The Changing Challenge of Marketing Ourselves: Being in the Right Places

As each new year begins, many of us in the industry take stock of how it is that we promote our businesses and let the world (or at least the part of it that matters to us!) know who we are, what we do, and why we’re the right choice for their business needs.

We’ve been in this industry for nearly 50 years and, like most of us who have been here a while, we’ve changed the way we market our services.

We still engage in a number of the traditional marketing methods, but recognize the importance of such tools as LinkedIn.  LinkedIn has become a valuable tool both for making connections that were previously unavailable, and it affords dealers the opportunity to post content right to our own sites (awards won, accomplishments, for example), as well as the chance to post relevant industry content.

This can be a powerful way to stay top of mind with clients and potential clients, and even that marketing strategy can be greatly enhanced with the strategic use of LinkedIn connections. Connecting with industry leaders in your market area is a great way to be in front of them without it seeming like a sales call. It affords you the opportunity to comment on posts, for example, and be a part of the discussion.

But beyond the direct marketing that we do on behalf of our businesses, the importance of community involvement cannot be underestimated.

We have been active in our local Chamber of Commerce for many years, have supported a number of its events and have had representation on their Board of Directors. The visibility of being part of a vibrant organization certainly helps to separate a business from its competitors. And it helps to position the business as an active member of the community, and in turn, a go-to thought leader.

We have also found it helpful to forge alliances with educational institutions. This past year, we began using interns from a nearby university as part of our workforce. We see advantages for both sides: affording college students the chance to earn some money and discover a potential career, and from our point of view, it helps us see our business through the eyes of a new generation.

Visibility for a business is about more than simply purchasing online advertisements, or even a public relations campaign. It’s also about how a business is positioned in the community. And even though such steps may not necessarily directly translate into business, it’s a great way to market yourself and remind people who you are.

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Ray Belanger is CEO of Bay Copy, located in Rockland, MA and serving the region since 1972.