Has your business hit a plateau? Are you wracking your brains to figure out innovative ways to attract and keep customers? Using today’s modern marketing strategies, you can infuse your retail or service business with new life. (To view full Infographic – Click Here )
Answer These Questions Before Starting Your Marketing Program
Before you set off on any new endeavor, it makes sense to know exactly why you are contemplating making the change, what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them. By answering the questions below, you can chart a course that is straight and true.
- What are your goals? Is making money your primary motivator? If not, perhaps you have your sights set on bringing more customers to your retail store or getting the word out about your unique offerings. Whatever your goals may be, today’s marketing solutions can help.
- Who is your target audience? If you don’t have a precise idea of who you want to talk to, it will be more difficult to get just the right message out to your existing and potential customers. Do you want to improve loyalty with customers who have already visited your business? Is there an age group you are looking to attract? Or do you wish to lure people away from one of your rivals? Whatever your answer, you can customize a marketing solution that will help you attain your goal.
- What is your budget? Like it or not, added customers and exposure can come at a price. Before you make any moves, calculate what percentage of your budget you want to spend on this pursuit. Ask yourself the approximate value that you would place on a new customer. You can stretch a little but not so much that you start tapping into the funds that keep the foundation of your company strong.
- Where do you plan to spend your budget? There are numerous vehicles that you can use to market yourself. They range from the old-school (printed advertisements, fliers, etc.) to newer tactics such as social media, email blasts and GPS-based mobile messages. If these options overwhelm you or if your time is already stretched to the max, consider hiring a marketing company to help. Just be warned that this will be yet another expense you need to incorporate into your budget.
Marketing Examples By Industry
The type of business you run can determine the strategies that can be best employed to help you accomplish your goals. Think about the approach and customer base of your company to determine your best options.
- Restaurants. When you own an eatery, you want to attract local customers who work or live near your establishment. In addition, you can’t afford to miss out on out-of-town visitors or the occasional walk-in. After all, you never know who will become one of your regulars or who will pass on a glowing report to friends and family. To maximize your exposure, advertise lunch specials around your local area to attract nearby traffic. Advertise at hotels, and create a buzz around town with special events.
- Salons. If you own a hair salon or day spa, your clients can be one of your most lucrative advertising vehicles. A picture is worth a thousand words, so get customers’ permission and show off their trendy styles via social media or in your shop window. When you go to a trade show, use it not only as a way to learn the latest techniques but also as a vehicle to spread the word about your establishment by leaving business cards and fliers. Finally, don’t be afraid to drop off your cards and fliers in small stores and boutiques.
- Retail stores. Competition in your industry is fierce. Stay on top by keeping in touch with existing customers through newsletters and email blasts. Everyone loves incentives, so reward them with discount cards and special offers. Keep your store window fresh and interesting, changing it at least seasonally to reflect new trends. Finally, don’t forget the tried-and-true options of print and electronic media such as local papers, television and radio.
What Is A Loyalty Program?
Most of us are familiar with the concept of loyalty programs. They are designed to provide incentives for existing customers to continue to buy products or use services from a particular business. Sometimes they can also motivate these valuable buyers to refer their friends. As a business owner, loyalty programs can truly be a gold mine, providing a growing list of people who have already “bought in” to what you do and are willing to keep coming back. A good loyalty program helps you by giving you the potential to make a dynamic database of “warm” customers who are eager to hear about your latest discounts and promotions. At the same time, you can use your loyalty program to help these buyers feel like integral members of a special club and essential to your success. With loyalty programs, everybody wins.
Examples of Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs come in many different shapes and sizes. You can punch a card every time the customer visits your store, with the offer of a free item or service after so many punches. To make top-tier buyers feel extra special, offer them a “members only” program with exclusive discounts and promotions. To encourage customers to give you their email addresses, offer them unique email-only promotions.