On Target

Hit the nail on the head with your marketing

Is your business not getting enough customers? Are you having trouble putting your name out there? Revamping your marketing strategy is a good idea for everyone, whether in a slump or not. Every business could benefit from new customers, more sales, and a growing reputation. Changing your marketing strategy is no easy task, but if done right, you will see many positive changes.

Create A Plan

The most important step to updating your business’s marketing strategy is to create a plan. First, research and define your target marketing to make the most of your marketing and advertising. Start out by getting a better understanding of what industry your business is in, and what its competition is. Next, analyze the demographics of your purchasing customers and see what they have in common. Look at your customers’ age, sex, location, and economic status to get an idea of who your audience is. Find out what else your customers have in common, such as shopping tends, popular products, and amount of money they spend per transaction. Knowing your customer is key to making sure you stay on track with your marketing strategy, as well as your budget. You need to know what you are willing to pay to get people to your business while keeping the rest of your budget in mind.

Research Types of Marketing

There is not one set way to market your business for success. Exploring various marketing strategies will allow you to find out which technique will be the most effective for your business and within your budget.

Online Marketing: The majority of Americans use the Internet to research a business before they ever step foot into a store. As a result, being found online is very important, and online marketing can help. Choosing ad space that will engage and motivate Internet users is important. Contrary to popular belief and trends, the number of clicks on advertisements prove to not be as important as page views. An increasing number of page views means that more people are viewing your web page and product, and not just clicking through an advertisement. Also, it shows people are looking for more information about your company or product while making your brand known to the potential customer.

Print Advertising: For decades, print marketing has been the medium of choice when it comes to marketing businesses. The message, visibility, and quantity are the three most important factors when it comes to print advertising. The message is the driving force behind having a print advertisement. The message needs to be clear and concise so viewers can read the copy and understand what you are trying to say. Most think that the aesthetics of the print advertisement is what matters most; but creating a clear and concise message is crucial. Your clear message on your advertisement needs to be in a thought-out location. Make sure you advertise in a spot that your target audience will see. For example, choose relevant pages in a phone book or specific local hot spots to place posters. Finally, don’t overwhelm your target audience by blanketing your advertisements. Instead, focus on quality instead of quantity.

Media: TV and radio marketing is one of the easiest mediums for businesses to receive exposure for your small business. Unfortunately, this exposure comes with a hefty price tag. Using the media is one of the most expensive forms of marketing available today, but it could be the thing that makes or breaks your business. If your business can afford media marketing, it could be a great option to get maximum exposure.

Word-Of-Mouth: The most traditional form of marketing is the one that requires no money whatsoever. Word-of-mouth is becoming an important marketing tool for small businesses during the current economy. Small businesses that go the extra step to provide exceptional customer service will make the mark on their customers and get the buzz started. Any business that puts their customer experience first will enjoy the perks of word-of-mouth marketing. The customers who have the exceptional experiences will tell others about the business, and therefore, get free and easy marketing. There is no catch or cost to word-of-mouth marketing, just simply providing great customer service.

Get Your Name Out There

Small business owners can tune-up their marketing techniques by simply getting their name out there. You will not generate business with new customers if they do not know about your business. A simple way to do this is to research other non-competition businesses in your area and find out what techniques they used to get started and market their business. Their techniques could inspire ideas that could work for your business to get customers intrigued and through your doors. Getting your name out on the Internet is just as important. Without Internet presence, you are limiting your availability to potential customers. Start using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to get the Internet buzzing about your business.

Use Your Networking Skills

Use your personal and professional network to your advantage. Those who are closest to you can be great marketing tools to promote your business. Talk to your family and friends about discussing your business with their friends, social network, and professional contacts. Encourage your friends and family to hand out your business cards and refer customers to your business. Your professional network can reference your business to their customers, as well as their family and friends. Reach out to businesses that have had similar experiences that can relate to your marketing situation. While asking for referrals, you can also ask for advice and simple tips to jump-start new marketing techniques. Online networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn have the opportunity to market your business with groups, fan pages, direct communication, and more. Take advantage of social media and market to your target audience.

Know the Competition

If you’re having trouble getting customers, take a look at your competition. Analyze what they are doing differently, their current prices, and target market. In order to get more customers through your door and increase sales, you need to have a better deal and strategy than your competition. Think about what you can do to stand out from your competition, whether it is lower prices, a special promotion, or simply a unique marketing strategy. Market specifically to your competitor’s target market and attract them to your business. Simple markdowns combined with unique marketing techniques targeted at your competitors are an easy way to gain new customers.

Tuning-up your marketing strategies is a great idea for any small business. Simple changes could go a long way. Take advantage of what your small business has to offer and market it to the public.

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