It might seem pretty obvious but we can’t stress enough how important it is to stay in touch with existing customers and say hello to potential new customers and we re-iterate that in marketing terms standing still is simply not an option.
1. STAY IN TOUCH
Remind your customers that you exist, perhaps you are reading this and thinking to yourself ‘but of course our customers know we exist!’ And yes they probably do but your customers are busy people like yourselves and your business might not regularly be in their minds unless you remind them that you are here. This means that they turn to competitors when they need your product or they are not aware that you offer additional services from the one they originally bought from you. Why should they know this if you don’t tell them?
So send out a regular customer e-newsletter updating them on your business making it as personal and friendly as you can whilst selling your services at the same time. Hold regular events where you invite and meet customers and thank them not just for attending but for being customers. Look at your customer database and take a look and see which customers have bought from you recently and those who haven’t. You can do a number of things with this intelligence, you could carry out research and find out why they haven’t purchased from you. You could pick up the phone and ask a sample of them for customer feedback. And you could communicate with them, just a gentle reminder that you still exist or even entice them back with an offer.
Existing customers should be your most valuable asset. But they won’t be if you just take them for granted and assume that they know about you. If you value them show it to them with regular communication and by thanking them for being customers.
2. SAY HELLO
We know this is the most obvious thing in the world but you do have to attract new customers! Many businesses sadly assume that if they are open then customers will simply come through the door and buy from them and then wonder why this hasn’t happened. Then complain that they speak to people and they don’t know about the business and wonder why they are not getting certain customer markets. Well the rule is really the same as above. Why should people know about your business if you don’t tell them about it? And why should they buy from you unless they feel that you are selling a product they want?
There are many ways you can market your business. It is important you consider which customers you are looking to attract and think about how they will use communications? Are they more likely to read a website? Could you bring the business alive via a blog? Should you join the Twitter world? If you are consumer to consumer would it make sense to join Facebook and consider advertising with them? If it’s a business to business market are you on LinkedIn? And not just you but as many people in your business as possible. Should you consider a Press and PR campaign?
The important thing is to set a budget. Consider who you want to attract and what communication tools they are most likely to use. Use a mixture of communication tools as not one communication medium can do the whole job for you. And most importantly make sure you do it 363 days of the year (with the exception of Christmas and New Year). It is all too easy to start marketing with enthusiasm, throw money and time at it and then just stop, but quite frankly you are wasting your money. Marketing like all things valuable, takes time and effort to really work, but if you invest in it you will get the new customers that you want.
3. DON’T STAND STILL
No business should ever stand still you should always look at ways you can improve the business. But right now as we approach Autumn and hopefully better economic conditions the time is perfect to expand your business into new products or new geographical areas. And this is where a Marketing Plan comes in.
A Marketing Plan will allow you to look at the market for your new product or look at the geographical area you want to go into. You can look at the market for your product and you can look at competitors not just in your area but across the UK and learn from best and worst practice. This will help you identify the key opportunities for your business and also the relevant customers who will buy from you. The competitor audit should also assist you in identifying what communication tools would be best to use as well. We often find that this happens by identifying what competitors are not doing and how you can therefore fill that missed opportunity.
A business should not stand still but equally it should not venture into the unknown without a plan. Think of a Marketing Plan as a road map to your prosperous future.
GET IN TOUCH
Whatever industry you are in, we hope that you find these marketing tips useful and that they help you to market your business more effectively. But if you simply haven’t got the time or the marketing expertise then remember that Bright Light Marketing have all the skills to help get you noticed and make the most of the opportunity that is out there.
For an informal chat give Fiona Drane a call on 01750 505053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org