I don’t think many offline marketers think about this, but it can make a lot of sense to target businesses that are the ‘underdog’ in their local community. These businesses are ripe for offering all sorts of marketing services because they’re almost always actively looking to get a leg up on their competition.
In most local areas, there’s going to be multiple competitors within each industry. There’s not going to be just one place that you can get your oil changed for example, there’s going to be a bunch of them.
Usually there’s going to be at least one big corporate competitor that dominates the scene, and then often at least one major local player that gets a large part of the market share. Then there’s all the little ones scattered around picking up the scraps. The little guys usually have a really tough time getting results from advertising and they have a huge uphill battle to climb in order to grow and gain a bigger piece of the pie.
Personally, I love to approach the underdogs that sit right below the big name players. Not the corporate stores and not the dominating local players, but the businesses sitting just below that. They are the ones that are just below the surface and can spring up past their next competitor with just the right tweaking to their advertising.
Not only are these type of clients extremely easy to sell services like SEO, PPC, QR, SMS, and Direct Mail services to, but they almost always have the big budget to buy more and more from you because they want to knock out the guy one step above in the worst way.
Leave the bottom feeders and the big guns alone for now, go for the underdog and you’ll see how profitable they can be.