No matter what industry you're in, and regardless of your company's size, your marketing success is what will make or break the bottom line. You can offer an amazing product or service, but if no one is buying it, your business will fall flat.
The challenge lies in knowing how to best reach your potential clients, and how to clearly communicate to them the benefits of what you have to offer.
The following marketing tips are uncomplicated and universal, and can provide increased visibility and viability for any type of business.
Implement Multiple Strategies Simultaneously
Because there are so many ways of advertising your business, it's difficult to know which will work best without experimenting, especially if your client base spans several demographics. Lots of people will first encounter your company via the web, while others may learn about it by word-of-mouth, and still more will find you through more traditional means, like scanning the yellow pages or browsing classified ads in the morning paper.
The trick is to increase your marketing presence everywhere that you believe potential clients may find you, and document the source of every sale you make. This process will allow you to identify where the majority of your customers are coming from, and which advertising mediums to focus on.
Promote a Solution Instead of a Service
Most people who are buying from you aren't thinking of themselves as spending their hard-earned money on a service or a product. To them, what's being purchased is a solution.
Whether it's a piece of artwork to complete their home decor, expert advice on a travel destination, or a plumbing fix for their leaky faucet, potential clients will look at your business in terms of whether or not it can solve their problem, so it's important to market with this in mind.
The key here is to realize that what you are selling has features, but what your customer cares about are benefits. Help yourself by helping the customer see how your product's features translate into benefits in quantifiable terms.
Establish Your Professional Profile
Whether your company occupies a brick-and-mortar space or not, it's important to note that cyberspace is truly the new marketplace.
Even if a customer has to enter your building before their purchase is completed, the web is where that customer will most likely become educated about the product or service they need, and your company in particular.
Research indicates that today's customer will frequently visit a company's website several times before ever making direct contact. What this means for your business is that its Internet presence should be considered just as important as its physical presence.
There are four main social networks to consider when it comes to establishing yourself online: Google (using Google+), LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.Each site differs significantly, and they can all contribute uniquely to your marketing campaigns.
For best results, you'll want your company to be representedon all of them, but by combining research on your target market with information about where your sales are originating, you can learn to focus on the social networks that provide the most conversions.
Become a Trusted Source
Customers inherently understand that the success of your business is in their hands. You may be the authority on what your company offers, but they are the authority on what they want, and most customers want this dynamic to be represented within each interaction you have with them.
In other words, it's important not to antagonize a potential client by withholding information that could help them make their decision. Instead, be an open book, freely providing everything you know related to the customer's needs.
This can, and should, be done in person, but can also be accomplished by having an information-rich company website, participating in online discussion groups and forums related to your industry, and volunteering to speak at local business gatherings, among other methods.
This part of your marketing strategy will take time, and will require that you follow through with providing an excellent solution to your customer's needs, but as more and more people learn to think of you and your company as a resource, your business will gain trustworthy reputation.
All of these marketing strategies have the potential to do wonders for your business, and all of them require little more than your patience and perseverance. However, at the end of the day, you'll do well to remember the old adage, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
In other words, once you have engaged a potential customer, you should do everything in your power to turn them into a satisfied buyer, whether they purchase right away or in the future.
Every customer you bring in has a marketing cost, and it will be twice as hard to get them back if they leave unhappy. Remember, the more value you provide your clients, the more reward they will bring to your business.