The ROI of Marketing on Main Street: Be “Awesome”

Scott stratten business book of awesome posterI’m noticing something new on Main Street.

As we educate ourselves before buying, there’s a new guy in town: peer-to-peer conversation on social networks.

We still use online search, but more and more, we also use a trusted network of online connections to filter our purchase options.

The conversation is taking place behind the scenes, in niche communities that most businesses will never see.  Here’s a peak behind the curtain:

Meet the “Chappaqua Moms” Facebook Group

My local community has a Facebook group called “Chappaqua Moms” (OK, I can hear you laughing, but stick with my example). Here’s a sample of the group’s conversation from last week:

    • Can anyone recommend a great pediatrician? Also need a dentist for the whole family. Thanks in advance!
    • I’m wondering if anyone can recommend a really GOOD place to board our dog?
    • Our vegetarian daughter turns 18 this weekend … can anyone suggest a special brunch buffet?
    • Does anyone know of a really good will and trusts attorney?
    • Need some recommendations for great movers from Manhattan to Chappaqua! 
    • Anyone recommend a good starter skate board and where to buy? I’m completely in the dark about this sport!!
    • Can anyone recommend a hotel or inn in Montauk?  (then as a followup … we booked it … now any suggestions on restaurants — not too fancy)?
    • Looking for a good insurance company. Suggestions?
    • Looking for a DJ for a small event… 
    • Recommendations for a good contractor to do work on a deck?

On and on it goes …

Does Your Business Get Talked About Online?

Old fashioned word of mouth has migrated online.  Neighbors looking for a good local business or service would rather ask a connection online, than rely on an ad.

So … it’s one thing to be aware of this conversation as a marketer… but what drives it?  How do we influence it?

To answer this question, I’d like to borrow ideas from Seth Godin, and Scott Stratten.

Main Street Marketing Lesson #1: Better “Street Level” Execution

In a recent blog post, Seth Godin  gives 16 examples of  better “street level execution.  Here are 5 examples from his post on how to deepen business connections and relationships:

    • Contact every user who stops using your service and find out why.
    • Write a thank you note every single day, to someone who doesn’t expect one.
    • Write a blog every day, not to sell, but to teach.
    • Put a lemonade stand in front of your business and let the local kids donate the money to whatever charity they like.
    • Run classes for your customers.

(For all 16 of his great ideas, check out this list)

His premise is simple: businesses that regularly go the extra mile at a detailed level, build loyalty and stand out.  While execution doesn’t trump marketing strategy, regular attention to detail leverages it.

Main Street Marketing Lesson #2:  Be “Awesome”

Scott Stratten has a new book coming out:  “The Book of Business Awesome”).  I haven’t read it yet, but he’s usually right on the money when it comes to adding value in unexpected ways.

(PS the poster image that accompanies this post is from his book launch).

How can your business stand out?  Does Seth’s list inspire you to action?  Does Scott’s book title kick you into gear?

Here’s my take …

In a world where SEO-optimized websites and social networking has become standard, a simple act of “awesome” might make all the difference.

After all, what’s gonna get you talked about on Main Street?

Make my day … leave a comment! And, stop by and say hi on my facebook page, where I share marketing tips, opinions, and news. Thanks!

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in business common sense, business wisdom, customer service, online reputation, plain old common sense!, small business, social networking, word of mouth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The ROI of Marketing on Main Street: Be “Awesome”

  1. Rick Roberge says:

    Rhonda, “Chappaqua Moms” is a good example of how we can get answers regarding experiences. It’s wonderful and useful. However, it doesn’t replace the need for human interaction. Sometimes we need to hear a voice or be able to get feedback or clarification in fairly ‘real’ time. Many “Chappaqua Moms” may know each other in real life, so they can pick up the phone and ask, but sometimes we don’t know the person who’s providing the answer and one or the other needs to reach out to the other.

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