Marketing is changing very rapidly these days, led predominantly by the internet. However the basic principals of marketing still hold good.
You still have to deliver:
- The right message
- To the right people
- At the right time
- Via the right channels
Too often, marketers and small business owners overlook the basic techniques that have created successful campaigns since time immemorial.
The following tips are not new. I enclose them simply as a reminder of the basic principals of marketing which convert prospects into customers.
Know Your Audience.
Only when you really know your audience can you fully understand their needs. Once you know their needs you will know how to fulfil those needs. Knowing and understanding your audience through proper market segmentation will lead to a well targeted campaign that generates a profitable return.
Ask yourself how well do you really know your customers.
Focus On The Offer.
Your success is dependent on your offer. Make sure that what you are offering fulfils a customer need and that it is packaged and presented in the most attractive way that makes it easy for customers to buy. Clever marketing can cover up weak and unappealing offers for a short period but for long term success your offer must hit the spot.
Never ever run a campaign without testing it. Split testing allows you to simultaneously test two versions of a campaign. You can test a headline, a landing page, a post card, or an email. Split testing allows you to evaluate the success of two different approaches on a small scale before rolling out the most successful version.
Don't Sell On Price.
So many businesses fail because they sell on price alone. Wafer thin margins demand huge volumes and leave no money over for contingencies. Ultimately selling on price alone can lead to price wars, lower profitability, and often bankruptcy. Instead of focusing on price, you'd be better off focusing on creating so much value that the price becomes unimportant. Remember most people don't buy on price, they buy on value.
It is vital that the customer receives the same messages throughout the entire customer experience. Whether that be advertising, email marketing, social media or a website you must ensure that all the messages are consistent and tell the same story. Inconsistent messaging will lead to customer confusion which will inexorably lead to missed sales.
Create Value After The Sale.
Once a customer has bought from you, you must focus on strengthening the relationship to ensure further sales. Existing customers are your best source of additional business. Have follow up products ready to sell to them. Keep in regular touch via email, the telephone, newsletters etc informing them of new products and services, special offers and additional relevant products. The key is to stay top of mind and demonstrate how important your customers are to you.
Utilise Multiple Marketing Channels
To rely on only one or two marketing channels is very dangerous. What happens if your primary source of generating business suddenly dries up? It is recommended that you use a minimum of five different marketing channels at any one time and preferably more like ten to twelve. You should also ensure that all your marketing, both on line and off line, support and reinforce each other.