For many businesspeople, uncertainty can be so unnerving it leads to fear. But fear can be healthy if used as a motivator to act.
And act you should. Especially, in marketing.
Here are the nine best practices:
Your top priorities every morning
Your No. 1 task every morning is to manage the entrepreneurial drama – the highs and lows – synonymous with a roller-coaster ride. That means implementing the five morning habits of winning entrepreneurs.
This will also help you put out any major fires or to avoid complacency. Even when revenue is good and you’re really busy, don’t get complacent.
Even if your sales are great today, there will come a time when sales will crawl to a halt unless you take precautionary measures to keep your sales pipeline full.
So, your No. 2 task every morning is to stay focused on marketing. Be relentless – attack, attack and attack. This will keep your pipeline full for continuous sales.
And for success in a tepid economy, expand your marketing.
Focus on internal issues associated with marketing
Don’t forget your most important asset – your human capital. Maximize employee morale to inspire them to outstanding performance and loyalty to your organization.
Implement inexpensive ways to create a fun, high-performance culture.
For maximum profit, understand your profit drivers and partner with your employees.
Analyze your branding
Evaluate your messaging. You should have five influential value propositions with a three to five-word branding slogan.
Don’t forget a logo. It should effectively tell your story and be simple.
For your identity on the Internet, your logo should also be represented by a favicon which is a must for instant credibility – your logo small enough to be condensed in 16 x 16 pixels for your Internet identity.
For sales success, research what’s working and what isn’t. Start by evaluating your “Brand Personality Appeal.”
Make changes where necessary, including in customer service. Overall, think 1930s for business success. Why? Consumer attitudes have changed.
Strategize your marketing with frequency and value
In messaging, frequency counts with quality. In most cases, the buying decision is reached after the prospect experiences five positive messages.
Avoid trying to be the low-price leader. People who only want to pay the lowest-possible price won’t help you to be profitable, they are the most-difficult to satisfy and they likely to be disloyal.
So target value-conscious customers who will pay for quality.
In addition to the frequency, understand the perceptions of consumers about value – what motivates them to buy from you:
Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge. Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.
Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.
Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”
Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.
Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.
Use a diversified, integrated approach
Whenever possible, remember a single marketing medium should not eat up the entire budget. You should have a marketing mix of public relations – leveraging the news media to brand your business – and paid advertising.
This includes making your social media shine.
And if you have the budget, include trade show marketing.
Have a social conscience
Don’t under-estimate the power of cause-related marketing cause-related marketing because it can get you a double-digit percentage in higher sales.
It also helps to be environmentally conscious, which means you’ll be able to expand your customer base by branding your business as green.
Assess your progress
There are many reasons for the failure of a marketing campaign. Often, it isn’t because of the size of your budget.
If your marketing isn’t working, there are 14 possible reasons.
Enlist the aid of an objective expert who is focused on getting you an ROI. Use the right mediums, which might not be what your gut-instinct tells you about products, pricing and promotion.
Develop Centers of Influence – people who can influence others to buy from you.
So, your ability to sustain strong relationships is gratifying and important for success. To build strong relationships, implement great sales and networking strategies.
Keep focused on winning the gold medal
Many small business owners, especially startups, are too-concerned about the competition. Remember, you’re in a marathon race.
Don’t be obsessive about looking over your shoulder to beat your competitors.
Be defensive – protect your turf
In all sports, strong defenses win championships. Remember how much time and energy it took for you to get your best customers. Be a good steward of your assets to generate profits.
When faced with a choice – whether to chase new business or to take care of lucrative, repeat customers – remember loyalty is usually rewarded and leads to good word-of-mouth advertising.
You can actually invigorate sales with customer retention and referral strategies.
Review your strategies for word-of-mouth advertising and customer service. Stay focused for success.
From the Coach’s Corner, related information:
Want More Business? Build Trust with Consumers…Here’s How — With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you will increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust by using best practices.
Do you need more marketing or sales solutions? From tips for advertising to professional selling skills, you’ll discover hundreds more tips here.
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”