In a famous ad for McGraw-Hill Magazines, a rather grumpy business man sits, hands folded in his lap, squinting at the reader with a defiant expression. The ad copy reads:
I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now — what was it you wanted to sell me?
What if you were the imaginary salesman standing in front of this man? How would you solve this problem? As the caption under the photo says, “Sales start before your salesman calls.”
Of course McGraw-Hill was suggesting the way to build awareness is through business publication advertising — and some firms still put a little of their budget into this media.
But advertising is just one of many marketing resources available today. Some of the more traditional ones include:
- Press releases and writing articles for trades and local papers
- Involvement in community, business association and other memberships
- Sponsoring special events, especially for non-profits
Today, however, we’re fortunate to have many more media resources, some of them even more targeted than trade publications and usually costing a lot less per advertising impression. Many of your marketing choices today use the Internet to drive traffic to your website, including pay-per click advertising, organic search results, links from other websites and social media involvement.
Once the visitor has arrived at your website, you can build awareness in several ways:
- Have an easily navigable website
- Transfer your visitors’ awareness of well-known insurance brand names by displaying their logos on your website
- Provide informative content
- Offer testimonials from satisfied customers
- State your mission and any specialization you may have clearly on your home page
- Provide calls to action, such as a request for quote form and a way for visitors to sign up for your newsletters.
This last awareness-builder, newsletters, is especially important because it offers a sound way to continue the relationship and continue building awareness each month by showcasing your professionalism and expertise. You can also supplement your awareness-building by using drip marketing techniques with purchased leads and target market lists, whether print or email or both.
The important thing to realize is that before most people will do business with you, you need to make them aware of who you are and why they should want to do business with you.
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