Deliver a marketing message that resonates with your target audience and leads to a specific action. Seems simple enough, right? Yet, many small business owners miss the mark. Remember, at its core, a marketing message should speak directly to the audience and explain how your company, product or service has value for them—often as a solution to a problem.
Common mistakes include:
We hear a lot about email marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, social media marketingand so forth. And, yes, those are all good (and necessary), but there’s another form of marketing that often goes unmentioned—and it’s one that comes from the heart: cause marketing. This old, but underused, marketing method can help raise the bar and take your combined efforts to a new level by partnering with a non-profit.
Show current and potential customers what you stand for, what you believe in and what you support to make the world a better place. It matters. A lot. According to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey, 89 percent of customers will switch brands to support a cause they care about.
Build your campaign with these steps:
Over the years, we’ve written a plethora of customer service-based articles. Why? Because regardless of industry, service continues to be a small business owner’s secret weapon. A recent Manta online consumer poll found that quality products and services and customer service are the two key factors influencing repeat purchases.
Here are some simple tweaks to help maintain and improve customer service:
Hiring: Make service aptitude part of the job description for all customer-facing jobs. If it’s clear from the get-go, you’re more likely to hire service-minded gems.
Training: Define your version of good customer service, and provide tangible minimum and maximum guidelines with clear expectations.
Consistency: Review protocol and standards for in-person and phone interactions, and across all platforms.
Customer feedback: Your customers really do know best, so ask them on a regular basis how their experience can be improved. Simple online forms or a quick email poll can provide the little nugget needed for impactful modification.
And as you integrate new technology to streamline and improve efficiency, always step back to see the possible effects on service. The reality is, as a small business, your ability to compete with the big guys is limited. Don’t mess with a proven winner. (Manta.com)
Good marketing is more than analyzing data, A/B testing and targeting the perfect audience. Now, don’t misunderstand, all of those things are important. But the one thing that shouldn’t get lost, yet often does, is the human connection. Not only is it the preeminent thing that gets us through life, but it can also boost business.
So, set the human component to maximum when you create content. Here’s how:
Get your story straight. You know your story—tell it. Share your history, your goals and your values. Offering up details about you and your business legitimizes your company and builds trust.
Be a chatterbox. Whether it’s in person, over the phone, via email or on social media, make your mark. Always be friendly—engage customers and make them feel valued.
Tap into empathy. Understanding customers’ struggles puts you on the same level, seeing eye-to-eye, and raises you up from business owner to someone who really understands and cares. That alone helps create loyalty.
Remember, the days of hard-nosed selling and pushy preaching are like faded advertisements on dilapidated brick buildings. Let bygone marketing rest in peace and bring your marketing into the human realm. (Manta.com)
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.