Posted by Chris Handy ● July 17, 2014

Contextual Marketing, Rainy Days & Tacos: What B2B Can Learn

In our little corner of the world, Magnolia Avenue, there are many restaurants to choose from. With expansive sidewalks and heavily regulated traffic, our agency is located in probably the most walkable neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas.

nonnatatasidewalk
(photo courtesy, Fort Worth South, Inc.)

But today, it is raining. It's actually raining pretty hard. Al Roker highlighted today's storms during the Today Show this morning. 

I know one thing about the days it rains on Magnolia: No one will be here. 

On rainy days, the patios, beer gardens and restaurants around here suffer. There is seemingly nothing they can do about it. Most just chalk these days up as a loss.

But Tina's Cocina is different. 

Tina's Cocina is a very small 10-table taqueria in a run-down shopping center that just so happens to have some of the best Mexican food for miles around.

Owner Juan Solis took over the old space that used to be 'La Media Naranja', a taqueria. La Media was just as run down as the shopping center before Juan took it over. It didn't get much media coverage, traffic or positive word of mouth. The restaurant employees mostly spoke English only as a second language, and there was not much focus on the actual dining experience, as it mostly served as a takeout counter.

Over the last 10 years or so, the neighborhood went through a dramatic shift in demographics. Young professionals started moving to the area and remodeling the historic homes. You could get in cheap and have a nice big front porch while your coworkers paid way too much to squeeze into town homes downtown.

La Media was probably not a match for a good percentage of the new neighborhood regulars, who prefer a slightly upscale dining experience (The area is populated with mostly chef-run authentic single-location establishments, there are not really any chains here). I, personally, have always sought out hole-in-the-wall type restaurants and enjoy exploring them. However, I know that not everyone will appreciate invitations to lunch in some of the "holier" ones.

tacos

When Solis took over the space, he focused on just a handful of things:

  • A simple, authentic menu: Tacos, Burritos, Tortilla Soup, etc...
  • Guest experience: The new space is built for a more pleasant dine-in experience. With two large-screen TV's on the walls, clean and updated plastic booths, friendly staff, and very clean restrooms

By making some of these simple updates to an age-old concept, Solis successfully served a whole new audience without turning away the customers who had visited the restaurant in its previous incarnation.

So you may be thinking, "That's great Chris, but what does it have to do with B2B marketing?" I'll get to it, I promise.

Remember I told you that it is raining on Magnolia today?

While most restaurants are kicking back and calling it a loss for lunch, Tina's is again adjusting to it's environment. See this post from Tina's Facebook this morning.

Now I know that when it rains, Tina's is the place to go.

So what can we learn from this for B2B?

Our markets are constantly changing. At the macro level, like the new neighborhood demographics. And the micro level, like today's heavy rain. 

How can we adjust for both? 

I think it is time that you asked yourself if your market is really the same as it was ten years ago. I will go out on a limb and say that it is most certainly not. Your customers are changed people. They are finding you in different ways. Social, word of mouth, and search are more important then ever before. 

Context is more important than ever. Are you appearing when your prospects are looking for you? Are you staying top of mind, when your evangelists see an open request on their social network of choice?

I'll just ask you today to start thinking about these things as they apply to your business. While many restaurants find their audience on Facebook, B2B folks are finding it on LinkedIn.

I've put together a quick guide on how to stay engaged with your audience in a more contextual way. You'll learn some of the things that I practice on a daily basis with my connections.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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