The point of marketing is to show current customers that you value their business, and to win the attention of potential customers. A business that consistently shows how much it values customers can consistently win customer attention. Here are six areas in which small business marketing can lead you to make decisions that will help your bottom line, and win you new customers.
1. Market Research
You might love the idea of adding 27 flavors of hot sauce to your front-of-house kiosk, but that doesn’t mean your customers will agree. Good market research tells you what your customers want. If you’re thinking of expanding with a new location, increased product lines or service offers, market research can save you from making costly mistakes.
Reach into your existing customer database at random, ask pertinent questions, then analyze results. If you can, find industry-specific research to compare with your own results. It’s no good to discover after writing a check that your customers don’t want the new recliner options you’ve chosen to offer at your furniture warehouse.
2. Consistent Branding
Branding might seem like a lower priority, but it matters for building trust with your customers. Inconsistent branding choices make your potential customers wonder if they can trust you. Consumers do judge on appearances. Trade in that logo designed back in grad school, and consider upgrading to consistent, professional branding, which eases the buy-in process for new customers.
3. Online Presence
Whether your business is selling anything online or not, your customers are shopping online. Today, 80% of consumers do research online before they even come to your store. Having a strategic, well-mainlined online presence helps you get consumer eyes and, ultimately, consumer buys.
The more information you offer online, the easier it is for searching consumers to find you. Customers are online. Come to the customers. Otherwise, they’ll go to the competition.
4. Mobile Marketing
Mobile use is steadily increasing, with once again over 80% of consumers using their mobile devices before they shop or while they browse in your store.
Don’t fight the trend; use it. Optimizing for mobile marketing puts you on the radar. As younger shoppers become more influential, mobile-friendly businesses will be the clear market winners.
5. Curb Appeal
Spruce up the showroom, update the signage, and redo that landscaping. The rise of digital marketing can make it seem brick and mortar locations are less important. But first impressions still matter.
Basic curb appeal can go a long way for brick and mortar businesses.
6. Local Presence
Word-of-mouth marketing is the original way to build a viral campaign.
In an age of decreasing customer loyalty, you can’t depend on being the oldest local biz on the block. Be active in your local community. Participate in community events. Sponsor community organizations. Cater to the local customers. Then talk about it on your website and social media. Your community spirit shows even far-away potential customers that yours is a business that values customers.
Marketing can be an invaluable tool if you know where and how to focus your efforts. Use these areas to maximize your time and achieve real results.