Advance With the World
To move the profitability needle of your business, you’ve got to have a master plan: defined goals, beginnings and endings, and knowing how to measure success.
Through my own experience and education, here is a step-by-step ladder for planning and executing what an operation must do to step-up their marketing efforts. In the end the effects of not taking proper action now, may reflect poorly on your bank account later, especially when you’re wondering where all your customers went.
Fuel your Marketing Engine
Marketing is often the single system that holds back business growth. Perhaps one of the most vital areas of marketing is knowing where your customers are coming from and what their favorite method of communication is. Each potential customer responds differently to marketing methods. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, email, website, etc? Unfortunately, as we pour more of our resources to be on as many media outlets and print platforms as possible we may be spreading our message to thin. It may be best to select the top, most effective media accounts. Dedicate your precious time to creating an effective, year-round strategy to stay active with your customers. Determine which magazines, newspapers, social media accounts, etc. to be worth your time and money.
Market to your current and past customers
These folks are your first priority. It takes much more effort to attract a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. Tips I have found to be effective:
- With current customers, treat them well and always stay in communication.
- Send out holiday greetings. A practice that does not require much effort, yet still shows every customer you are thankful and continuously think of them.
- Communicate exciting news around your operation. Customers become invested in an operation and look forward to hearing success stories. This could be in form of a Facebook post, an Email blast or even a mailed Postcard.
- Capture the image of your operation and share it with good visual material - photography. Quality photos, which can also be turned into video, goes a long way and reaches a mass audience.
- Customers should receive at least two physical mail pieces from you within a single year. As much as we love technology, physical mail targets the emotional side of marketing than any other form. Research proves this method to be the most successful.
Create the “WOW” feeling
It’s the extra-effort step. When a customer feels “Wowed,” they are likely to relay on positive message to their friends and colleagues. Positive word-of-mouth communication is highly effective and reaps huge benefits, but can only be accomplished when a customer has been once again, “Wowed.”
- Focus on personal engagement with one another.
- Spend the extra dollar to ensure it is done right.
- Properly execute the process of a sale.
- Create a problem recovery plan. Situations are never be perfect.
- Out-of-the-Box thinking never hurts.
If nothing else, educate.
Educate customers about what you bring to the table for your business. Educate on sources of information backing up your claims. And most importantly, educate your audience about your operation’s history, values, and beliefs.
This is perhaps the most important way to gain trust. Every business must start from the ground up, and by building the strongest foundation you can, it will create a stable structure for the duration of your business and ultimately lead to future growth and profitability.
Article by Kate Hagans