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  • Writer's pictureRandy Blevins

Our process to help small businesses succeed

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Here’s a phrase you may have heard before: You’ve got to find your ‘why.’ This simply means that in order to be truly successful, you have to understand your motivations and how to turn those motivations into the determination to overcome obstacles. It may sound a little reductive, but without this degree of understanding, it will be hard to tell your brand’s story to the world.

In business, your ‘what’ and ‘how’ are very clear – they’re your product or service and the ways you distribute or provide that product or service to your customers. But have you taken the time to consider why you do what you do? This is where Think Tank Marketing shines. We’ve honed our discovery process to identify your business’s ‘why’ and to help tell your story.

For example, we applied our discovery process to our client, Froggy’s Popcorn. Froggy’s is a Louisville-based craft popcorn company that’s been around for about two years, and the owner, Melanie Fischer, has developed a reputation for delivering unique flavors that you can’t find anywhere else. But she’s interested in more than just amazing popcorn; Melanie has a passion for animals and for giving back to the community. That’s the ‘why’ behind Froggy’s Popcorn – it’s not just the popcorn, it’s the animals that will benefit from Melanie’s creativity and commitment.

So how did we figure that out? We sat down with Melanie Fischer and asked her a ton of questions. This extensive interview process not only helps us get to know the business and the business owner, but helps us begin to shape the story we’re going to tell down the road.

From here, we’re able to start shaping the brand positioning – the story we’re going to tell through our marketing efforts. We determine how your product or service differs from the competition and how it will connect with consumers. We call these our Tenet Truths and they’re one or two things that we know for certain about how your brand relates to the larger industry and the consumer base. We use these Tenet Truths to craft your unique brand voice, talking points and core values.

With these assets in place, we are able to begin constructing a target audience for your brand or business. Thanks to years of demographic research and tools like Facebook’s audience insights, we can identify who your customer is, what other brands they follow on social media, what their friends are like, and what their hobbies are. We can get so specific that we know what kind of clothes your target demographic will wear and what magazines they subscribe to. Over time, we will hone these targets into your perfect audience, refining your avatars with data.

At this point, we know why you do what you do, how we’re going to tell your story, and who we’re going to tell your story to – all that’s left is to employ the tools. We will craft an intuitive marketing plan for your brand that is specific to your current goal, whether that’s building brand awareness, breaking into a new market, or simply improving on your current sales figures. We also have to make sure your goals are attainable in our current climate. Whereas we used to be able to connect with audiences in person, we’re now having to adjust our expectations and turn toward virtual solutions.

This is also the ideal time to determine whether your advertising dollars are being spent to the best advantage. Are you spending thousands on print advertising when your clientele is mostly scrolling through Instagram? Is it still worth it to invest in an interstate billboard when travel is limited due to the COVID-19 restrictions? With your identity, story and target audience in place, it will be easy to find and employ the best advertising venues for your situation. Of course, your budget will determine what tools we can employ, but many advertising options are low cost or even free and can be used with great results if you have a compelling story!

Once you know where you’re going to advertise, it’s time to curate your content. Can you ask your audience questions on Facebook, or show them how to do something on Instagram Stories? Can you entertain them with your ‘why’ on YouTube or make them laugh on TikTok? With our industry connections, we’re happy to help you tell your brand story on the news and with our expertise we can help create a beautiful, user-friendly website that your audience will visit time and again. These are all ways to tell your brand story in a unique and compelling way that reflects your personality and builds on your strengths.

As your story begins to circulate and garner new attention, we begin testing your content to see which images, phrases and messages are getting the highest quality engagement. Over time we can do this organically with no additional investment from the business owner, but with a small budget we can ensure that your posts get a higher reach. This is also where we like to get creative and leverage our community connections to build added value for you, your customers, and your fellow business owners. Maybe it’s a co-sponsored Instagram contest, or a combined radio spot. Maybe it’s just agreeing to share each other’s posts on Facebook to help amplify both messages. Regardless, it’s important to remember that our entire community is stronger together!

We are here to be your long-term marketing partner or to help with a single project – either way, we know that we can add ongoing value to your business.

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