Third Quarter Report 2012: The Local Sales Challenge in Detroit

The Detroit market is divided in two as you might expect. While the headlines remind us of all of the unemployed looking for work or collecting welfare, there are millions who are not. In fact, in some areas Detroit is at full employment…in fact, there are job openings waited to be filled. One area is IT.

As a local merchant your challenge is to create awareness of your product or service with the working classes. So how do you do it? Or, maybe you’ve tried but didn’t get much of a return on your investment. Why? The Working Classes In Detroit are very busy working! They don’t have time for the interruptions of traditional media. They are not looking to buy the same way prior generations bought.

So, how to you start to solve the Local Sales Challenge in Detroit? Here are seven steps to consider in solving soft local sales in Metro Detroit, and throughout the country for that matter, by employing what we’ll call Inbound Marketing in Detroit. It’s a new term and here’s how it works:

  1. Competitive Website: How does your website compare with your competitors…local and national? If it’s sub-par, you’re fighting a real uphill battle. Your company’s website is the center of your marketing universe. If it does measure up favorably against your competitors, then you won’t easily win, in fact, you are hurting your business every hour your site remains up.
  2. Website Sales Funnel: Is your website organized and written to trigger sales? Are you leading your visitor through a so-called “Sales Funnel”? Do you have a logical goal strategy for the architecture of your website? Do you think that the visitor can easily figure out what you want them to do?
  3. Call To Action: Why should they buy from you? They are actually on YOUR website. Have you made them an offer? Is it easy to buy from you on your website?
  4. On-line Shopping Cart: The Working Classes in Detroit is busy…maybe too busy to come into your store or office. Can they buy from your website? Why not? Can they buy from your competitor’s website? If so, and they can’t buy from your website, you’re not really in the game.
  5. Your Brand: If you are not building a brand, you are merely executing a tactic. Tactics are really short-run strategies to sell something now, but they won’t build your Brand. To build a Brand you have to be different, a leader in a facet of your industry and/or service-friendly. Start building your Brand on your website today. Begin to tell your prospects what’s different and great about you. At Ottaway we define a Brand as having three characteristics: Ingrity, Heritage and Significance. More on this in another blog, but with respect to these achievements, where does your Brand stand?
  6. Position your product or service: In building your Brand realize that as a local Detroit company you have advantages…and disadvantages. How can you use your local-ness to your advantage to crush the competition? What position is not already owned by one of your competitors that you could build on and own? A narrow position trumps a broad position.
  7. Generating sales leads: So now you’re probably expecting a big lecture on putting together a big media plan…you know, some TV, newspaper and/or Radio campaigns. And, I know, it’s not 2005 anymore and you spent all of your money during the Great Recession and are just scraping by. Well, we don’t recommend any so-called “Outbound Marketing”. It won’t give you the ROI that you need with the Detroit Working Class because they’re AT WORK, and when they are not AT WORK, they are no longer consuming traditional media in the same way. Some research that I heard the other day said something to the effect that 75% of the TV commercials were watched by 20% of the population. Seem impossible? When was the last time you watched a TV program when it was broadcast and didn’t fast-forward through the commercials?

So, forget the Outbound Marketing and use the ideas above in your website to help the Working Classes in Detroit find you. There are hundreds of millions of dollars out there just waiting to be tapped, and why not make it you doing the tapping?

The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital.  Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.  

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