Do you ever wake up at night in a cold sweat wondering if your best customers left you for your competitor? You’re not alone. Many small businesses find themselves in a state of uncertainty given the economic client and making matters worse, the ability your competitors have with all the various types of marketing tools to influence your best clients to leave you, and give them a shot. Don’t worry. If you are smart, you can use these tools to your advantage too, and poach on their customers to become yours.
Your best customers are being serenaded by your fiercest competitors, both online and by traditional methods, and they are also using the Internet to search for solutions to their problems. With a huge new emphasis on local search marketing, your customers are finding your competitors and may be led away from you.
Hopefully, you are demonstrating your appreciation by continuing to stay in touch with them at various times of the year in order to stay top of mind. In today’s on-line world, you need to have a balance on both the new on-line tools as well as the traditional marketing programs that you have always relied on to keep your business going.
Maybe you don’t need to do any marketing at all, your business continues to grow despite itself. (Boy; my customers wish they were in that boat.) But let’s face it, this is not the norm, nor can you rest on your laurels and think this is okay.
If your business is like most, then you can assume that the trust capital you have developed with your best customers is critically important and should not be taken for granted. Preserving that trust and goodwill comes from delivering superb customer service, innovation in your products and services, an attitude of gratitude and a smart marketing communication system. Your customers need to feel that you value the relationship and go the extra mile to serve them.
Whatever business you are in, now would be the perfect time to acknowledge your customers for their decision to do business with you. At point of sale or in the mail, saying thank you goes a long way. The power of a Thank You note or a Birthday wish cannot be overstated.
Along with the traditional messaging, it has never been easier to speak the language of your customers. The relationship with a new prospect can begin with a geography-based keyword or phrase search, or it can begin with a mailing, an email, a blog post, an article, a tweet, a Facebook ad, a sales call, a trade show or an advertisement.
Beyond the smart use of keywords to attract prospects, your written words must resonate. Good writing leads to strong concise communication. Good communication leads to sales, retention and greater profits over the lifetime value of a customer. A simple way to ensure that you are always top of mind with your customers is to use different types of marketing automation tools to get your messages out in a timely manner.
If you have not yet embraced the power of marketing automation, you are missing out on keeping the conversation with your existing customers relevant.
Is social media distracting you from your core marketing strategies or are you succeeding at integrating it into your overall marketing system? Do not abandon the traditional marketing methods that have succeeded for you to date, but do realize that customer buying processes are changing.
It’s still about creating and communicating a compelling story about your company’s perceived value, and all of your marketing programs need to produce results.
About the Author
Gary Ritkes oversees all Business Development and Marketing at SproutLoud. He has been a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology and is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and a co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS) which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He is a current board member of the local Advertising Federation chapter and has served as a member for other national industry associations including the DMA, AGA, and the CMO council.More Content by Gary Ritkes