Whatever your industry or specific business, there’s a universal truth: you need to continue to find ways to grow sales and profitability. In your pursuit of more clients and higher sales, you also need to make the most of your retail advertising and marketing budget. After all, you have a limited amount of time and money to spend, so you need to have confidence that your efforts will pay off in the end.
Here are ten ideas for your marketing toolbox that can help you increase customer loyalty, bring in new customer traffic and help you meet your goals this year:
- Focus on relationships. Every customer that comes through your door or interacts with your business in any way is a potential way to increase your sales goals. Satisfied customers are likely to be repeat customers, and they’re also likely to share their experience with others who could benefit from the types of products or services your business offers. Don’t underestimate the importance of ongoing communications with your customer base. Follow up after sales and consider ways to reward customer loyalty.
- Analyze customer data. What do your best customers have in common with each other? If you can answer that question, you can target your marketing campaigns to attract the type of customers you want.
- Get your brand out to your target audience. When you’re running a marketing campaign, you need your dollars to go as far as possible. An inexpensive and effective way to get your brand, logo and message in front of your target audience is by using branded promotional products such as entrance door mats, in-store displays and counter and bar mats. Using customized logo mats means your brand will be seen by, and reinforced with, everyone who walks through your doors. Custom mats are also a great way to cross-promote your business with other local businesses to help drive sales.
- Develop, and refine, marketing campaigns. As simple as it sounds, the first step toward having a successful marketing campaign is to have a marketing campaign. Don’t be afraid to take the first step by identifying specific goals and brainstorming ways to get there. The goal of a marketing campaign isn’t always just about sales, although at the end of the day, that’s what the outcome should be. A campaign that increases brand awareness, social media interactions or website visits can reap rewards in the long run. Don’t feel locked into your original campaign idea though – it’s OK to tweak it mid-campaign to get what you want out of it. At the end of the campaign, perform a “postmortem” analysis. What worked? What didn’t? Use what you learned to improve the effectiveness of your next marketing campaign.
- Understand what a campaign is. Successful marketing campaigns are usually multi-step affairs over a period of time; the idea is to increase brand awareness and exposure to both existing and potential new customers. A one-time mailing might result in some limited success, but a campaign with different marketing messages and staggered mailings over a period of weeks or months is more likely to help you reap rewards. Understand that there are time and resource commitments involved in running a successful marketing campaign.
- Don’t get locked into paid advertising opportunities. While marketing and advertising often come with a cost, don’t completely ignore activities that won’t cost anything out of pocket. For example, some businesses realize great success from posting flyers on bulletin boards at coffee shops or other gathering places in their communities. For others, professional networking with other related businesses can be mutually rewarding. Still other businesses find that online bulletin board postings can help drive awareness and sales.
- Compete with yourself. Don’t be afraid to try multiple approaches at the same time to find out what is working the best. This may mean using two versions of printed materials, email communications or landing pages for downloaded deliverables. Just be sure to have a process in place to track what ultimately brings customers in, so you know where to focus your energies and resources with your next campaign.
- Don’t ignore public relations. Creating and distributing press releases about new products, new hires or promotions, community involvement or other noteworthy events can help spread awareness of your company in a non-salesy way. While there’s no guarantee that a newspaper, blogger or media outlet will run the story, press releases are relatively easy to draft and many business find it’s a worthwhile use of their time.
- Your employees can be brand ambassadors. In many companies, employee training is limited to education about specific job responsibilities. However, by being deliberate about training employees about your company’s history, mission statement, products and services, you can create a team of brand ambassadors. This is especially true for sales people, but having an informed and engaged non-sales workforce can be just as valuable in driving sales.
- Listen to your customers. While building relationships with customers is important, it’s equally important to listen to what they have to say, and take it to heart. Don’t be afraid to ask your best customers what they really like about your company and it’s products/services, and what could be improved. When you take action to improve your business with your customers’ needs and wants in mind, you’ll both improve loyalty and attract new customers.
- There are no guarantees when it comes to business metrics, but implementing some or all of these ideas will almost certainly increase awareness of your brand and value proposition, helping propel you toward greater success. To learn more about how using customized floor mats can complement your other marketing activities and help your business grow, contact PromoMatting today. We will help you locate an authorized distributor in your area. We only sell to authorized promotional distributors, however with a network of more than 2,500 distributors across the U.S., there’s sure to be one near you.