In your marketing program, your aim is to satisfy customer needs and ensure a profitable sales volume. To best accomplish these goals, you need to conduct research to acquire relevant market information, find your precise target customer base and come up with a viable marketing plan. Here are some marketing opportunities to keep in mind when planning your company’s strategy.
In this age of the Internet it is imperative that you have a dynamic company website. Many potential customers rely on the web for information, and your website should meet all their needs. It should be easy to read and browse, not just on computers but also using iPhones, BlackBerries and other devices. Your company’s website should be the core of your branding. It should define your company’s mission, extol the benefits of your products or services and comprehensively catalog and sell everything you offer.
Its logo, design and URL should reflect your company brand. Have a frequently updated blog with comprehensive content that attracts readers searching for expert information in your field. Be sure there are open channels through which potential customers can communicate with you.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest are active and inexpensive places to promote your business. The key to success in social media is interactivity. You need to offer high-quality content on your dedicated sites, and you also need to communicate with those who respond. If you build your online audience with active discussion and expert content, your followers will share it with their followers, opening new links to your sites and increasing discoverability on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
One of the most important keys to successful social media marketing is long-term accessibility. You need to continue to publish high-quality content and be available to communicate with your audience, or you will quickly be forgotten.
Apart from online social media networking, you need to physically network by attending industry events and exhibitions. Though it is sometimes difficult to initiate communication with strangers, face-to-face networking creates relationships that are often more lasting than fleeting web messages. To make the most of your encounters, practice basic courtesies. Put a smile on, even if you are nervous.
Arrive early, as it will be easier to find people to converse with. Do not come on strong with a sales pitch. Do more listening than talking at first, but be ready to succinctly describe your company and its accomplishments when asked. Be passionate about your product or service, and tell inspiring stories of your company’s conception and growth. You are there to make contacts, so be sure to follow up and stay in touch with those you meet.
Asking for referrals from satisfied customers is a great method of market collaboration. Another is to share databases with another company to promote both businesses. Through what is known as a host-beneficiary arrangement, you share advertising with a company that targets similar consumers. For example, you might offer discounts or vouchers at the end of each other’s newsletters or mailings. A further step would be to form a strategic alliance with another company, in which you refer clients to each other. Such referrals provide streams of potential customers who are actively looking for your product or service.
When you plan your company’s marketing strategy, be sure to consider both online and face-to-face opportunities for communication, collaboration and discoverability.