If I was to do a list of Frequently Asked Questions for business owners the following two questions would absolutely make my Top 5:

  • What is the most effective marketing tool?
  • Does traditional marketing work anymore?

As part of a series of interviews I have been doing with business owners I sat down with the effervescent entrepreneur Becci Harrison to find out from her what Marketing tools are working well for her businesses. Becci is the owner manager of the department store Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy and Food@Fishers Cafe.  She has been leading the business for the last 7 years and has tried a wide range of methods of getting her message out to her consumers.

What I found interesting from talking with Becci was that while she focuses on the tools that work for driving sales for her particular business, she still invests in using a mix of tools. She is purposefully hitting her customers from a variety of different touch points to keep up Fisher@Newtownmountkennedy brand profile with her customers.

The majority of the communication for Fishers is based around new brand arrivals, events and price promotions. To keep their customers informed they use a combination of email marketing, text messages, events, social media, PR, national press and local press & radio campaigns.

“Text message we find to be most reactive….gives a call to action. We use email but they are difficult because of the volume of emails that people are getting now. We tie that in our emails with our social media now.”

What was really interesting was the value Becci has found in traditional media. Fishers invest in advertising in the press such as the Independent, the Irish Times and local Wicklow papers. They also invest in local radio campaigns with East Coast radio.

“We do some straightforward advertising in the traditional media. We find a great return on investment from it ….the text adverts in the back pages….it would be occasion based such as sales events, but also just as a reminder we will do new season, new stock.”

Becci, wisely identifies that part of the reason that these mediums work so well for her business is that it successfully reaches the over 50’s market which is one of the segments targeted by Fishers. This key insight & focus on her various niche audiences drives the decisions Becci makes for the marketing of her business.

She also mentions some keen advice for other business owners:

  • Focus on the benefits versus features of your offering
  • Understand your business competitive set and research them
  • Importance of a support network as an entrepreneur

So, is traditional marketing dead? The answer is….NO! It works really well for some brands. You need to decide the tool to use based on YOUR customer and what media they consume. Let that be the guide for deciding where to promote your business.

Which tool is most effective for marketing? There is no tool that is most effective for all business types. Everything depends on YOUR target customer and then subsequently how you use and maximise that particular tool. It is a bit like playing tennis….just because you have a tennis racket and a ball does not mean you are going to play like Roger Federer!