1. Don’t spread yourself too thinly. If you’ve got a limited marketing budget, it pays to focus on a couple of specific markets and then to ripple your efforts outwards instead of trying to target everyone at once.
2. Segment your markets carefully – don’t rely on age or income as determinants. Life stage, life style and personal values are more reliable but remember people change their needs depending on who they’re with & even the time of day.
3. Be sure of who you are. What do you stand for? What do you want people to think about you? Make sure that image is reflected everywhere you can – on your stationery, in your brochure, on your website, on signage, staff uniforms or badges etc. Carefully choosing (and sticking to) the right colours and typefaces can help you convey the right message.
4. Be clear about what you do and do it well. Have a clear and focused identity. For example, you could be the place to take a family, or for stressed city dwellers to relax, or for active breaks.
5. Use a strong emotional appeal. How can you do one of these: make people happier, healthier, more beautiful, more loved, or richer?
6. Don’t assume budgets are the barrier. They sometimes are, but not always. Remember sometimes people don’t buy because they’re suspicious, especially if the price seems unusually low, or sometimes they just need to know more about what you're offering.
7. Often people don’t buy because they don’t understand what you’re offering, or more importantly, don't see what the benefits are to them.
8. Follow through. A customer research survey found that that 19% of businesses didn’t respond to email enquiries. 25% found that phones were engaged or went to voicemail. Don’t spend money on marketing and then waste it with bad follow up service.
9. Do your customers have a problem you can solve? Are they tired, stressed, in need of a change? Find a problem, offer a solution and you’re on to a winner.
10. Write in language real people understand. Get rid of the jargon. Make your sentences shorter. Add a touch of humour. Sound like you’re a human!
11. Avoid over-used expressions. How “unique” is unique? What does “something for everyone” actually mean?
12. Don’t forget the cheapest, most effective marketing tool – word of mouth. Build a buzz by doing something that’s talked about and exceeding customer expectations.
13. What is memorable about your business and what you offer? What do you do to help people remember you and recommend you to others?
14. We say first impressions count, but last impressions last. What do you do to create a positive lasting impression that encourages recommendations?
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Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs