Here are ideas from my small business experience which are more than helpful.
Stop thinking opens, click troughs and any advertising that interrupts. If your return on the recent advertising campaign has dicey looking results, don’t reenact the campaign hoping for better results.
STOP. This just in from Clickz.com:
According to Princeton psychologists, you have one-tenth of a second to make a first impression.
Now ask yourself, does your target market want personalization, relevant communication, relationships, selected marketing channels and customer engagement?
What are you waiting for? More importantly, is your product offering the right product, at the right time and the right place?
Is the only time your market talks about advertisements occurs on and after the date when the Super Bowl is played? And that time is way less than the game lasted.
Be careful of ‘spamdex’ messaging in your target market.
Every day I read or hear about some bloke who has collected over 350,000 email addresses and that is totally awesome. When another person uses a great list recently built for an advertising campaign, you read or hear that a lot of product was sold. But, in what terms is a lot of product?
If the list price of the product is $999.00, how many must a person sell to break even? Make a profit? What I never read is what the number of sales were and how much revenue is recorded for each sale?
I heard a lot of BS from the direct mail industry when it was king.
In its heyday, many direct mail campaigns purchasing rate, garnished .5% to maybe 2% of purchases from a large list of names and contacts. So, what took place to improve the rate of sales? Buy a new list of names and add it to the original mailing list.
This also created a lot of competition for unwanted direct mail. Such as fax machines, email, and pesky telemarketing calls, usually start as soon as you sit down for dinner, open a book or watch TV.
Do you remember the infomercials? Better known as the 30-minute late night sales pitch from some fast talking so and so telling us we are fools if we fail to make a purchase. Items sold range from the insulting to the amazing. From the perfect kitchen knife to the breakthrough methods in technology that will keep your dog in your yard to never roam again.
Change is moving faster than ever before.
I have helped many companies, big or small, in B2B, healthcare and a variety of small businesses, from startups to existing companies looking for better marketing. Most of the successful small businesses had good leadership. Then periodically, a small group of companies who used limited advertising were lucky of having the right product for a special niche market.
Another group of companies started a business because they liked what they thought was an interesting product or service. One such small business owner who failed within a few months, offered me his office furniture in lieu of a payment for our invoice.
Most successful companies can be guided by five principles.
- Have a customer obsession rather than competitor focus.
- A passion for innovation or invention.
- Commitment to operational excellence.
- Impeccable customer service.
- And long-term thinking.
Deliver what you say you’re going to do. If the business can’t deliver on the basic customer marketing needs, then any other steps are wasted. It may seem ludicrous, but far too many businesses focus on ways to keep customers, only to lose sight of the fact that their product or service simply isn’t what it should be.
Make certain that the core of what you do is deserving of long-term customer loyalty, and then look for ways to nurture it.
From there, go beyond the usual. Once the basics are clicking, one way to win a customer for life is to consistently exceed their expected results. Establish a baseline of good customer relationships, and make it policy to climb to better and beyond.
Nurture lifelong employees who get it. An effective strategy to win long-term clientele doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Treat your employees as you would a customer who you want to see month after month or day after day. Not only does that encourage staff to also do their bit to entice customer loyalty, it’s simply a good idea to maintain a consistent emphasis on a supportive, responsive environment.
When I first started my own business, I had a plan and followed it. Some things panned out and some not so good. I realized first-hand that a plan is not set in stone. Today, a long-term plan may be measured in months. But you still need a plan for success.
Thanks for reading.
Mike Deuerling aka, Marketing Doc