Keep the Shiny Side Up
Whatever your business, you need to be glancing at the road ahead. Any driver knows that you focus well down the road to keep the vehicle running smoothly between the lines, and it’s not so different when you’re steering a business best impact driver . However, it’s also important to glance periodically at the speedometer, the gas gauge, and even the rear-view mirror to keep your trip safe and on track.
The marketing fundamentals that you investigated when you began your company may have shifted, and failure to check these changing conditions can really throw a wrench into your business growth.
Have Your Demographics Shifted?
If you began your business five years ago, your customers are, on average, a little older than when you started. The character of the neighborhoods you sell in may have changed. The organizations you sell to may be wealthier (or poorer). Be sure you still know exactly who your target market is, and most importantly, what problem(s) you are solving for them.
Why Are Your Current Customers Purchasing?
Very few of your clients buy from you because your product or service is great. That’s a hard fact we all tend to forget, at times. If your products and services were not great, they probably wouldn’t buy, but the decision that triggers the purchase is never about us, it’s always about them. What is the problem or need that is driving your current customers to purchase, today? Has it changed? Is it evolving?
What New Products are You Marketing?
If the challenges, the issues, and the pain that impacts your customers has evolved or changed, have your new products been positioned to address those needs? Are you consistently conscious of the huge value of a current customer, compared to the cost of having to go out and find a new one to sell to? Your long-term customers who trust you want to buy more, if you can offer them something that fits their needs. If you don’t have what they need, perhaps a potential partner organization that you trust does.
Does Your Product Line Need Adjustment?
Is there anything you sell that no longer serves your customer’s needs? Is there anything that is outdated, or would benefit significantly from an update? Sometimes the opportunity to sell an upgrade or new revision is easy to overlook. Can you make an existing product richer and offer your customers a more fulfilling experience through purchasing an upgrade?
What Media Does Your Marketing Primarily Depend On?
Now that you’ve reviewed and updated your demographics and product line, it’s time to look at your marketing. When you asked yourself why your current customers are purchasing today, you might have found insights that could significantly improve your marketing materials. Perhaps you need to address the media channels you use. Should you be offering an eBook or case study through your website, even if you’ve never done it before? Have you considered the enormous search engine benefits that come from posting on a corporate blog?
You Don’t Have to Drive Alone
If you’re aware of the benefits of blogging, or using Twitter, but just can’t find the time, find a reliable partner who can help develop your web presence and social media. Get your blog set up, or contract regular high-quality original posts on your existing blog, in your “voice”, for as long as necessary. If you can make the time to write some yourself, pass the rough drafts to a VA (virtual assistant) that will proofread and put up your posts for you. When you only have the time to dash off a few quick ideas, make sure you have someone who can edit or rewrite them. Make sure you get some articles on the web that link back to your website, too. For a fraction of the cost of hiring a Communications team, you can have the benefits of improving your image every week.
Consistently providing quality useful content to build your company’s web presence offers huge benefits:
- Your customers come back more often, because there’s good new stuff on your site for them, and that gives you the opportunity to sell more by constantly exposing them to your products.
- You get new customers because your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is improved hugely due to what’s called “organic ranking”, which means that good sites with regularly-added quality content rate higher on Google and other search engines.
- You (or your company) are more trusted, and more of an expert, with each quality post, article, comment or tweet posted. When you communicate regularly through the web, you’re seen as responsive, trustworthy and authoritative. That’s exactly how you want your customers to look at you when they’re making a buying decision.