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Would you embrace the Field of Dreams Theory of marketing?

(Business Marketing) When marketing your business, is it really true that if you build it, they will come? Let’s look at the possibilities, shall we?

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field of dreams

field of dreams

Do You Remember the Film?

I realize that I may be dating myself here, but after watching countless Super Bowl commercials this past weekend, I feel that a discussion of marketing for your small business may be in order—especially for those who don’t have millions of dollars to create thirty second ads to air during the Super Bowl.

In the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner plays the role of an Iowa farmer who hears voices that tell him, “If you build it, he will come.” From these voices, he understands that he should build a baseball field on his farm. He does this, and soon the ghosts of eight Chicago White Sox players that were banned from the 1919 World Series show up and start playing ball.

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Costner’s Theory of Marketing

As a marketing theory, “If you build it, he will come” is an interesting one to consider. Here are the key suppositions of the movie and also of the Field of Dreams Theory of Marketing:

  • Speak whatever you want into existence. Change your language so that it sounds like what you’re after has already or soon will happen.
  • Laugh at (or don’t be discouraged by) people’s claims that you’re crazy.
  • Understand that if you’re just talking about something and not doing anything to make it happen, you might be crazy.
  • The more you talk about it being a part of your life, the more you will want to make that an actuality.

The most important thing here is to not just talk about what you want to do. The saying goes “If you build it, he will come.” You must work hard in order for things to play out the way you want.

Applying the Movie to Our Business

So how can we apply this theory to our business in 2014—a quarter century after this movie was in the theaters?

First off, the most obvious message is that if we set goals, talk about them, and continuously work towards meeting them, it seems extremely likely that we will come close or actually meet those goals.

On a more granular level, let’s talk about the marketing and advertising that we create in order to generate leads. You cannot just speak or will yourself to obtain leads. And, you cannot just throw a website up and expect to get loads of traffic every day. Of course, if you do actually produce a marketing piece, the likelihood that someone will contact you is much higher than if you do nothing at all. But, with respect to the Internet, you are going to have to do a lot more than create a website in order for him “to come.”

Online Marketing Considerations

Here are three things to consider in regards to online marketing:

  1. Search Engine Optimization. Whatever you decide to build online, make sure that it is well-optimized for the search engines. Although this topic merits significantly more discussion than given here, if you are on a WordPress platform, using plug-ins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast will assist you in making that happen. Creating a Google plus page, and claiming Google Authorship can also significantly improve your placement on search results.
  2. Audience. People say that you need to give your customers what they want. What does your prospective audience want? How well can you deliver? And, more importantly, is what you are offering actually something that they need? If not, it may be time to adjust accordingly.
  3. Image. It is such a turnoff when you get to a website or look at a marketing piece and it is filled with typographical errors. Ensure that whatever you put out there for the world to see is polished, professional, and easy on the eyes.
  4. Freebies. America loves free stuff. What items of value could you give to your audience that would encourage them to come back for more? A free podcast or ebook? A free coupon for your store? A discount for everyone who checks in at your food truck location? Leverage the power of viral marketing by giving away items for value.

I’m not thoroughly convinced of the merit of the Field of Dreams Theory of Marketing. After all, it’s unlikely that if I build something a bunch of dead guys will show up. On the other hand, if I am careful and calculated in my business and marketing ventures and I take the time to plan and actually do what I say that I am going to do, I’m confident that the clients will come!

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brett Clements

    February 8, 2014 at 5:26 am

    If you don’t build it, nobody will come anyway. So. Pretty obvious.

  2. OIRMS

    February 8, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Fuuny I just posted an article that eluded to the same thing, all too often small business owners assume just becuse they put a site up a steady stream of consumers will come-a-callin’. This is simply not the case, it’s all about diversity.

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Business Marketing

A personalized daily digital marketing checklist

(MARKETING NEWS) For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an digital marketing strategy, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit. This app can help.

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clearpath digital marketing

There is no doubt that starting your own business can be overwhelming. Along with promoting your business at events, meetings and in person, digital marketing strategies play a key role in the success of a company. For all businesses, it is not only essential to develop an online presence, but also necessary to utilize it in order to gain customers, and ultimately make a larger profit.

Simply creating a website and Facebook page for your business is not enough. However, software tools can help simplify digital marketing. ClearPath is a tool that organizes and creates tasks to optimize your online marketing. By creating to-do lists for you based on your online marketing strategy, you can focus on the areas of marketing that improve your business, all the while receiving useful tips and advice.

Using ClearPath is pretty straightforward and only requires one prerequisite. Before beginning, you must have a website.

If you are already lost, don’t panic. ClearPath can help you develop an online presence. Once your website is linked up, you get to choose the marketing channels that you would like to focus on. These include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), email, social, content, analytics, local, pay-per-click (PPC) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Again, if you are lost, ClearPath is there to help you strategize.

After ClearPath analyzes your site, they start sending you customized tasks based they believe can improve your online marketing.

As you finish each task, you can simply check it off and it will disappear. New tasks will appear each day, and some may even repeat as they need to be updated.

Whether you are well-versed in digital marketing or not, staying updated with the newest ways to optimize your business online is a constant struggle. Tools like ClearPath give people a place to start. Although I don’t think it can supplement an active and experienced digital marketer, it is a tool that can help small businesses that cannot afford to add to their team yet. At the end of the day, it aims to save you time. And since time is money, your business will hopefully be more profitable.

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Business Marketing

Simple logo creation tools perfect for any freelancer

(MARKETING) You already know that even if you’re a solo writer, or lone developer, you need a brand in today’s online world. If you’re on a budget, check out these logo creation tools!

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logo creation

Freelancing is a major part of the landscape nowadays. In that capacity, you’re running your own one-person business. As such, you need to brand that business. You know that, but let’s discuss the actionables.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “branding”, I immediately envision logos (which is super convenient because it brings me to my next point). You should absolutely have a logo as a freelancer, even if it’s simply just your name in a rad – but professional – font.

This will be useful on your website, social media, on invoices and beyond. You can even pop that bad boy into your email signature!

Ideally, you should hire a graphic designer that knows what they’re doing – you’ll get the best results. But if your budget is zero dollars, don’t you dare ask a professional for free work.

Instead, if you want to develop a logo for your personal freelancing brand on the cheap, check out five of our favorites below and see what works for you. The best part? These all have some free components.

  1. Picfont: Let me start with personal experience. My freelance logo (which is the cover photo of my Twitter), is literally just my name in a script-like font, and was made using Picfont. You can upload a blank background (or pick from fun royalty-free backgrounds) and choose from a variety of font options. Pick what you like, shape it out, download, and use. Easy
  2. Looka (formerly Logojoy) is also a great, easy-to-use online logo maker. You simply type in your company name/your name and go through a process of selecting colors and styles that you like. Looka then generates a selection of logos based on your choices. For an example, I created the logo for The Tidbit using Looka.
  3. Online Logo Maker: a wonderfully self-explanatory name. This logo maker is almost like a combination of Picfont and Logojoy. You can play around with different fonts, colors, and symbols to make a logo that fits you. This option also features high-quality Vector files.
  4. Canva is a great option because you can design a multitude of material (including flyers, presentations, graphs, etc.) If you’re planning to build a full-on portfolio with supplemental materials in addition to a logo, Canva may be your best bet as you can design everything to have a similar look – which is incredibly important for branding.
  5. DesignEvo: Their website describes it best, “DesignEvo is a free online logo maker with 8,000+ templates that anyone can use to bring to life a compelling, unique logo in minutes.” They have a drag and drop interface and hundreds of fonts.

Take some time to test drive these sites, play around with different logo types, and see which one gels best with you and your freelancing-self. Happy branding!

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Business Marketing

How to use offline marketing to your advantage in a digital world

(BUSINESS) We often become obsessed with new marketing strategies, favoring the internet over some traditional methods that continue to drive traffic timelessly.

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offline marketing open sign for small business

Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.

When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.

“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”

How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.

1. Yard signs

When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.

The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.

2. Billboards

The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.

With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”

3. Promotional giveaways

It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.

Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)

4. Local event sponsorships

One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.

Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.

Offline marketing is anything but dead.

If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.

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