Needle in a haystack

If you run a small business you’ll know how incredibly difficult it is to get and keep customers. Marketing is a constant challenge. Getting traction with any marketing or brand awareness activity can be frustrating and sometimes fruitless. Expecting that you can run one campaign and have customers falling from the sky is… well, it’s just not realistic.

Building brand awareness and getting customers just doesn’t work like that.

Just because you run a small business doesn’t mean that people know your business exists. In fact I can guarantee you that 99.99% of people do NOT know your business exists at all. If you’re thinking otherwise, in the words of Darryl Kerrigan – “You’re dreamin’.”

Even if people know your business exists, they’re probably not looking to buy from you in that moment. Even if they are looking for what you have to offer, that doesn’t guarantee that they will buy from you – there are many other competitors that they can choose from.

Being successful in small business is incredibly challenging and that’s why only a fraction of small businesses succeed. I know this sounds all a bit doom and gloom but it’s just the reality of small business. Understanding just how little of your marketing efforts people actually see is vital to understanding just how much marketing is needed and how consistent it needs to be to be effective.

Our senses are bombarded with over 11 million bits of data every SECOND. The average person’s working memory can handle 40-50 bits, max. That means we ignore 10,999,950 bits of data every second we are awake. It’s most likely your marketing activities are in THAT 10,999,950 bits of data that are being ignored!

Does that mean you stop doing marketing because “it’s not working?” NO! Does that mean you have to do a HELL of a lot MORE to get noticed! YES!

I did an interesting exercise today on my morning commute. In a half hour period, I wanted to count the number of cars and trucks who were advertising brands I either knew or had never seen before. The results?

In 30 minutes, I counted 38 cars and trucks which were signed with brands I knew. What was staggering was that I saw 51 cars and trucks signed with brands I had NEVER seen before.

The brands I recognised were companies that had put themselves in front of me not once, not twice, but probably hundreds if not thousands of times. They were brands like Coles, Bunnings, Toll, Ventura and Jim’s.

If you think people know your business exists, they don’t.

If you think a few weeks of marketing is going to have people banging your business door down, unfortunately it won’t.

If you think just by showing up once or twice, you can draw the crowd, I’m here to tell you it just doesn’t work that way.

Your business is a needle in a haystack. You need to market your business as if it’s a needle in a haystack and be persistent, consistent and relentless. You have to hussle. You have to go to your customers; they will NOT come to you.

Only the most determined will survive!

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