Creating Unique Products and Services: Differentiate Yourself
Many businesses sound and look the same. In order for people to take notice of you or your business, and what you have to offer, you need one of two things: unique products and unique services. And very often uniqueness is created by the business owner.
Strategic Branding & Creating Brand Awareness
Your brand is your product or company name and what it stands for. It is not only your logo as some people mistakenly believe. Your brand is a living organism, something that changes over time and must be nurtured.
Identifying Your Target Market One of the most critical things a business person needs to do is decide who they want to sell their products or services to. In marketing terms that is known as The Target Audience.
Reaching Customers Effectively: Prospect Lists One way to reach your customer effectively and directly, without facing any competition, is to buy a list. This is often an important tactic since it allows you to communicate “in secret” with your target customers.
Strategic Competitive Intelligence Your competitors can be your best source of information. Use them to your advantage. Don’t simply copy them, but actually learn from them and try to identify things that you can do that can differentiate you from your competition.
Understanding Your Market and Customer Behavior
How well do you really know your market or your potential customer? Do you really know what they want to buy? How much they are willing to spend? When do they shop? How do they shop? Research your market and your potential customers and become empowered with valuable information before you take the next step.
Be a Marketing Guerilla
Marketing does not always have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many marketing tactics that don’t cost much at all. Things like networking, barter, email signatures, alliances, free samples or street giveaways,to name a few. These are just a handful of ideas that be termed Guerilla Marketing.
Building Business Alliances
Many business people often feel like they are alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Building alliances with businesses that are similar to yours has a number of advantages. If growth is one of your goals and you are limited by the hours you work, alliances are a great way to grow.
Volunteer Your Business: Community Involvement
Do you have a business that is focused on your local community? Then get involved with that community by volunteering your time or becoming a member of a community organization. Profiling yourself through such community activities and events will ensure that people get to know you and your services.
The Importance of Case Studies and Customer Testimonials
Who are the best and most respected promoters of your business – well obviously, it’s your happy customers. So why not take advantage of this tremendous goodwill by documenting case studies and testimonials that your customers can endorse. Your customers sell you better than you can ever do.
Digital Marketing Techniques: Electronic Brochures
The world we live in is a very different place to what it was 3 or 5 years ago. The same reality applies to how we all do business, and it is especially true with how we market our businesses. The single biggest change is how the world has become digital, with marketing messages moving from print to electronic formats such as the internet, the cell phone, email and electronic files like pdf’s.
Product and Service Warrantees: Sales Tools that Bolster Confidence
When you buy a new product from a store, doesn’t it make the purchase easier when they salesperson says to you: “and the product is warranteed by us for 3 years”? Very often, just the use of the words warranty or guarantee helps to reinforce the product or service that is being sold, even if the warranty is never used.
The Marketing Power of ‘Free’
Give away something for free. Free is the strongest word in marketing provided that it is used wisely. Giving away something of value is always welcomed by a prospective buyer. They have the opportunity to experience what you are selling without having to make a firm commitment.
On-Hold Marketing: Using Dead Time Effectively
Have you ever got through to a business and you’re put on hold for the longest time? Doesn’t that music (or maybe the radio station they are connected to) just drive you crazy? From a business owners perspective, that really represents dead time, and you should ask yourself – why can’t I be promoting my products or services to this totally captured audience?
Business Referral Programs: Building an Informal Sales Force
Do you feel all alone in trying to sell in your business? Have you thought about developing a referral program that you can introduce to a wide range of people with the goal of them introducing prospects to you in return for a referral fee? While this is not the same as commission selling, it is a useful tool for enlarging your informal sales force.
Voicemail Marketing: Professional Voice Mail Messages
One of the best marketing tools that you don’t have to pay to use is voicemail. Many people are very busy and often can’t take a phone call. They may even be screening their calls so that they only take calls they are expecting or looking forward to receiving. Don’t be discouraged by that. Rather, see it as an opportunity to communicate with that person in a really focused and direct manner.
Problems with Do It Yourself Marketing
For many smaller businesses, marketing is often a Do It Yourself project. That often works at a basic level when it is appropriate, and when you have the time and the required skills. When marketing needs become more complex, Do It Yourself starts to become problematic and could become negative marketing for you.
Customer Referrals: Asking Satisfied Customers for Referrals
Who are the best promoters of your business? Definitely not the business owners, nor the people that work in the business. Quite simply, it’s your best and most loyal customers. They have the most intimate, and relevant, knowledge about your business and why it is meaningful to customers, like themselves. So ask them for the referrals – chances are you will be pleasantly surprised.
Diversifying Marketing Strategies: Getting Serious about Marketing
Basic marketing will only get you started. Your marketing should differentiate you from your competitors, so always look to take that next marketing step. It could be the next critical step you take to your success. Consider things like personal marketing, internet marketing, telephone marketing…
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