No matter what business you’re in, your customers are your most important asset. A proper marketing strategy will help you attract new customers, compete against direct and indirect competitors and set attainable goals in order to welcome positive results. The key is finding the right method and defining a clear, focused message to educate and influence your customers.
Marketing is not an expense; it's an investment, and it's important to have a clear understanding on where to start investing. Read our latest Q&A on top marketing tips provided by FIT Bodywrap® Senior Marketing Coordinator Skylar Burnworth.
Q: Why is it important to market your business?
A: Before we get into why marketing is important, I think it is imperative we discuss what marketing actually is. While having conversations about marketing over the years I have found that when people talk about “marketing,” often times they are really referring to advertising. This is an extremely common ideology, but actually advertising is just a small piece of the marketing puzzle. To me, marketing is the process of building relationships. It’s about establishing your businesses place in the market and having valuable conversations with your customers. This is why marketing is so important, it tells the story of who you are and what you do.
Q: How can marketing your business help establish brand reputation?
A: Marketing plays an important role in building and maintaining the brand’s reputation. When a company properly markets their business, they get to define who they really are. Without a clear idea of who you are as a business and without proper marketing, you allow the market to define you in its own way. This is not something you want to leave up to chance as your reputation is one of the essential pieces that make up your company’s story. Make sure you are the one telling that story.
Q: Explain how social media can play a role in marketing your business.
A: Social media is becoming one of the most common ways people receive their information today. Therefore, by setting up company social media accounts, it allows you to be easily accessible and deliver richer customer experiences to your customers in a way that is relevant and natural to them. Social media also builds your brand’s reputation and awareness, as it allows you share your company’s position in the market and your expertise about your product or service in a conversational and customer-centric way.
Q: Can marketing your business help attract new customers?
A: Absolutely! By marketing your company, you will be creating brand awareness and getting your voice heard! Marketing drives and creates interest in your product or service, which in turn allows you to acquire new long-term quality clients.
Q: What are ways to market your business at little to no cost?
A: There are many low budget or even no cost marketing initiatives I have seen be extremely successful. A couple examples are local partnerships, customer reviews/testimonials and social media.
Partner up with another local business. By advertising each other’s services, you will attract customers you might not have had the opportunity to work with otherwise. You can offer discounts and promotion to these clients and then convert them into lifetime clients.
In the era of Yelp, Google reviews and the internet in general, testimonials are vital to a business’ success. Asking clients to review their experience with your business is a great marketing initiative that doesn’t cost anything. Positive reviews allow prospective customers see what it is like to do business with you from a third party that often times comes across as extremely reliable, which is great for your business!
Social media is a great way to get in front of your customers, their friends and others in your community in a convenient and low-cost way. It allows your customers to get an inside look into your company and its offerings in a way that is more casual and customer-friendly.
Q: When should you start writing a marketing plan?
A: There is no time better than now. Start developing a plan and start working it. Your marketing plan isn’t ever really “finished”, you will constantly make small changes and tweaks to ensure you are accurately and consistently reaching your target customers. Stay open, stay flexible, but always keep your goal at the forefront of everything you do.
Q:What goes into a marketing plan?
Always start with your goals. Define and put down on paper what you want to accomplish. Do you want to attract new customers? Develop deeper relationships with your existing customers? Launch a new product or service?
Get to know your customers. Developing a KYC or Know Your Customer form will help you gather data about your client that will help in your marketing efforts. Besides the normal Name, Occupation, Age, Gender, you should be asking questions that are relevant to your business. For instance you might want to ask what is their favorite social media platform, how far do they drive to visit your facility everyday or what they do for fun.
Create Magnetic messaging. After asking KYC questions, you will have a better idea of who your best customers are, and then it’s a lot easier to create messages that resonate with them.
Pick your channels. Are you going to use social media, newspapers, text campaigns, e-newsletters, radio, television, etc.? Pick the channels that are the most relevant to your business.
Ready, Set, GO! You’re ready to start having conversations with your customers. Remember who you are, stay true to that. Keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments accordingly. Most importantly, don’t be scared to try something new and creative.