Let’s face it, the business world is tough, testing, frustrating, exhausting, and sometimes just downright ruthless. It’s also, however, potentially rewarding and incredibly lucrative, providing, of course that you’re committed to your business and are determined to do everything that you can in order to ensure that it succeeds. Ever since the worldwide recession which took place a few years ago, businesses big and small have suffered, and things are only just now beginning to show signs of recovery. These days it seems as if for every business that goes under, there are four more waiting in the shadows that jump in and fill the void that the last company left behind.
To help ensure that your business survives, you need individual plans and strategies in place, including marketing-based ones. Many business owners tend to overlook marketing in terms of importance, but in reality, marketing can be vital for the success of any business. Here’s a look at four steps for formulating an effective marketing strategy.
Position your service or your product correctly
One problem that many businesses and many business owners tend to encounter is the fact that they’re simply not quite sure whom their products or services should be targeting. When it comes to marketing, try to remember the four P’s; they are, price, product, promotion, and place. The basic premise behind this is that if you’re able to put the right product in front of the right people, for the right price, you stand a much higher chance of succeeding. Say you sell cooking utensils for instance, would you be better aiming your products at young children, or grown adults and chefs? The answer’s obvious right?
Listen to your customers and potential customers
The next step is taking an up close and personal look at how your customers and potential customers are reacting to the products or services that you’re offering. Why not carry out simple email marketing surveys if the customer is willing, ask them for their feedback on what they like and don’t like, and what they’d like to see in the future perhaps? Never think that you know best, and keep true to the understanding that the customer is always right.
Make use of social media
Social media has blown up over the last decade or so, and it is now basically a regular part of everyday life. Like it or not, this fact won’t be changing anytime soon. For that reason, make sure you create numerous social media-based business accounts and get as many followers and friends as possible. Some businesses think that a website alone is enough to succeed, but that is not the case. Once you have your accounts, use them for marketing purposes, tell people who you are, what you do, which services and products you provide, and how much you charge. The great thing about social media is that it is free for the most part, offering you a free method of marketing and advertising.
One of the most effective marketing strategies that businesses can use nowadays, is to instil feelings of trust into their customers by not only allowing them to leave reviews about your business, but by also publishing these reports for all of the world to see. Be open and honest, and if you do receive any negative reviews, don’t be afraid to publish them. Make sure you respond to any criticism by apologizing and ensuring the customer that the problem will never happen again. If you ensure your business is as productive as it can be, your customers should be happy and satisfied meaning the reviews you do receive will be mostly positive. Use especially positive reviews with online marketing campaigns, adding a few examples on web pages or social media accounts perhaps. Word of mouth is an incredibly effective marketing tool, so make sure you remember this. Get recommendations on LinkedIn or re-tweet especially flattering and positive reviews and feedback faithfully.