The key to every successful business is its customer base. The consumer is the apex around which everything should revolve, but sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in telling people what they should buy instead of listening to what they want. We understand that small businesses don’t have the unlimited resources that international players do. Yet we are going to share with you five marketing strategies that are practical and achievable by the small business.
It has taken years of research, trial and error to come up with the marketing programs we use at ARTC. The presentation materials, methods to find customers, communication, and referrals take time and investment to bring each of our clients to the position in the market that they desire and deserve. During the years of building the business from zero, it was these strategies that kept us growing.
No business can move upwards withouth knowing who their customer is and what they want. It is the only way to reach out to your ideal potential customers and increase your chances that they will be willing to give your product or service a try.
You must do your homework and clearly define who your customer is. You must know what would make them more likely to be interested in what you offer. Imagine your ideal customer including everything you can think of that would differentiate them from everyone else. Things like their age, education, gender, education, income, and interests to name a few. The more clear a picture you can come up with, the better your chances to connect with them in any meaningful way.
Only then can you look at what you have that they might want and figure out how they will use it to their benefit. In order to communicate effectively with them, you must speak their language. This signals to them that you understand their needs. It is when they see themselves in you that they feel open to hear what you have to offer and how you will help them solve their problems or achieve what they want.
You know well that there are plenty of choices for them, so you should be able to articulate to them why your version of the product or service is the best fit for them and the way they live. That is to say listen to the features and benefits your product brings to the table.
A good way to learn about your customer is to know where they congregate. If your customer likes to go clubbing on the weekends, then it’s probably a very different customer than those who go to the opera. A customer who reads Teen magazine is very different to one who reads The New Yorker. You get the idea. It is impossible to build a successful marketing campaign without knowing who they are, where to find them and how to connect with them.
2. Narrow Your Focus
Trying to sell the same product to very different customers is contra productive. Look at the outreach you are doing and figure out if you are spread too thin. If you market the same perfume scent to a high schooler than you do to a mature woman, it’s a recipe for disaster. The young girl may purchase it because they liked the young hip packaging will soon hate it if her mother says “that perfume of yours reminds me of the one your gramma uses”. Consequently, the same scent would do very well if it was packaged in a more traditional way and offered to the right age group.
Make sure you stick to one customer demographic. It will pay in the long run in the way of customer loyalty. The most effective marketing campaigns work because they stay consistent in their message and their demographics over the years. That’s not to say there is no room for evolving and improving, there is just no way to be everything for everyone.
3. Customer Service
Customers do not like feeling like they were deceived or fooled in any way. That is why we recommend our clients be very clear and publicize their warranties and return policies on their service or product. We encourage that the internal policy be written in as early as when writing the business plan. Creating goodwill in the customer is the best way to grow your following.
Added to this, customer support must work in seamless conjunction. Customers appreciate being able to get the answers they want when they want. Today, it is so much easier to help your customers without having to be by the phone 24/7. Including a FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page to your website is one way to offer answers to your clientele. There are inexpensive solutions such as automated bots that can text exchange with your customer and answer the most common questions. If all that fails, making sure to return phone calls and emails goes a long way towards satisfying your customer’s need for answers.
If you are like many business owners, you haven’t updated the message on your answering service in years. Think when the last time was that you cleaned the top of ceiling fixtures in your shop. Look at your business as if you were the customer as often as possible. Try to see what they see. If you have trouble, talk to a stranger and ask them their opinion about your business. Be prepared to hear not so pleasant comments, but those are the most valuable because they tell you what in your operation needs improvement.
5 Brand Ambassadors
We advise our customers at ARTC Consulting that before they consider spending a dime on paid influencer promotions to look inward. Your employees can be the most effective ambassadors for your brand because they know the product or service better than anyone. Consider giving out or at least discounting your product to them for their personal use. They all have peers and family who will trust them when they tell them about your offerings.
“Where did you get those beautiful earrings?”
I got them where I work. They were given to me as a reward for being employee of the month.
That short interaction can be a catalyst to new sales because it carries all the weight of trust and goodwill behind it.
At the end, the goal is to create a great customer experience and these are steps you can take that cost nothing to very little. They can however, have a big impact in the short and long term for your business. For more information, visit our website www.artcmallen.com