In your small business marketing, how do people first become aware of your product? Someone will either experience it themselves or hear about someone else’s experience with it.
Most of the time, they hear about someone else’s experience first.
Marketing Frequency Spectrum
I’ve been thinking of small business marketing as radio signals being broadcast over different frequency bands. The four frequency bands are broadband, upper-midband, lower-midband, and narrowband.
The most indirect way of transmission is broadband. In broadband, the information doesn’t have a specific target. When receiving a broadband signal, we usually don’t feel a strong personal connection. Broadband can be considered old media, such as tv, radio, and newspapers. These transmissions mostly come from large companies with big advertising budgets, rather than from a small business marketing strategy.
Upper-midband transmissions come from key people of influence in society. These can be celebrities and people with niche followings. Blogs, social media, podcasts, and independent film and radio stations transmit on the upper-midband. These signals aren’t sent directly to us, but carry more credibility than a broadcast from a big company. These transmissions are from sources directly related to our specific interests.
Lower-midband transmissions are communications in our social circle that don’t specifically target our own personal interests. These are from social media and get togethers. These transmissions come from people around us, but the topics of discussion aren’t necessarily tailored to our interests.
If your product can achieve party noise, then the lower-midband can be a very influential frequency band. Party noise is when a group of people at a party start a conversation about your product. Think of these as the ‘Have you heard…?’ or ‘Have you tried…?’ conversation starters.
The most personal way of transmitting is on the narrowband. Typically there is one on one communication. This can be email, phone, or word of mouth communication with a person who’s opinion is highly regarded. The narrowband is used when we join a paid forum, when we speak to a friend who is a tastemaker, or when businesses reach out directly. A trial version of a product would be a direct experience, and would be considered a narrowband transmission.
Organic Versus Inorganic Small Business Marketing
Awareness can be spread organically or inorganically. Organic spread happens when people spread awareness, rather than your business. Organic spread typically happens on the upper and lower midbands, where your product is shared through social media and word of mouth.
Inorganic spread typically happens on the broadband through paid advertising. However, there is also inorganic spread on the upper-midband, when celebrities or other people of influence are paid to sponsor products.
On the narrowband, both inorganic and organic spread occurs. Inorganic would be when companies directly contact their customer prospects, such as through targeted emails or product demonstrations. An example of narrowband organic spread would be when we talk to a movie buff friend of ours, and we take their advice to check out a movie.
Which bands are you marketing on?