The Importance Of Mind Share
Recent issues of the Executive Report have focused on Marketing and Lead Generation. As I like to say, “it all begins with the lead.” Your company can’t begin to shine and gain business and more happy clients until that sales lead is generated. Successful businesses do not leave Marketing and Lead Generation to chance. They have methodical systems, complete with constant numerical evaluation, which allow them to generate, and pay for, the leads they need in order to keep their business running and growing.
In our last issue, Seth gave a comprehensive review of how to build your website to be an engine for driving leads to your business. Earlier, we’d looked at how to target prospects who are most likely to become customers for your business. In this issue, I want to discuss a concept that most business owners and even many marketing professionals never think about: Mind Share.
Mind Share is best defined as having consumer awareness of you and your unique offering in your geographic marketplace. In many respects Mind Share is far more crucial than Market Share because Mind Share helps you assess future business volume whereas Market Share looks only at current business volume. “Brand Awareness” is another term that is very similar to Mind Share.
Before we go further, I want to point out that the rest of this article will be written with the idea that you have established “positive” or “neutral” Mind Share – that those who know of you and your company and your offerings generally think favorably of you, or perhaps are indifferent to you. Now, I can make a strong argument that “negative” Mind Share actually can be better than “zero” Mind Share because it at least gives you a foothold to grow from. However, having negative Mind Share puts an entirely different spin on your Marketing and Messages so, for these purposes, we will assume you have either positive or neutral Mind Share.
The “nirvana” of Mind Share is that point where your company name becomes synonymous with your product / service offering. That’s a lofty goal and not easy to achieve but it is THE GOAL to keep at the forefront as you strive to gain Mind Share with your prospective customer base. For examples of this, think of things like Kleenex and Formica, or if you’ve been around awhile (like me), think also of things like Xerox, Hoover, and IBM. All of these brands, at least at one time, were synonymous with what they were selling.
That may lead you to an important question to consider. If your company name is, say, McCarthy Metal Roofing, could you ever really gain Mind Share to the point of where, if a customer thinks of metal roofing, they automatically think of “McCarthy”? It actually is possible and we have seen that happen a few times over the years. At one time, a company in California called “Cal-Pac” had that level of Mind Share in metal roofing. We also have seen it at times in the past with pioneers in the industry such as Billy Ellis Roofing in the D/FW metroplex. Currently, one can make the argument that the marketing-driven American Metal Roofs in Michigan has gained a level of Mind Share that makes them almost synonymous with the product as well in their market area.
Whereas being the early entrant into a market can help reach this “nirvana,” it takes awhile to reach that point today in metal roofing. It requires a great deal of GREAT Marketing and also Creativity. You must have a firmly established Brand Identity and Unique Selling Proposition, and be able to communicate those things with laser clarity as well as with considerable frequency.
Let’s look at some particular strategies for gaining Mind Share for your business.
Be Consistent. ALL of your marketing messages, as well as EVERY ACTION by your company must support the image that you want to hold in your audience’s mind. Mixed messages confuse people and confusion does not support positive Mind Share. If, for example, the consumer hears you talk about how great your company is but then they see a C Rating by the BBB, that creates confusion. You may gain Mind Share from it, but it will not be the kind of positive Mind Share that drives customers to your door.
Be Persistent. In order to gain Mind Share, it is better to have your Marketing running ALL of the time, even if it has to be at a lower level, than it is to just have occasional “big bursts” of Marketing. That does not mean you may not have some seasonal emphasis or special offers but it means that Marketing is something you’re doing ALL of the time, not just when you feel the need to pick up a few leads.
Be Diverse. We have talked before about targeting your desired audience and then determining what media will best reach them. That is critical. However, it’s also wise to remember that in today’s media-driven culture, no one is affected by just one medium. Your Marketing should include more than just one or two methods. For example, your media mix may include website, showroom, home shows, local magazines, AND billboards. This will be far more effective than having all of your eggs in one basket.
Be Creative. It’s no secret that consumers are blasted constantly with marketing messages. The messages that consistently cut through all the chatter are those messages that are clear, respectful of the audience, and creative. These messages will also embrace and communicate your company’s values. For example, if your company talks about Family and Integrity, you would not want to have a marketing message that could be construed as contradicting those values. But, Creativity is still important and can be achieved through your message and also through your graphics. Many companies will plan their marketing creative work by copying the competition – that is absolutely the wrong way though to stand out from the competition!
Be Educational. Consumers know a “sales pitch” when they see one. Or even before they see it. In today’s information-driven culture, consumers are seeking Education. If they view you as the one company that will provide fair, unbiased, comprehensive education, you will gain their Mind Share – and their Trust! One way to do this is to distribute an information booklet or e-book which, rather than being a sales pitch, is a reliable educational resource. Also, presenting yourself as an experienced and knowledgeable industry expert can be very helpful in getting folks to remember you. You can also promote the fact that you take a “consultative” approach to all of your work – with a main goal of helping them to find the best answer to their needs.
So, above all, focus on gaining Mind Share from your prospects. When they think of your product or service category, you want them to think of you! That is the way to build a steady pipeline of current and future business – increasing your business’s success and value.
As always, let us know if we can be of service. If you’re looking for ways to expand your business’s involvement with residential metal roofing, we’d love to talk. If you’re not currently a customer of Isaiah Industries, you can read more here about what it’s like to do business with us.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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