Know your strengths and weaknesses
You should constantly be aware of these and review them on a regular basis, especially your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself, as this could be the reason why customers are going to your competitors instead. Make it an objective to work on these weaknesses to increase your competitive advantage. Conducting a SWOT analysis can help with this.
A lot of companies focus too much investment on attracting new customers resulting in the neglect of existing customers. They strive to constantly achieve new sales through customers who may not even be ready to buy when nurturing and renewing an existing customer is in fact a lot more cost effective.
Clear marketing message
Whether your company decides to market itself through direct mail, social media, local newspaper or radio, make sure you’ve got one clear marketing message. Don’t confuse customers with several different marketing messages through various channels. If your direct mail says ‘buy five cakes get one free’, don’t then go and promote on your social media that it’s ‘five cakes for the price of one’. Customers want clear and easy to understand communication. See our eight marketing tips for SMEs.
Integrated marketing communications
There is no one fail safe approach to reaching customers; therefore you need to make sure that you can reach your customers at every part of the journey. You may first want to warm them up through social media, and then send them a leaflet to give them a bit more detail before they visit your website to find out more. After this, a follow up phone call might be appropriate to give them more detail about your product or service. Don’t just stick with one marketing method.
Listen to your customers
These are the people that are buying your product or service and whose needs you need to meet. Find out what they think, whether it be about your company, your service or your product. Their opinions could shed light on why you’re losing customers and how you could potentially gain more customers.
Get on the internet
Considering people in this generation are online more than they have ever been before; the internet is the easiest way to get yourselves in front of your audience. The most basic item to have is a company website and then being present on social media to keep them updated of your company. If you have a bigger marketing budget then you could look at advertising online through banner ads, Pay Per Click or SEO optimisation.
Set targets and plan
This could be targets in terms of budgets and marketing expenditure or it could be targets in terms of visitors to the web or the number of people enquiring from a leaflet drop. Whatever it is, make sure to set yourself some goals and think about how you’ll achieve this and what steps you need to take. Make sure to adjust your plans and targets in response to the changing market.
Collaborate with other companies
Work together with non-competing local companies, this way you can get greater exposure by having access to their customer database as well as their marketing collateral. If your service or product is complementary to theirs, this may even get you more potential sales in the future. i.e. you might be a cake company who can collaborate