Is Your Marketing Activity 'Spray and Pray' or 'Electronic Accuracy'?There is no certain formula for success. If there were it would be worth millions and commercial life would become very predictable and boring!
It is important to have targeted marketing to secure and keep new and existing customers with the benefits of minimising selling and conversion costs. As an entrepreneur there are always a 1,001 things to think about. Initial surges in sales need momentum maintained. Growth needs to be planned and made to happen. You shape your own destiny!
There is no certain formula for success. If there were it would be worth millions and commercial life would become very predictable and boring!
DECIDE WHAT NOT TO DO!
Using tired old communication media in the vain hope that as it worked well before it will again is a recipe for disaster but a total switch from traditional media to new electronic ones has no greater probability of success.
STACKING THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOUR
A systematic approach will diminish risk and increase the probability of success in terms of new customers purchasing from you and becoming lifetime customers:
* Your strategic marketing plan is not just to raise finance but it captures the very essence of your enterprise. Your vision, mission, philosophy, strategy, policy, practice and process all joins up and sets you apart from competitors.
* Your technical marketing activity employs market research to identify market sectors, segments and key customers who are most likely to become lifetime customers.
* Your tactical marketing activity determines how you will be noticed and cause your targeted customers to choose you.
* Your sales service and quality assurance confirms they've made the right choice selecting you and, importantly they become unpaid sales ambassadors spreading your reputation and image to others who will become customers, soon.
This approach enables you to identify customers who are most likely to understand, recognise and require what you offer.
The strategic objective of this approach is to become first or preferred choice in the customers' minds. In today's and tomorrow's market place nowhere else counts.
And now the "HOW"
When you have the "what" and "why" of your business in place it is possible to determine the appropriate process to make a "successful connection".
Have a clear picture of your ideal customers. What attributes and characteristics will they have? Subdivide those characteristics into essential, desirable and optional and then consider how best to connect with them.
Where are they? - Geography.
Who are they? - Demography.
How do they think? - Psychography
Allocate time to identify prospects and you'll never be short of business and prospective customers.
THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO SECURE A NEW SALE
Ask your existing customers what they require. They are likely to introduce you to likeminded people with similar values. If you have provided superlative service and high quality products, they recommend you.
Have formal referral systems to ensure your reputation is enhanced and conveyed to new prospects. Consider?
* Asking customers for a new introduction.
* Making your website interactive
* Supplying customers with endorsements from similar clients which they can pass on.
* Emailing interesting articles to your customers so as to cause them to:
- buy more.
- think of new applications for your existing products.
- recommend someone else to you.
* Make it easy for customers to recommend you. If there is something hot and topical a judicious text message to your clients may prompt a response. Make sure you respond rapidly when you receive their reply!
* Provide the "missing ingredient" that makes the difference between you and competitors.
Make it easy for the customer to say "yes". Here are a few current examples: Figleaves.com sells bras via a website, mail order catalogue and phone.
Its USP is a self measuring device to encourage customer confidence in buying through these media. (70% of target customers buy the wrong size bra).
A self measuring device prompts many customers to select figleaves.com rather than traditional outlets.
5pm.co.uk run by Charles Shaw, a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards co-sponsored by The Times, provides an on-line restaurant booking service offering discounts to dine at off-peak times. Customers pick a city and restaurant and click to make a booking.
Students used to stand near train stations in chefs outfits handing out flyers but now links to local newspaper and other websites has led to a deal with lastminute.com to manage restaurant bookings outside London. 5pm.co.uk now has enormous additional potential business.
Shooting Scenes in South East Wales provides multi-media production services across the spectrum of audio-visual communication.
A mailed mini CD and brochure transports the enquirer from traditional forms of communication to the media Shooting Scenes provides to its burgeoning client base.
Roy Packer, the principal of Shooting Scenes is convinced this builds the bridge to clients' requirements, which he then specifies and fulfils. A very successful formula!
Paul Williams of ParaVenture, Abergavenny flew into "a brick wall" when foot and mouth paralysed his business. At the best of times, hang-gliding is weather dependent and there are high levels of frustration in not being able to fulfill customers' bookings.
A solution entitled "SkyFly" can operate for 75% of the year and is an introduction, supplement and substitute to real hang-gliding. Traditional forms of awareness marketing are inappropriate but it is likely that entries on PubNet (a pay as you go internet facility) linked with email, video clips on SkyFly's website with organised parties from local hotels and "experience" gift packages through high street chains will produce the critical mass required to "FLY" again!
USE APPROPRIATE, ACCURATE MEDIA TO MAKE CONNECTIONS
These illustrations confirm there is no one simple process but "if you are to eat an elephant eat it one teaspoonful at a time". Take steps to multiply your messages to target customers without the wastage often attributed to more traditional media.