The Small Business Advantage: Personal Touch

Not so long ago, the best way to position a sales pitch directly to households was through radio. Just years after the television industry had skyrocketed on the market, marketers jumped like feverish grasshoppers from print and radio to moving pictures. These only show that advertisers and marketers put their products and services where diverse behavior and personalities are contained in a group to minimize the arduous task of individual marketing. Since marketing is a game of time– or race for the majority of marketers– they choose to put their ads on these media platforms to speed up their promotion. However, since this form of promotion caters only to a group, a big percentage of early and present marketing messages lack one essential element: personalization.

In other words, what is absent in most advertisements today is personal touch. If you look on the current ads in these days, you will see that it all caters to a group: shampoos for long hairs, Asian women, Caucasians; milk for toddlers, kids, and young adults; shoes for athletes, businesspersons, and casual wear–everything is grouped and sold according to classification and category. Well, there is nothing wrong with this. Since these big companies cater to wide and diverse audience, they need this tactic to position the products, services, and brand to their target audience in the quickest possible way.

Personal touch on small and local business owners

Yet if you are a small business owner, the grouped advertising method large companies do will not definitely work for you. But being in that position makes you the most eligible user of what they call the “personal touch”.

Every day, a small business owner stays in his store waiting for customers to come in; he does everything from the horse’s mouth: he watches his few employees do their task, monitors and sometimes does things personally–from opening the door for his customers to asking them what they need to actual selling. However, not all small business have the acumen in daubing a personal touch to these regular tasks and have the keenness to talk with their customers and ask them about the things outside their needs on his store. Moreover, not all small business owners are talkative enough to interact with their loyal customers nor have the skill to convey sales-converting words to their customers.

Small business owners are lucky because the moment they started and built their businesses, their customers and targets have already been identified; since they operate on a small part of locality, the people and entities around them automatically becomes their first target audience. Having said this, they don’t have to conduct comprehensive surveys large companies do just for them to identify their target audience or for them to understand what their target market needs. Utilizing and perfecting the oldschool marketing device of “personal touch” is enough to convert one-time customers to loyal consumers. In other words, personal touch is sufficient already to make one small business successful.

Personal touch is not just about talking with your customers about personal things. Perhaps literally, it is. But as a business owner who has “success” in his mind as target, you can go beyond its meaning. Since everyone has email and social media accounts today, getting your customers personal online details (email address, Facebook and Twitter sites) can help you understand their needs more. Actually, this is not new anymore nor it is a newfangled idea you can brag about. Several bookshops, restaurants, and small businesses in America are already doing this since the use of social media has become staple business strategy. What these businesses do is they add their customers on their business social media accounts and send them updates, news about their business, as well as the freebies, discounts, and giveaways they give during special months and seasons.

Personalization or personal touch does not have to be technical or methodological or what; it can be simple, too. For instance, there is this one Filipino restaurant in Seattle that awards “customer of the week” to diners that visited their place the most in a week’s span, wherein the winning person, family, or group gets a free meal and restaurant freebies such as shirts, mugs, and coffee table book about the Philippines.

Yet the most important thing in grasping the idea of personalization is the idea of having your target audience, customers, and consumers’ presence in every corner of your business–from giving your store the ambience your customers want to providing them the service they expect.

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