Do you want a business to buy or use your product? Show them! Only then will you catch their attention to seek in to what your small company can do for them. Do you want someone to use your service? Give them an estimate or a sample of what you will do for them and how it can benefit them. When building a marketing plan there is some stages you might want to plan out to facilitate the process and keeping the costs low or at no cost at all. Here are six of the most frequently used techniques:
1. Printed Material (Posters, Postcards, and Flyers)
Pinpoint your audience or ideal customer base (this is a major MUST) and distribute flyers and posters. The printed flyer or poster should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer and providing contact information. Offering a free estimate of services, coupon or discount would most likely attract potential clients. Most public spaces, such as libraries, malls, and churches offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements.
2. Value Additions
Tell them how you are different. You don’t have to promise the moon to add value; often you just have to state something that the customer may not realize about your product or service. When you are making your advertising materials, the value additions should be highlighted. Common value additions include guarantees, discounts for repeat customers, point cards and referrals rewards. It is about encouraging them to stay loyal to your business.
3. Referral Networks (Business to Business)
Ever heard of “word of mouth”? You have probably done it without even noticing. Referral networks are valuable because the referrals are coming from business to business. Take note that your completion is not always your enemy. Network whenever you can with similar companies, and people with the same mind-set. You will be surprised at how much you can help one another with large profitable projects or with exchangeable business; most times you will find the favor returned.
4. Cold Calling
No matter how awkward this might make you feel, it is necessary. It can be done door to door or over the phone. Cold calling forces you to sell yourself as well as your business. When cold calling you will notice you think on your feet and inspire creativity and flexibility when facing potential clients with more ease. Eventually, it will become easier and you will become more confident at picking up the phone. A good way to make cold calls more engaging is to stop thinking of them as “cold” calls. Think of them as “introductory” calls instead. All you are doing is introduce yourself and your business to the prospect client.
5. The Internet
The Internet has been instrumental and evolving rapidly during the last twenty years. It is nearly unlikely that a business, even a local restaurant will not have at least a website with the vital details such as location and hours. Not having a website means not having a point of access for the growing number of people who Google first when they want to make a buying decision. This includes social media accounts for your business such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Get with the times and be accessible through all networks.
Get feedback, ask questions, and return calls. Find out why they choose your company from the other companies. Ask how their overall experience went. What was the customer most satisfied with? What was least satisfying? This will also allow you to improve any aspect that needs adjusting. If you do not know you care lacking an aspect how will you ever provide it?
In conclusion, there is no magic marketing strategy. More than likely you will find that the conversion rate on marketing is not very high. Even the most successful campaigns measure leads and converted sales from those leads in the 10-20% range. A marketing company might even has literally no clue what will work for you, because they don’t know you. They don’t know your business. They don’t know your customers. But fortunately, you DO know your business! You DO know your customer base!