books out in fact! I will not be doing a cameo appearance though...