If you have a business, your aim is probably to grow and attract an ever-increasing number of clients. Every entrepreneur wants the best for their company, but it’s no secret that making a splash in the world of business is a tricky task. Up to 90 percent of new companies fail, and often, an ineffective marketing strategy plays a contributory role. If you’re keen to beat the odds, and you’re looking to expand your client base and increase sales and profits, here are some effective strategies to employ.
- Research your target market. This is the first commandment of marketing. Before you start setting up Twitter handles and Facebook pages or launching a website, it’s essential to make sure that you know everything there is to know about your target customer. Think about the services and products you sell. Who are they aimed at? Once you know the answer to this question, you can undertake targeted research, which will provide you with vital information about the marketplace in which you are operating. How do people like to shop? How much are they likely to spend on a product like yours? How much do they earn? What kinds of marketing methods do they warm to? When you have this information, take full advantage of it, and use it to shape your marketing campaign. This will increase the chances of you implementing a strategy that reaches out to the right person and achieves the desired results. Send out questionnaires, organize focus groups, and invite people to try out prototypes and provide you with feedback.
- Work out which marketing techniques to use. There are myriad methods you can use to market your business, from events and traditional techniques like flyering and posting adverts in the press, to cutting-edge SEO campaigns. It’s unlikely that every individual technique will benefit your business, so it’s best to ascertain which methods are most effective by conducting market research and analyzing data. If you’re sharing content online and you’ve got active social media accounts, for example, use analytic tools to see where traffic is coming from, and evaluate the performance of different types of content. If all your visitors are coming from Google, this is a positive sign that your SEO strategy is working well. If you’ve got a lot of interest on Facebook, but very little on Twitter, this indicates that you’re best off investing in your Facebook campaign and saving money on Twitter advertising. Streamline the way you work based on your business. Not all techniques will work for every company, and what works for your business may be very different from other ventures you have come across.
- Promote your brand. Marketing is about selling products and services, but it should also serve to promote your brand. Branding plays a key role in connecting businesses with their customers. When a client sees your brand name or logo, you want them to have a positive reaction. Work on ensuring that this is the case by building a strong brand, and fostering relationships with your clients. Think about what you can do to ensure that customers trust you, and respect and admire your brand. Many businesses choose to support good causes or utilize eco-friendly materials or manufacturing methods, for example. As well as contributing to charities and doing their bit for the planet, these companies are also enhancing their brand image and reputation. Customer service should always be one of the most important considerations for businesses. If you make promises, and you don’t fulfill them, this will impact your brand. Focus on providing a first-class service every time, and engage with your customers. Make every client feel special, add a personal touch, and listen to comments and feedback.
- Maintain interest. Often, business owners find that there are peaks and troughs in terms of levels of interest in a brand or a specific product. If you’ve enticed clients, the next step is to maintain their interest. If you have opened a new bar, for example, you might find that the launch night was a great success, and you racked up a host of new friends and followers online, but the initial buzz is followed by a period of silence. To keep people interested, offer discounts and promotions, keep clients in the loop about events or changes in the cocktail menu, and encourage them to come and see you again. One way of drumming up interest that works for many different types of business is hosting an event. Whether you’re selling a new product, you’re launching a new store, or you’ve expanded your range of services, inviting clients, buyers, industry insiders and bloggers to a gathering can help to raise your profile and get the registers ringing again. Use your event to sell products, and get people talking about your brand. It’s a really good idea to offer guests the chance to trial your products and services and to hand out branded items people can take home. You can find some brilliant promo ideas online. Think outside of the box, and opt for small gifts or tokens that are relevant to your business. If you plan to do a speech or a presentation, rehearse, preempt questions from the audience, and engage with the people in front of you. Show how passionate you are about your company, and let people have a look for themselves.
- Keep an eye on your competitors. There is competition in every industry. To succeed in business, you need to be able to beat your rivals, so it pays to keep a close eye on what they’re doing. If you can’t compete on price, or your competitors are offering incredible deals or added extras, you may find that you lag behind. Monitor the market, and be prepared to respond and alter your marketing strategy to ensure you can compete.
Are you bidding to take your business to the top? If so, getting your marketing strategy just right is crucial. Hopefully, this guide has given you some pointers, and the orders will soon come flooding in.
This post contains contributed content.