Drive Customers Your Way

By Natasha | May 30, 2008

When starting a small business with a limited marketing budget, how do you possibly compete with the bigger players in the market in terms of promotion?

  1. Tell everyone you have arrived. Get your name out there.  Word of Mouth marketing is the key to getting more and more people to know who you are and what you do.  The more that do, the better.
  2. Contact your local media. Let them know what you are up to.  Be sure to share your skills and knowledge with them.
  3. Get your message heard online. You need a business website, but it needs to be search engine friendly.  Make sure you plan what you want to get from your website - what do you want your customers to do?  Search Engines are the key.  You can be searchable through organic listings to optimise your website or consider buying google keywords or adwords to get customers to find you.  Speak to your web designer for their advice on the best method to suit you.

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Evaluating Advertising Effectiveness

By Natasha | May 16, 2008

When evaluating the potential effectiveness of different advertising, use the following questions:

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Three Tips for Developing an Effective Marketing Plan

By Natasha | April 4, 2008

I came across this Blog by Drew McLellan on effective marketing planning.  An effective marketing plan can keep you focused on your goals and caution you to spend your marketing budget on the wrong things.

So you need a marketing plan, but where do you start?  Here is some advice from Drew McLellan: 

  1. You can be too ambitious. Most small businesses make the mistake of launching too many marketing initiatives when they don’t have the resources to follow through on each one. You’re better off doing fewer things, but doing them frequently and well.
  2. Don’t depend on a single medium. Says McLellan, “No matter how much you believe in word of mouth, direct mail, e-newsletters or an interactive Web site, one of your goals should be delivering key messages through a variety of media.” It isn’t called a marketing mix for nothing. With a more diverse campaign you are likely to increase your reach and your number of impressions.
  3. Remember your core audience. You want to attract new customers, and there’s a natural urge to invest all of your marketing resources in doing just that. But, warns McLellan, it’s a shortsighted strategy. “The two most important audiences are your employees and your current customers,” he says. “Be sure your marketing plan gives them enough attention.” These groups deserve at least half of your time and budget.

Source: Drew’s Marketing Minute. Read the original blog post here.

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Customer Service 101

By Natasha | March 6, 2008

Customers don’t care about your problems. They want a product or service delivered as promised, not an excuse for why it didn’t happen. And be prepared for indifference if your idea of small talk includes personal anecdotes about kids with the flu or a flat tyre on the way to work. Remember, they’re your customers, not your friends.

Customers don’t understand quality. Most customers have no way to measure the quality of the goods/services you provide. All they know is the experience that surrounds the sale. Since we tend to base opinions about quality on the overall experience, don’t neglect to back up your great product with great customer service.

Customers need you to manage their experience. By anticipating what might confuse or concern your customers and mapping out the road ahead you can put them at ease. Put your best and brightest in key positions. These employees will enforce or kill your brand every time they answer the phone or greet a client.  

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Is Your Headline Working for or Against You?

By Natasha | March 2, 2008

Don’t blame media choices for a failed marketing campaign. Deciding that your direct mail or print ads didn’t work can be a costly mistake, for instance, when a more likely explanation is that you chose the wrong message for your audience.

Or perhaps the problem is as simple as a boring, ineffective headline. You might even have forgotten to include one at all! Or perhaps you thought your business name is the headline. Well it’s not.

Here are a few tips to get that headline working for you:

1. Get to the point. Brief, punchy headlines work best
2. Make it active. Energise your headline with vivid, action verbs.
3. Grab the readers’ attention. Use copy that asks a personal, poignant or catchy question.
4. Use visual appeal. Use a white type on a black background as contrast.

Don’t expect the headline to sell for you.  But on the flip side, don’t expect the reader to stop without a show-stopping headline.

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