Did you know that in Sao Paulo Brazil it is illegal to post advertising in public spaces. This means no signs, no billboards no flyers, nothing. If you were to ask a business owner in Sao Paulo how they get the word out about their business they would tell you that they rely heavily on referrals and social media. In other words they have been forced to re-think how they treat their customers so that they get more word of mouth referral business. Could you imagine if we all had to re-think they way we got business like this. If all business owners had to start re working their marketing plan to include exceptional customer service and products people love.
Anna Freitag, marketing manager of Hewlett-Packard Brazil, says a realization came that outdoor advertising is less effective than these newer strategies. “A billboard is media on the road. In rational purchases it means less effectiveness . . . as people are involved in so many things that it makes it difficult to execute the call to action,” she says. “HP decided to go deeper and understand consumer behavior – the path to purchase, and place media in this direction . . . The internet and social media are the big trends associated with point of sale presence.” It also helped that Brazilians were extremely active in social media. The country has one of the highest percentages of active Twitter users in the world and Brazilians are avid social networkers. Lalai Luna, co-founder of Remix, a new agency specializing in digital and social media strategies, often focusing on music culture, says this opened up opportunities and cash flow for young creatives with experimental models to develop their craft. “Companies had to find their own ways to promote products and brands on the streets,” she says. “São Paulo started having a lot more guerilla marketing [unconventional strategies, such as public stunts and viral campaigns] and it gave a lot of power to online and social media campaigns as a new way to interact with people.” (Source: City Outdoor Advisors)
It is important that when businesses use social media that they look at it as a communication tool. A fantastic way to communicate with customers, potential customers and the the people who may have never even heard about them. In this respect we need to start thinking of social media as a way to build relationships, gain more happy customers and build our referral base. not just an advertising platform.
Maybe if we think of social media as a relationship tool rather then an just an advertising platform we will be able to organically grow our client base. The people who we take the time to build a relationship with their clients, give excellent service to customers and provide a product of excellent quality, those people will come back over and over again to do business with us. They will tell their friends and you will find that slowly but surly your business will grow and be stronger then ever before.
Take some time to think about how you would re-think your marketing and advertising strategy if true advertisement was illegal. What you will find should be the foundation of your business strategy before you even start with advertisement budgets.
As Bob Burg shares in his book “Endless Referrals” ~ People do business with, and refer business to, people they know, like, and trust.
Take the time to build relationships and trust with your client base. This will be one of the single best things you can do for your business future.