In the past 6 months we have been gathering B2B marketing data, along with B2C Data using our sales reps who have been performing field visits and making outbound prospecting calls to gather ground level marketing intelligence in the retail sector. We mixed in our own data with emarketer data to verify some assumptions and come to our conclusions. We have focused on B2B and B2C businesses. In both of these markets, we reached out to those businesses that have a physical retail location and 1-5 million in sales.
As an example, on the B2B side we spoke with sign and print shops and co-working shared office space vendors among others. These are businesses that make signs for retail stores that are attached to the building, as well as LED signs and signs for commercial malls and office building properties. Printers do commercial print jobs for business clients and the shared office space providers offer low cost commercial offices for start-ups.
On the B2C side we looked at a few independent car dealerships and household services, like landscaping, gutter cleaning, garage door repair, electricians.
Most of these businesses are independently owned, one site, one business, one owner. Many were owned by males, from different ethnic backgrounds. All were over 40, with many being in their 50-60’s. When we spoke with them about their customer acquisition strategies, we realized many are operating through a referral system from prior customers, are posting online (car dealers, home services), some are using craigslist, and others are using a Valpak type of direct mail advertising service. There are a few of these direct mail services where the business is mixed in with 25 or more advertisers.
All of them were not using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat) at all, or regularly. Many were not using SEO/SEM to drive customer acquisition strategies. It was clear many did not understand how and where to start, or they were not interested in trying to understand it. Very few were using email marketing, or capturing emails at any time during a customer interaction.
Many are stuck in the old advertising methods of direct mail (which still works but not as targeted), or free posting services, like craigslist or referrals. This exercise revealed to us that some monthly sales for the targeted group were high, others were low. It was erratic most of the time.
These business owners are taking a passive approach to marketing, versus an aggressive and proactive approach to customer acquisition.
This presents huge opportunities for marketers to sell services to these groups of businesses. The key is how to package it to make it palatable and understandable to a group of businesses that are used to siting back and waiting for businesses and consumers to self-identify, versus, investing in strategies that will pull in clients and give them phenomenal growth in comparison to their competitors.
If you can serve these markets, connect with us.
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