The Seven Healthy Marketing Habits of Smart BusinessesBy: Snowden McFall
At times of war and with the threats of terrorism, it's easy to go into contraction and worry about your business. Instead, discover what the mostsuccessful companies have done and benefit from their lessons. Here are 7 healthy habits of marketing for smart businesses.
Healthy Marketing Habit # 1 Donít Stop Advertising
The Laboratory of Advertising Performance, a division of McGraw Hill Research, says that those businesses who advertised during a recession consistently saw sales increases. Businesses reported 59% sales increase one year and a cumulative 275 % increase in sales for the next five years for those who continued advertising and promoting during the recession. Sales went up
when advertising frequency increased.
Healthy Marketing Habit # 2 Take Excellent Care of Your Existing Customers
Your steady customers or clients are a gold mine to your business- in more ways than one. They have trusted you and you have invested yourself in relationships with them where there is mutual respect and good business rapport. It is much easier to get business from an existing customer than it is to get a new customer. It costs more money to solicit new business, and the learning cycle takes time and money. Treat your existing customers extremely well, ask them for referrals and then reward them with a dinner for two or some special thank you. Be in touch at least once a month and provide on-going value and service to them.
Healthy Marketing Habit # 3 Do Highly Targeted Direct Mail
When money is tight, targeted direct mail can be very effective, provided it has the following attributes:
Healthy Marketing Habit # 4 Use Publicity and PR
When you have real news about a new product or service or contract, donít keep it to yourself. Write a factual press release and send it to the various business and trade publications in your area. Answer the who, what, why, where and when questions up front, and save the details for the end. Do not advertise and do not write it like an ad; stick to the facts and distribute it on line pasted in the body of an email. Write articles and post them on your website. Sponsor events that are aligned with your values.
Healthy Marketing Habit #5 Utilize the Internet
Use your website as a place to educate the market and draw them in. Post articles on line, have contests, place special bulletins on your website. Develop a monthly ezine or on-line newsletter. Be sure it fits within the body of an email- no wider than 50 characters and be sure it is only a few pages long. Make it short and sweet and give value. Educate people. Become the expert in your industry.
Healthy Marketing Habit # 6 Track the Results of What You Do
Henry Ford said" 50% of my advertising works great- I just donít know which 50%." Track your responses and leads. When new prospects call in, ask how they heard of you. Have a customer intake form for every client. Learn how they found out about you. That will tell you which advertising vehicles to avoid and which to invest in again. Be methodical and disciplined about this. The results will surprise you.
Healthy Marketing Habit # 7 Be Consistent in Your Branding Throughout All Your Advertising
One of the biggest mistakes some businesses make is using different logos, different typefaces and different messages in various advertising vehicles. Donít. Be consistent. Develop your brand identity and uniqueness, your positioning statement and stick with it. Develop a graphic standard that is used everywhere- same color scheme, same typeface, same logo, same look. In order for you to "own a concept in the mind of a consumer" your brand must be memorable and repeatable. You must look and sound the same and be consistent. Otherwise they will forget you and you wonít get their business. MacDonaldsģ has the golden arches for a reason. Coca Colaģ is red for a reason. Be smart and be consistent.
Bonus Tip: Healthy Marketing Habit # 8 Use a Strategic Marketing Plan
The most profitable businesses always have a plan. They know where they want their business to be one, three and five years from now. They know how many clients they will have, how many employees and what kinds of products and services they will offer. They have a plan and a strategy for achieving it. Be sure you do your planning and create a roadmap for your success.
If you apply these healthy marketing habits to your business, regardless of the economy, youíll find yourself thriving when others arenít. Smart business owners know that above all, people come first. Do what you do best, provide excellent service and value, take care of your customers, and your business will do well no matter what is going on in the world.
© Copyright 2004, Snowden McFall, All Rights Reserved
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