Below are this month’s top 5 marketing tips for September 2011 – simple tips to help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing.
1. Be Different – are you different? Are you really different? What sets you apart from other suppliers of your services? Nothing? – then create a point of difference.
In order to get noticed and get heard it is important to be different. It is doesn’t have to be a crazy radical idea but it must be something that sets you apart.
When I ask many companies what their point of difference is quite often the reply is “the quality of their service”. This is fine in maintaining existing clients but it isn’t going to win you any new ones as prospects have not experienced your service yet.
To help you identify how you can be different – look for client pain! What issue can you solve that currently isn’t being serviced in the marketplace?
2. Appeal to all of the senses – We are all individuals and we all absorb information in different ways. Different personalities behave in different ways.
In most personality profiling systems (such as DISC) there are usually four different personality types. In NLP terms you have visual, auditory and kinesthetic individuals.
The chances are your client base and prospect list is a mix of all these types of people. Some will be information based people who want detail, others will be very direct and just want as little detail as possible and see the information presented in an easily digestible format – perhaps in a visual manner.
It is natural, particularly in a very small business, to communicate in the way that you like to be communicated with. This however will alienate the majority of your potential customer base, so avoid this temptation.
Make sure throughout all your communications you are hitting all the senses!
3. Maintain visibility – All businesses operate in different ways – some require a high turnover of small transactions across a wide customer base, whilst others rely on a few large orders from a handful of clients.
With this in mind the purchasing process and sales cycle can vary drastically from minutes to days to weeks to months. Whatever type of business you are in and however long your sales process is, the key element is to maintain visibility – otherwise you will get forgotten.
To do this effectively set up a regular ‘touchpoint’ for your prospects and customers. It ensures you do not get forgotten and maintains a dialogue with your contacts.
For example these marketing tips I post and direct people to are a non-intrusive way for me to keep in contact with my prospects.
Newsletters, seminars, social media and news snippets are also a good way to do this. Remember if you are not in the forefront of your prospect’s mind for the service you provide – your competitor will be!
4. Keep your finger on the pulse – don’t drift into inertia. Quite often I come across businesses who are not tracking how their business is actually performing – they have become oblivious to the current situation.
This usually happens in larger organizations where extracting and managing data becomes more difficult. Your business is an organic entity – it is always changing and moving.
You need to keep a grasp on the financial metrics of your business and where your business is coming from and potential opportunities. This will allow you to spot and respond to any issues much quicker and potentially avoid them before they actually arise.
Don’t become the large juggernaut which is outmaneuvered by much smaller and nimble competitors. If you currently can’t extract the data you need to make decisions – invest in a system which will enable you to do so!
5. Ask your customers! Too many businesses waste thousands of pounds on marketing communications with messages that they think their prospective customers want to hear but have done so on assumption.
Survey your customers, conduct some market research, ask them what drives their purchasing decision – with this information you armed to generate a far greater return on investment.
This one tip could radically change the way you market your business.
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