With already a month and half in to the year 2014, small business owners have already started experimenting with their marketing strategies to expand their outreach and woo new customers. Have you started doing the same as well? How well do you think, you’re placed at the moment with your marketing policies? Those of you all who’re still in a prolonged holiday mood, it’s clearly time to up your antics- to look back to the previous year and evaluate mistakes and accomplishments, work on both them, study the most potent marketing predictions of the year and chalk out plans based on the same. If you aren’t doing it yet, know for a fact that your competitors have already started doing the same. In fact, as per the recently released First Annual Small Business Sentiment Survey conducted by Yodle, it was revealed that that 33 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed were concerned about keeping their current customers, while 42 percent expressed concerns relating to finding new customers. If you, too, are faced with similar concerns then here are a few small business marketing tips to aid you.
Leverage Omni-Channel Marketing Possibilities
While 2013 witnessed huge strides in mobile analytics and mobile marketing, today entrepreneurs are clearly required to think beyond mobile apps and responsive web design. There is so much to be explored in terms of cross-device compatibility, leveraging data for bolstering personalization, working on feedback opportunities etc. There are instances when marketers have severely failed to implement programs for the lesser engaged customers. These are clear cases of marketers overestimating customer loyalty. It’s advisable that you devise an omni-channel strategy when it comes to mobile marketing by
- Acknowledging cross-promotions with rewards
- Focussing more on customer benefits
- Implementing regular messaging
Start Working with a More Flexible Budget
Though most of the small business owners are concerned about customer attraction and retention, they allot a small budget for marketing purposes. In fact, there are business owners who have admitted that they spend nothing on marketing! However, this year’s focus should be to identify places where potential customers are going to research more on your business products and make sure that you’re spending sufficiently on the marketing strategies that would bolster your presence in these places. Plan out a practical budget that would allow you to identify new marketing opportunities and experiment on them.
Stop Neglecting Negative Online Reviews
If it was the word-of-mouth publicity that played a key role in purchasing tendencies of customers earlier, today it’s the online reviews, playing a similar role. The statistics substantiate this fact amply. A study conducted by Harvard Business School revealed that even a single star improvement in Yelp ratings can influence business sales in a major way. Therefore it’s essential for you to map out your online response plans accordingly. While a simple tip would be to create a business ambience that keeps your clients satisfied, it’s very important not to get affected by negative reviews as well. Track online responses regularly and try to get in touch with the negative reviewer directly to sort out matter offline, at first.
Take Help of Snippet Messaging
Go a little beyond “only visual marketing” and try to improve your branding efforts and small business marketing plans by means of concise messaging and story-telling.