The traditional approach to marketing for many small businesses is to realise they have a cash flow problem, promote themselves like crazy and then relax till the next time they need more business.
The problem with “binge marketing” is that it is all too often reactive and unfocused and yields only limited short term results.
Far more effective is to plan your marketing calendar in advance and think carefully about what you want to market and to whom. Be strategic in your approach so that your customers know what you’re promoting and can easily grasp what it is you’re offering.
The key is to be consistent. Know what you want to say and stay on message across all the platforms you use, so that your marketing has a consistent look and feel.
Just as importantly think about who you are marketing to. The temptation is to chase new customers all the time. But marketing to your existing customers, especially new ones, can be quite effective, as they are open to buying more from you after what should have (hopefully) been a positive experience.
Work out too what is unique about your business and make that central to your marketing campaign. Is your Unique Selling Point (USP) the product you sell, or you? What makes your business one-of-a-kind? Make sure your customers know what that is, and use it consistently whether you’re using webinars, Twitter or word-of-mouth.
The key is, as always, to know what your business does well, and make sure your customers know it too.
In this discussion hosted by Suzi Dafnis (Community Director, Australian Businesswomen’s Network) with guests Valerie Khoo (Managing Director, Sydney Writers’ Centre), and Robert Gerrish (Business coach and consultant, Flying Solo), we talk about the best ways to market your business to new and existing customers.