I love talking shop with entrepreneurs. Today I was at a social gathering where an established entrepreneur told me about his approach to acquiring new customers. He runs his business out of Atlanta, but there’s heavy competition (i.e., low margins) in Atlanta. He’s from a smaller city three hours from Atlanta. The people in that community don’t have access to the caliber of products his company sells. They’re used to paying top dollar for low to medium quality and driving an hour to do so.
He devised a simple marketing strategy. He’s an alum and former athlete at the local high, so he sponsors the football and basketball teams. His company logo is painted on the football field, and every time the home team scores, the announcer reminds the fans that his company backs the team. He bought the scoreboard for the basketball team with his logo displayed front and center. His goal is to stay top of mind with the people in the community, and it works. When they’re ready to buy, they think of him. He makes the sales process electronic, simple, and smooth. He arranges for purchases to be delivered to their door. They get a better product at a fair price and support a business that supports the community. This strategy is highly effective. He gets a steady stream of customers from this low-tech approach, and his average cost to acquire a customer is ridiculously low.
What this entrepreneur realized was that there’s an underserved customer niche that he understands better than most. He focuses narrowly on them. He markets to them in a way that resonates with them and that has the dual benefit of doing good in the community. He made the sales process something they could do from their home, which they weren’t used to. The end result is that he’s built a thriving business and is the market leader in that city using a very low-tech and inexpensive marketing and sales strategy.