but suddenly, a recognized voice awakened the dreamer by another team member saying, “we need to finish our marketing strategy today!”
Ah yes, the voice shattered your dream for the moment, but it’s time to keep your company known to the many prospects and customers who need your product and service. The operative word is need. Capturing more customers is a company goal all employees should always strive for, but lately, it’s been easier said than done.
In the past 35 years of our company, as a marketing and sales professionals, the phrase starting “we need better…” advertising, marketing, more sales people, and so forth, still can hold back the growth of a small business today.
For example, if a marketing lead has a question from a recent promo, and a team member answered the question, but failed to follow-up, an opportunity was missed to learn more about them.
As customers change, you need to develop a program that will help your company record such change. Our advocacy of using a customer-centric marketing strategy is something I learned in sales which is still critical today.
“Everything marketing starts and ends with a customer - cater to them - listen to them – and react to them. The results are amazing!”
It’s the role of the business owner or the chief marketing employee responsibility to advocate the voice of the customer. They must look closer and learn customer insights that lead toward company business. Unless the owner or marketing person takes this role seriously, it’s almost impossible to be customer-centric.
Stop and think about the block quote above – “Everything marketing starts and ends with a customer.” Place a customer in your shoes.
- How would you decide to purchase a product or service?
- Is the product comparable in pricing?
- Was it price sensitive?
- Did it come in different colors?
- How was the service?
- After your purchase what did you think about the customer service and support?
- What was your most important reason to buy our product and our service?
If you email your customer’s and ask them what they think about your service or product, their answers will probably show you are already doing a form of customer-centric marketing. In fact, it’s the one marketing strategy that pinpoints reasons on how to retain and acquire new customers.
However, many people that work in management today, feel they know what customers want.
“We know what customers want from our product, just find us more customers to grow our business.”
The Key to A Successful Small Business.
The one tool you need to make your direct-2-customer voyage, for selling more and finding active customers, is their preferred channel of communication.
For example, direct marketing and direct response professionals use their skill to get readers to respond to the offers and nudge recipients to make a purchase. They look at all marketing data to see what is working and what needs help.
If your company does not track and analyze your marketing data, the time to learn is now. Knowing which channels customers are using to communicate can make a big difference in your client acquisition project.
By understanding marketing data and learning how to interpret it, will eliminate mistakes.
- never misspell a name when using personalization,
- presenting a landscaping offered to someone that lives in a condo or assisted living facility,
- ignoring customer privacy regulations to reach more people.
Major channels of direct and customer-centric marketing.
As the line between on and offline marketing keeps getting blurrier, it’s more important than ever to have a strong multichannel strategy. Look at the customer-centric illustration above. The tactics in the outer circle, how to reach more contacts, depends on customer needs. Collected data is recorded in a customer contact management or CRM. Combined, with using multi-channel is one way to start learning more about your contacts.
Never under-estimate the value of a list in your CCM or CRM for any mailing and marketing assignment. However, don’t wait until the last minute to update your data. In fact, data updates should be a daily function.
A small biz marketing plan of customer-centric and direct marketing strategies includes the following tactics;
- data must be recorded,
- and updated in a CCM, CRM or a customized database.
Great data management eliminates advertising that doesn’t work. Understanding and knowing what your customers prefer, whether there is a desired communication channel, a segmented marketing profile, relevant copy and a stay “in touch frequency.” All are critical keys to successful direct marketing, direct mail, multi-channel and customer-centric strategies.
There are two additional posts, Pro’spec’ta’tion, learning a successful client acquisition program and more info what should be in your CRM or CMS
Learn what to add to your present system, CMS. Or, a few ideas to get your started.
Need any help? Just post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Mike Deuerling, aka MarketingDoc
Marketing Communications Group, Inc.