Dear Marketing diary…
Being an advertising professional and living in a small Italian city is a bit curious, because it looks like we don’t have much to do. Everything is very quiet, at all instances. It’s not different when it comes to businesses. Cities are filled with small coffee houses, restaurants, bars and stores but none of them seems to rush on sells and competition. They only stick their prices to the showcase and wait for people to come in. That’s it. No flyers or Local Business Ad on Facebook, for example. Oh, and if they want to go on a vacation, they just do it. It is very common to see businesses closed for 20 days on summer. Nevermind if your costumer finds another place to buy while you’re away.
Large companies run radio, TV and Social Media ads. You can always hear about new car models on the radio. YouTube is filled with traveling or beverage companies, but it’s hard to see a billboard anywhere on the side of the road. Only big companies are keeping Social Ads most of the time and it’s hard to see small businesses being supported by an Advertising Agency.
But, as small businesses are always our central point of discussion around here, let’s talk specifically about them. Seems that small businesses like to follow a strange tradition in Italy: the mail, or “la posta“. It’s incredible how most of the things still work on the mail around here. Do you want to require a document? Send a letter. Need to change your bills payment method to automatic debit? No problem, send a letter. Now guess where companies are leaving their ads? That’s right, la posta! The mail is so important here that the Post Office even lends money and receives bills, just like banks.
At least it makes some Marketing sense, right? If people have to check their mail everyday, they are certainly going to see your piece. But there are at least three points we can talk about:
- It bothers people to get their letters mixed with flyers. And we can guarantee that people are being bothered about it because lots of mail boxes are holding the “no pubblicità” warning. That’s right: no advertising, just like the image bellow.
- If people are feeling bothered, these flyers are certainly going to the trash. So the second point is a large waste of paper right on the 21st century, where the environmental issues are so important.
- Even if anybody takes the ad home, there is a high chance of causing no impact, simply because there is no targeting filter. Advertisers just leave the papers there and go away, without caring about the interests and aspirations of the who will receive the ad.
So, what could be done?
There’s a lot of space for good Digital Marketing actions. According to a research conduct by BlogMeter, 84% of the Italian people between 15 and 64 years old are connected to Facebook more than one time per day or week. YouTube and Instagram are taking second and third places, respectively. Still following BlogMeter’s work, Italians from 18 to 34 years old can reach an active connection to 7 Social Medias at the same time.
So, event if local businesses don’t want to get crowded with new clients, Social Media and Digital Marketing could be used as relationship tools. Simple actions like events, or keeping an online menu would be helpfull to facilitate people’s searches, or being determinant on the decision making process when someone is checking out Social Medias and thinking “where could I have dinner tonight?”.
This is what makes Social Media great: there’s space for everyone, no matter it’s size or budget. Just have the goals set and step foward!