Marketing principles to grow your business (full sample)
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In an increasingly competitive landscape, it's vital that your business stands out. There are several powerful marketing techniques that you can use right now to increase your chances of success and help your business prosper. In this article we explore the importance of building your audience early, increasing trust with your customers, working with complementary businesses and continual improvement.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you know how competitive business can be. Whether you're running a business website or a traditional brick and mortar store, you need to stand out in a very crowded marketplace.
There's so much choice that attracting a customer to your business and encouraging them to buy your products or services is getting increasingly difficult. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take that will help you find your place.
Here are five simple principles that you can put in place right now to help you grow your business:
Start building your audience early.
Increase trust with your customers.
Make your customers your advocates.
Find complementary businesses and work with them.
Remember that you can only improve what you can measure.
We'll cover each of these in more detail.
Start building your audience early
You want to start telling people about your business as early as you can. If you've not opened your business yet, you can involve them in the creation of your products and services as a beta tester and letting them tell you what they think. Help your potential customers to act as co-creators and they'll be happy to provide feedback and ideas. If you have opened your business, you can use product giveaways, discounted services, behind-the-scenes access, and other incentives to encourage and excite your customers.
The more engaged people feel, the more likely they are to want to be involved. If you're an online business, start collecting email addresses and encouraging people to like your social media accounts. If you're a traditional business, give people loyalty cards or find some other way of collecting their details.
Increase trust with your customers by creating a truly remarkable experience
Marketing doesn't stop with getting a customer to your website or into your store; it affects every aspect of your relationship with your customer, from first contact through purchase and beyond. This could include:
Their first impressions of your business and how that's created - This might include the ad copy you use, your SEO description on Google, your product description on the app store or the signage on your shop.
Their experience when they start interacting with your business - This might include browsing your website, looking through your store or using your app.
The purchasing experience as they buy a product or service - This might include how they're treated by your employees or their route through the ecommerce experience on your website.
The after sales experience - This might include how they receive a product or service from you, the customer service experience or how satisfying your products or services are to use.
Think about each of these as a customer would. Put yourself in their position and ask, "How could this be better?" and make those changes.
Make your customers your advocates
Your existing customers can be a great way to attract new business, if you give them the right incentive. This starts by giving them an excellent experience when they first use your business, and you can build on this through good marketing.
Encourage them to introduce your products and services to others by giving them a good reason to do so. This might include a discount on their next purchase, product giveaways, early access to a new service you're developing, the chance to win something or any other benefit that will improve their lives.
Find complementary businesses and work with them
You're going to have competitors, but you're also going to have other businesses that could complement yours. If you're a project management consultancy, you might find another business that produces a fantastic project management app. If you're a garden designer, there might be a great local architecture firm. Get in touch with these businesses and build a relationship with them. Provide introductory products and services to their customers or ask them to recommend you in their newsletter. You can return the favor and build up strong, ongoing partnerships that benefit both businesses.
Remember that you can only improve what you can measure
Look at the statistics, facts and figures behind your business to work out what they are telling you. If you're an online business, look at the analytics for your website. Find out where your visitors are coming from, the pages they are looking at and whether they are buying from you.
If you're running a store, look at how your customers browse through your goods, the types of questions they ask and how easy they can find what they're looking for.
You can run experiments to test all of these areas, and measure the results. You can continually tweak and refine how your customers interact with your business to make every aspect of them finding and buying what they are looking for as effortless and efficient as possible.
It's vital to give yourself every advantage in business. Putting your customers at the center of your marketing strategy, working with complementary businesses and making continual improvements will all help to enhance your business. In a competitive landscape, these simple, effective principles will improve your chances of success and help you prosper.
Content originally written by Paul Maplesden, a freelance writer, and edited by me.