For decades, the City of Houston has tried to draw up a phrase or slogan to brand the city. In the most recent recommendation, nicknames such as “Space City” gave way to the slogan, “The City With No Limits.”
Houston’s interchangeable nicknames and slogans are characteristic of the endless possibilities for an individual or business to find success. Just bring a plan and your creativity and you’ll fit right in.
For your business, marketing in Houston presents unique challenges. Because the city continues to expand and grow in all directions, it can be difficult to reach your target audience. That’s why you need to tap into some unique strategies to connect with customers that fit the spirit of Houston’s wide-open creativity.
What Are the Proven Unique Strategies for Successful Marketing in Houston?
While there are of course endless ways to market your business that are unique to your audience and industry, there are some widely effective local opportunities to grow your brand awareness right here in Houston.
Strategy #1: Hop on the Sports Bandwagon!
Sports is woven into the fabric of Houston’s modern growth. Dating back 53 years ago this month, the Astrodome opened to international fanfare as a never-before-seen structure that told a story about Houston’s creative ambitions.
Now, the Houston Astros are the defending World Series Champions and the Houston Rockets just finished their regular season as the best team in the NBA. (And maybe 2018 will be the Texans’ year!)
Your business has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of sports in Houston — and you don’t even need to be a sports bar, sports apparel retailer, or local gym with clear sports tie-ins. (You could be Mattress Mack selling furniture!)
Current or potential customers want to see that your business is connected to the current sports success — that you’re tapping into current events. Whether it’s a relevant message on your website, a timely social media post, a visible banner outside your office or store, or a discount for Astros/Rockets/Texans fans, sports is a useful marketing tool to bring in new business.
Strategy #2: Link Your Business to Special Events
Your company should regularly monitor the Houston events calendar to know which events are coming up. It could be a major sporting event like the Super Bowl, a famous comedian performing at the Houston Improv, a unique art/photo gallery event such as Fotofest, or a blood drive for a good cause.
Find a way to link your business to the special event with a social media post, a blog about your team’s excitement to attend, or special discount to show that you are connected to the Houston scene.
Customers want to see that your business is active and engaged in the community. If you regularly and routinely connect your business to what’s happening in Houston, you will build momentum as a company that customers think of when making a purchasing decision.
Strategy #3: Tap Into the Unique Features and Murals in Houston
Another unique strategy for marketing in Houston is taking advantage of famous features, signs, murals, artistic walls, and other hotspots to promote your product or service.
Photos and videos using these unique features as a backdrop are popular on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Snapping a quick photo or talking about your offering in front of a unique feature is a visual way to send a message to customers that you are relevant and connected to Houston.
Obviously, you do not want to force the issue. You could turn away potential customers if the photo or video comes across unnatural or overly-promotional. The key is being creative, smart, and thinking big about how you can use Houston’s unique and recognizable assets to better promote your offering.
Strategy #4: Think Bigger About Reaching New Customers
Some businesses get locked into one way of thinking about potential or current customers. Should accountants only market to financial service providers? Should financial service providers only market to large businesses? Should large businesses only market to Fortune 500 businesses?
No, no, and no. Local Houston bars need accountants. Medium-sized businesses need financial services. Small businesses can do business with large businesses. There are endless opportunities to match your product or service to an atypical customer.
The key is understanding where there are opportunities to reach a different segment of your core audience that aligns with your business model.
For example, the Houston Museum of Natural Science tapped into the Astros’ success by hosting the physical World Series trophy in March. Thousands of Astros fans, including families that otherwise would not have been at the HMNS on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, flocked to the museum to pay full price admission for the opportunity to take a picture with the trophy. They could also browse everything the museum has to offer.
This was an effective marketing tool to reach a different type of customer. However, if the museum was locked into one way of thinking about the typical family that visits the museum, they would have lost an opportunity to reach different families that could turn into repeat business for future visits.
Strategy #5: Don’t Settle For One Customer; Go for Large Groups
There are hundreds of pizza restaurants in Houston: big-name national chains, local Houston eateries, and mom & pop pizza joints that are popular among residents in a particular neighborhood.
Let’s focus on the local eateries and smaller pizza joints. They need to satisfy the needs of individual customers to sustain their business and they need to reach larger groups to help them compete in the marketplace and grow.
If a local or small pizza place is located near a kid’s birthday party establishment, a business conference center, or any other type of gathering location, there is an opportunity to market themselves as a reliable, cost-effective, and quality pizza provider for large groups. Over time, this should build into repeat business serving each party or event at the fixed location.
This example applies to all types of businesses in Houston: find a way to reach more than one customer. Think of ways to reach a group of people; a group of businesses; a group of prospects. There are endless opportunities to reach groups who can use your product or service.
Marketing Refresh Can Help You Reach Customers
Marketing Refresh is proud to call Houston home. We understand the challenges that businesses face trying to connect with prospects and customers in such a large city.
That’s why we would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your company’s marketing strategy and how we can collaborate with your team to reach Houston-based customers.
- Do you need support managing your social media and blog content?
- Do you need visuals to enhance your message?
- Do you need a consistent message promoting your offering to local businesses (B2B) or customers (B2C)?
- Do you need help identifying your target audience and potential cross-promotion opportunities?
- Do you just need a partner to help you think bigger about marketing in Houston?
To get started on identifying your needs and how our services fit within your marketing budget, contact our team today. We look forward to helping you connect with new and repeat customers to grow your business.