How to Drive Calls to Your Small Business

Have you ever designed creative marketing campaigns, or thought about it? I’ve done marketing for clients in small businesses for the past 6+ years and learned a few things about making creative marketing campaigns most successful for driving calls to small businesses. The true measure of a successful marketing campaign design is having customers remember and talk about them.

So what’s a small business to do?

Here are eight important marketing design elements I rely on to design creative marketing campaigns and the best examples of each that I could find. It’s a great way to learn and stimulate marketing campaign design ideas.

1. Consumer Insights

A consumer insight is a simple truth that applies to a significant set of your target community. Businesses must understand what customers are and aren’t buying and why. They should also understand the way customers behave and why they behave that way.

Here are two examples of customer insights:

The First Example:

Sam Walton who put large stores in sparsely populated locations—the opposite of retail orthodoxy—because he ‘understood’ that the vastly improved highway system had made it easy for shoppers from the larger urban areas to travel to these stores and for the suppliers to deliver goods cheaply.

Another Example:

Steve Jobs insisting that the iMac was launched with four colors because he understood that color is a way that people express themselves and makes the computer personal.  This did not go down well with the left-brained people who could only see the negatives: delayed launch, higher inventory, more pressure in forecasting etc.

2. Specific, Attainable Objectives

The objective of creative marketing campaigns is to position your business as a better, but less expensive, alternative to your best competitors. You should specify what your customer community should think, feel, and do. Focus on using emotions as much as possible.

3. Create a Persona

Create the customer persona that represents your target community (Think community and not audience. Why? A community is about multi-way engagement in the group, while an audience signifies one-way transmission.)

Listen to these personas, collect quotes and comments, as well as testimonials.

4. Target Each Campaign

Creative marketing campaigns address issues that are specific to given objectives. So one campaign strategy won’t be effective for all of your objectives, obviously. Design marketing campaigns to specific business objectives.

5. Think Strategically, Not Predictably

You want to think strategically, and avoid predictability. Think of branding, positioning of your messages, and direct responses.


Your branding is all about showing consistent messages and personality all the time. This is not about us, but how people perceive us and our story, what we look like, and what value we offer others.


Positioning is about finding a niche in customers’ minds, and filling it with a tag line and unique selling position (USP) that will capture their attention and be remembered. A USP is one of the fundamental pieces of any solid marketing campaign. Simply stated, it’s a summary of what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market. It answers the question: How do your business services benefit your clients better than anyone else can?

This is because a USP can give a great deal of clarity to your business model, what your company does, and why you do it. It can define your business and its most important business goals in just a sentence.

Related: A Unique Marketing Approach to Add to Your Portfolio

Direct Response:

A direct response is a trigger you want from customers that results in an action you are seeking. The final result will hopefully yield new business for your company.

6. Tell Great Stories

Good stories immediately focus on engagement, experiences, and emotion … central tenets that are attractive to most customers. Narratives makes your message relevant and memorable through personalization.

Stories are a great means for sharing and interpreting experiences, and great experiences have this innate ability to change the way in which we view our world.

7. Emotional Influence and Persuasion

Budweiser puppy love was, by most accounts, the biggest winner from the 2014 Super Bowl. There is no better means of influence or power of persuasion than emotion. It’s hands down the best, in our opinion.

Experiences that trigger our emotions are saved and consolidated in lasting memories because the emotions generated by the experiences signal our brains that the experiences are important to remember.

There are eight basic, universal emotions—joy, surprise, anticipation, acceptance, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust. Successful appeals to these basic emotions consolidate stories and the desired calls to action in the lasting memories of audiences.

8. Visual Elements

Use pictures/visuals to convey the message much better than words. “Seeing is believing” and “actions speak louder than words” are two common sayings that reflect a bias and preference for visual presentation.

Does Samsung have another winning marketing strategy?

Samsung has a 4-minute ad with 15-20 new features shown for their new phone. No talking. It’s so simple that you quickly grasp the features and don’t lose interest. And the coordinated music has a way to keep you tied in. Creating customer interest doesn’t get any simpler than this, does it? It’s a very simple, yet entertaining design.

Their ad subtly grabs and holds attention based on a great music sound track, no speaking, and a total reliance on superb visuals.

Let the visuals totally carry the messages.

Creating customer interest doesn’t get any simpler than this, does it?