Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Stand Out From The Crowd

March 3, 2011

If you take a quick glance in the Yellow Pages, or do an even quicker Google search, it''s easy to see why your business can get lost in the crowd.

There are pages upon pages of companies that can be categorized within your target market, leaving you drowning in a sea of competition.

You want to be picked, you want to be noticed and you want to be one step above the numerous names.

Once you''ve been picked from a substantial list, how do you keep your name fresh in customers'' minds?

Many companies believe that they will always be at the forefront of their customers'' minds.

But, what if you need a little help to stand out from that crowd?

In a perfect world, once a contract is signed, that would be it — a job for life.

However, the reality is that people change their minds.

What one person deems to be a job well-done simply isn''t enough for someone else.

In a world where people simply can''t sit still and where opinions are swayed by online bloggers and customer reviews, you have to offer up something that gives you a bit of an edge.

This edge doesn''t have to be the deal of the day, of the week or even of the month; the edge you need can come directly from your marketing budget.

"Direct marketing is evolving every day; in some cases, it seems that we have come full circle," says Audrey Price-Dix, chairperson of the Assegai Awards. "A few years ago, there was the rush to telemarketing, and then came the rush to the Internet. Now, marketers are starting to understand that all of these — telephone, mail, internet, e-mail, so-called ''new media'' — are simply alternative channels that enable direct contact with a customer."

Marketing Tools That Pop

You can see them everywhere: Business cards, magnets, pens, etc.

It''s easy to overlook the power that can be found in the simplest items.

If, for instance, a facility to which you''ve reached out in the past suddenly has the need for a new contractor, they might not want to go through the hassle of scouring Google or past proposals.

What if, sitting on their desk, was an item that they use practically every day — a pen or a mouse pad — and emblazoned on that item was your company name and information.

Suddenly, they have exactly what they need, literally at their fingertips.

Branded items such as pens and pencils, note pads and mouse pads are no longer items that should be overlooked, but could be considered key items in your marketing strategy.

"Repeating multiple impressions is the name of the game to success. When implemented with calendars, mouse pads, postcards, magnets, etc., you are guaranteed to be remembered by prospects," says Paul Shaper, owner of Paul Shaper Productions, a custom advertising specialist with a focus on the carpet cleaning industry.

Bottom line: The more you can offer, the more visible you can become.

Look at other companies, competition or otherwise, to see how they are marketing themselves and get ideas.

In a world where there are almost too many choices for our own good, standing out, even just a little, from the masses cannot hurt your company''s chances for being noticed and chosen.