Energize Your Marketing with These Changes
Growing your business is like nurturing a garden; it needs constant care. Sometimes that means changing up the routine and fine-tuning the approach. Here are several business fresheners that should be part of your marketing plan for this year and beyond, if you seriously want to accelerate your progress.
It’s All About Relationships
Establishing a personal connection with your customer isn’t just about good service anymore. It goes much deeper than that. You have to proactively seek out ways to keep your customer involved. In retail, that might mean creating free business memberships, like those at Starbucks for example, where you offer private coupons and offers almost daily to establish familiarity and reasons for customers to visit. On a business-to-business level, it could amount to something like an ongoing email campaign with priority discounts, special inventory deals or additional delivery options. In other words, don’t wait for the customer to come to you; establish a path where you go to them.
Mobile-ize Your Business
In today’s marketing world, more consumers search for goods and services through mobile than on desktops. So when your mobile site is not optimized, Google penalizes you for your tardiness in evolving. And this goes a long way. A lower position in search engines means fewer people will see you. Less they see you, less familiar they become with you. Less familiarity you induce, less authority you will have in eyes of your customers. And with less authority comes more friction in buying.
Yes, and there are shortcuts too. If your products don't appear online, how can you expect your customer to buy them when they cannot find them?
If you haven’t upgraded your mobile website with the latest SEO best practices, now is the time to start. You are losing customers every day that you delay.
Mobilizing, following best SEO practises often focuses on user experience, being useful, providing solid understanding to users what is what and how does it work, being explanatory and clear and be blazing fast. Lacking in any of these areas will result from users simply clicking away to other providers who will meet standards you don't.
Create an Experience
No longer can you build your case with just the facts. A cold recitation of your company’s features and capabilities will be a yawner to today’s customer. You must put your message into a form that makes your audience feel you are changing their life for the better. Whether you are selling trinkets from a storefront, offering B2B services to a wholesaler or creating the need for an online product through email, you must find a way to give your customer a better overall experience, from beginning to end. This involves all the components of your business, from pre-sale service, to purchase, follow-up and, ultimately, delivery. Every aspect of the transaction must resonate with the buyer.
Automate your processes, make them smooth, make communication with your business seamless by integrating call functions where you can, by having integrated Skype, Slack, Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger right to your phone so you are always ready to answer your client's questions, so you are always ready to strike true to the centre of your customer's happiness.
Make your customer the center of the universe.
Content is Your Friend
One of the essentials of modern-day marketing is to create a message that is not only multi-purpose but also multi-tasking. That means combining the written word with video, infographics and more, then delivering it across multiple platforms. If you think you can get by with a standardized sales message, a blog post and a few backlinks, think again.
But why? You hear this everywhere, so everyone else is surely already doing that, no?
Well, no. You would be surprised how often it's all the same repetitive copied over content from one business to another, without a smirk of uniqueness, and often missing a lot of important information.
Surely you have the experience as well, buying a new screen, you have a favourite, and no matter how many stores you check, you can't find the working frequency, yet every single store repeats exactly same 5 parameters of the screen?
Here is where a useful video embedded from YouTube (doesn't have to be yours) with real use of the screen, with someone unboxing, assembling and using the monitor will do magic to your sales. People will want to know more, and often are willing to pay more to the provider who proves to know about the product, therefore it is more likely in case something happens will be able to help you, or will be able to answer your questions without making you wait a month and then don't answer anyway.
Test and Re-Test
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, testing your product and your marketing model will always be important. Now, however, you must make those tests as comprehensive as possible: studying your analytics, adjusting your marketing campaign, monitoring customer feedback, reviewing your demographics and tweaking your creative concepts. Once you have tested multiple times, don’t be afraid to make changes accordingly. At least you’ll have a roadmap for the new directions you take.
One of a common way to test your marketing and products is via A/B testing. This way you may get results relative to other settings and not only against blank.
A/B testing is a user experience research methodology. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes application of statistical hypothesis testing or two-sample hypothesis testing as used in the field of statistics.
In other words, you create two scenarios and see to which people behave better and why. It is advised to do minor changes, and keep testing element by element so you remove variability from your tests. Variability is an enemy of reliability.
Two scenarios might be:
- The door of your store opening inside
- The door of your store opening outside
- Button to call you on your website is red
- Button to call you on your website is blue
- There is a welcome message to customers entering the store
- There a goodbye message to customers leaving the store
The important point of AB testing is that you implement both different elements at once, and then compare results of them both.
Keep It Consistent
Consistency is key! And this works everywhere, from retail to websites, to software services, to bread baking.
Though this tip might seem to run counter to the idea of making adjustments, it really doesn’t. You can change the bathwater without remodelling the bathroom. In other words, continue moving ahead with the business tools that work, to keep your foundation sound…things like maintaining a presence on social media, sending out regular correspondences to customers, keeping your blogs on a schedule and building your established brand. People need to know that they can trust you to be there when they need you, and the best way to do that is with consistency.
Consistency prepares your customers and sets their expectations, removes mental friction and helps smooth whole process for both customer and supplier.
A good example of this might be that you try to call your supplier for the new item you run low in stock, and you realize call won't go through. You try everything, and nothing works. From all the frustration you get into the car and drive to your supplier, where their office manager explains to you that there was a rotation of phone numbers to fit departments better, so xxx 652 you were trying to call now doesn't exist, because now it is 851 at the end.
Yes, they had information on their websites all along, but you didn't notice and wasted half of the day getting through this minor inconvenience, definitely ruining your experience with your supplier.
Stay on Top of Your Books
You might think it goes without saying that successful businesses collect for their services. But you’d be surprised at how many companies work so hard at sales that they forget one of the most critical components of all – their bookkeeping. Whether you are using a value-added full-service cloud accounting software package like ZarMoney or maintaining your financial records through a contracted accounting firm or individual, you must keep all the numbers in good working order. Without a quality accounting solution, everything else is moot.
Stop, review…re-calibrate. If you’re running your own business, you’ve obviously made a serious long-term commitment. You can improve your odds of success if you’re willing to make the little changes that can give you a competitive boost.
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