At the same time, a number of new hair stylists and barber shops have opened in downtown Ontario. Trust me, there’s a bunch of them.
I don’t know if this is public knowledge (it’s been discussed at the Ontario IDEA Exchange and other B2B forums), but downtown Ontario is even on track to have an establishment that combines the two business types. (Of course, a few of you have already figured out who I’m talking about.)
I learned some fun facts during Eren Cello’s presentation to the Greater Ontario Business Council this morning, and filed those in my brain along with some other facts that I have collected over the years.
Cello is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. Which, incidentally, is not in Canada.
Ontario International Airport in the 1980s and 1990s
I first became aware of Ontario International Airport in October 1983, when I flew in from Portland, Oregon for a job interview. Back in those days, you didn’t walk from the airplane straight into the terminal. Instead, you walked to a flight of stairs, went down the stairs, then walked across the runway to enter the terminal.
As Ontario and the surrounding area grew over the years, the then-owner of Ontario International Airport (Los Angeles World Airports) decided that an ambitious expansion of the airport was in order, including modern, multi-level terminals with check-in and baggage claim on the first floor, and the gates and shops on the second floor. Instead of renovating the existing terminal, LAWA decided to build two brand new terminals. These terminals were opened in 1998 and were designated “Terminal 2” and “Terminal 4.” As soon as traffic increased to the required level, LAWA would go ahead and build Terminal 3 between the two terminals.
And the old terminal, now “Terminal 1,” was closed.
It sounded like a sensible design and a sensible plan. What could go wrong?
Ontario International Airport in the 2000s and 2010s
Well, three years after Terminals 2 and 4 opened, 9/11 happened. This had two immediate effects.
First, the anticipated increase in passenger traffic needed to open Terminal 3 didn’t happen.
There were other alleged reasons for this which eventually led to the separation of Ontario International Airport from LAWA, but those are beyond the scope of this post. I wrote about them in a personal blog at the time; here’s an example.
Second, increased security meant that the second floors of Terminals 2 and 4 were accessible to passengers only.
The days of walking to the gate to send off departing passengers and greet arriving ones were gone forever.
And for all of those businesses that were located on the second floors of the two terminals, their customer base was cut dramatically, since non-ticketed individuals were confined to the first floors of the terminals. Until recently, those first floors only included the random vending machine to serve visitors. Only now is the situation starting to improve.
According to Cello, Ontario International Airport now serves 11 passenger airlines with nonstop flights to destinations in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and Asia.
The second most fascinating fun fact
But of all the fun facts I learned today, the second most fascinating fun fact was the reason why the international airlines are based in Terminal 2 rather than Terminal 4. No, it’s not because Southwest has so many flights in Terminal 4 that there is no room for anyone else. Actually, parts of Terminal 4 are closed; if you see a film with someone at Gate 412, you know the film is staged. See 15:08 of this video.
Southwest Airlines, of course, has a different operating model that doesn’t need a lot of wide-body jets.
International services in the future and in the past
Incidentally, there are both short-term and long-term plans to improve the facilities for international passengers, who currently can depart from Terminal 2 but have to arrive at a completely separate “international arrivals terminal” (reviews) and go through security there.
And if you’re wondering why Ontario International Airport doesn’t have optimum service for international passengers, the “international” in the airport’s designation merely means that there is at least one existing flight to an international destination. For Ontario, trans-Pacific cargo flights existed back in the 1940s, and the first passenger flight from an international destination occurred (according to Wikipedia) on May 18, 1946, when a Pacific Overseas Airlines flight arrived from Shanghai. (This was the Pacific Overseas Airlines based in Ontario, California, not the Pacific Overseas Airlines in Siam. The Ontario company appears to have only been in existence for a year or so.)
Of course, back in 1946, international passengers didn’t have great expectations. Leaving the plane by going down a flight of stairs was the normal mode of operations; none of this walking from the airplane straight into the airport building.
The MOST fascinating fun fact
Oh, and in case you’re wondering why the wide-body jet service is only the second most fascinating fun fact, I learned something else today.
The “Paw Squad” at Ontario International Airport has their own trading cards!
At the same time that Bredemarket helps other firms to market themselves, Bredemarket has to market ITSELF, including social media marketing. And for the past year I’ve subscribed to the following formula:
Use LinkedIn for professional marketing to biometric/identity and technology clients.
Use Twitter as a supplement to this.
Use Facebook as a supplement to this, and also use Facebook as Bredemarket’s sole foray into “general business” marketing.
It sounded like a good formula at the time…but now I’m questioning the assumptions behind it. And I’m hoping that I can prove one of my assumptions wrong.
My initial assumptions about marketing to local businesses
As I write this, Bredemarket has no clients in my hometown of Ontario, California, or in any of the nearby cities. In fact, my closest clients are located in Orange County, where I worked for 25 years.
It’s no secret that I’ve been working to rectify that gap and drum up more local business.
So this was an opportune time for me to encounter Jay Clouse’s September 2021 New Client Challenge. (It’s similar to a challenge Clouse ran in August 2020. Repurposing is good.) Clouse’s first question to all participants asked which market we would be targeting, and in my case the local small business market seemed an obvious choice.
And this dialogue played in my mind…
So when I market to local businesses, I’ll want to do that via relevant Facebook Groups. Obviously I won’t market the local services via LinkedIn or Twitter, because those services are not tailored to local service marketing.
Questioning my assumptions
Then I realized that I was wrong, for two reasons.
First, there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on my local area, just as there are LinkedIn groups that concentrate on biometrics. I had already quit a number of the dormant Inland Empire LinkedIn groups, but I was still a member of two such groups and could (tastefully) market there.
If LinkedIn doesn’t provide an opportunity for me to do something, why don’t I tailor my use of LinkedIn and provide myself the opportunity?
Specifically, some of you may recall that I only have two LinkedIn showcase pages, but I have three Facebook groups.
“Bredemarket Identity Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
“Bredemarket Technology Firm Services” is present on both LinkedIn and Facebook.
“Bredemarket General Business Services” is only present on Facebook.
I explained the rationale for the lack of a third LinkedIn showcase page in a nice neat summary:
Using myself as an example, I have segmented my customers into markets: the identity (biometrics / secure documents) specific market (my primary market), the general technology market, and the general business market. I don’t even target the general business market on LinkedIn (I do on Facebook), but I’ve created showcase pages for the other two.
If you consider that “local business services” is a subset of “general business services,” some of you can see where this is going.
But it took a while for the thought to pound its way into my brain:
Why DON’T you target the (local) general business market on LinkedIn?
I could just create a new showcase page, a process that would only take a few minutes. I wouldn’t even have to create any new artwork, since I could simply repurpose the Facebook general business artwork and use it for a LinkedIn local business showcase page. (Repurposing is good.)
Technology is second on the list. As a matter of fact, Bredemarket’s first customer was a technology firm. And while I can’t necessarily speak to technology in the same depth that I can devote to identity and biometrics, I can clearly help technology clients with their content marketing and their proposals.
Getting more specific about “general business”
Which brings us to general business firms. (This post won’t even touch the fourth market, nonprofits.) This is obviously a broad category. Even if you don’t count sole proprietors (such as myself) or freelancers, there are somewhere around 7.7 million businesses in the United States. (This figure is from 2016; I’m not sure if it’s gone up or gone down in the last five years.) Now if you include sole proprietors in the total, then you’re talking about 32 million businesses. (This particular number may have actually increased over time.)
And the vast majority of those millions of businesses aren’t working in identity, biometrics, or even technology.
Obviously I can’t target them all. Well, I could try, but it would be a little ridiculous.
So what if I took a subset of those 32 million businesses and tried to see if Bredemarket could serve that subset?
The local small business persona
When you want to market to a particular group, you develop a persona that represents that group. You can then develop a profile of that persona: the persona’s needs, aspirations, and expectations; the persona’s underlying goals and values; and perhaps some other elements. The persona may be developed via extensive research, or perhaps via…a little less quantification.
So I began musing about a small business owner in my hometown of Ontario, California. Perhaps someone whose business is located here.
For those who aren’t from around here, the Emporia Arts District is in downtown Ontario, California, west of Euclid and south of Holt. While much of the activity is concentrated in the set of lofts/working spaces whose entrance is pictured here, there are also surrounding businesses that can be considered part of the district. And of course you can walk east of Euclid and north of Holt and find a wider variety of businesses.
But I concentrated on the businesses in the Emporia Arts District, noting that they’re…well, they’re arty. Let’s put it this way: my stick figures would not be attractive to them.
Looking at my two general offerings, proposal services and content marketing, it’s fairly unlikely that my proposal services would interest this crowd. If these business ARE submitting proposals, they are most likely applying for federal, state, or local grants, and that’s somewhat outside of my area of expertise.
(Tangential comment to those who click on links: having fun is good.)
But can my content marketing services provide value to the businesses in the Emporia Arts District (and elsewhere in Ontario and the surrounding cities)?
I realized that I DID have something to offer here.
What if your local business needs a short text piece?
After all, my writing services can be fairly flexible. While I originally envisioned that my Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service could apply to content such as blog posts or LinkedIn posts, it could just as easily apply to a general brochure of 400 to 600 words with customer-provided pictures of artwork, classes, clothing, haircuts, or whatever.
Chances are it will be a little more exciting than this.
Or maybe not. (The story behind the piece of content above, developed when my business card order got delayed, is told here. Storytelling is good.)
The same overall process can apply to a small craft brochure just as it can apply to a discussion of the benefits of using an Adobe-trained marketing systems consultant. In either case, the engagement would start with a series of questions:
What is the topic of the content?
What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
What is the target audience for the content? (I’m not the only one who’s establishing personas.)
There are other questions that I may ask, but you can see the whole process here.
Once these major items are established (starting off a project correctly is good), I can get writing, you can get reviewing, and I can provide you with the final product. You can then post an electronic version of the content on your website, or you can hand it out to people who stop by your business or loft or farmer’s market stall or whatever. (Intangible and tangible content are BOTH good.)
What if your local business needs a longer text piece?
Maybe 400 to 600 words isn’t enough. Maybe you want a longer piece, such as an entire product/service catalog, or a catalog listing a whole slew of businesses (maybe all the businesses at a farmer’s market).
As you can guess, the target number of words for my service is 2800 words, or up to 3200 words.
The process can be a little more intricate also. Because there is more text to review, the review cycles can be longer. And I may ask a few more questions at the beginning. But in essence it’s similar to the process for the shorter writing service, with basic questions about the topic, goal, benefits, and target audience. You can see the entire process here.
What if you want more than 600 words, but less than 2800 words?
I’ll work with you. (Flexibility is good.)
If you can use one of my content marketing services, what are the next steps?
Share this online in places where you may see it. (Targeted content distribution is good.)
After that, repurpose (repurposing is good) this long, meandering blog post into some other type of content that I can distribute to businesses in the Emporia Arts District…or north of Holt…or in Upland or Montclair. Blog posts are transitory, and I’ll often express something in blog form and then pin it down in another format later.
Perhaps you can do the same, once I’ve created content for you.