Customer service has always been an important aspect of any company; and it always will be; good customer service creates good PR which creates free marketing from the source which of course is the customer, and this type of marketing is precious because it can only be given not bought. The same of course is true of the opposite; bad customer service creates bad PR which creates what I call negative marketing. Social Media has expanded on this in a substantial way on both sides of the customer service spectrum. Continue reading
I have heard companies complain about the cost of target marketing and the question has come up more than once as to whether it is really necessary. Those holding the checkbooks would most likely say the answer is dependent on the cost; but that is a bad way to decide how to market. Sure everyone has a budget, but if you are looking at your budget strictly from cost you are only considering the front end, and you are most likely losing money, even if you don’t know it.
Let’s break this down in a simple way; let’s say your product or service is for homeowners, and that it does not apply to those that do not own a home. You can do an email campaign, or a direct mail campaign, or any other type of direct marketing fairly inexpensively if you do not target, so in many business owners minds, this is cheaper. But I am here to tell you, it’s not cheaper; sure you may have made a profit meaning you brought in more than you spent, but I say you lost money. Here’s why; according to the U.S. Census 65% of the adult population in the U.S. own a home, and that’s your customer right? The problem is by not targeting you are adverting not just to those that own homes but to the 35% that do not own homes as well. What does that mean? It that no matter what you’re sales end up being, whatever you spent, 35% of it was wasted.
Had you target marketed your front end cost would have been higher, however instead of reaching only a portion of your market you would have reached one hundred percent of your market, meaning your sales would most likely increase and your back end profit would outweigh your front end sales. Now there are products that do not need target marketing because they apply to the population in general, but that is exception rather than the rule. Most products or services have a specific target or targets which will naturally increase the level of sales. Don’t take my word for it; research target marketing and see what you find.
Linked-in is a major social media for professionals, that offers opportunities to find other professionals and get introductions, write your own personal profile, join relevant groups and get the latest industry news and comments, and provides a platform for your company profile. For those with limited experience of using social media or linked-in here’s a couple of recent useful articles to help direct your activity. Continue reading
A couple of months ago I had a business meeting with someone that was trying to sell me on a project; I met them at a restaurant that they picked. They pulled up in an old Toyota that was badly in need of a wash, and the bumper was dented and had paint marks all over it. Does this matter? I think that it does. Everything about you matters when it comes to business; from the way you dress to the car you are driving. Continue reading
In the spirit of sharing at this time of the year, let me direct you to a couple of quick hints and tips which may help in making social media work for you.
Four social media wins from the UK and US, plus the lessons you can learn, highlights ideas that range from; Offer something of value, show people behind the scenes, offer a deal, and show people what your business does. Not only are these things any business can do, but they all make perfect business sense and can be part and parcel of your marketing/sales activity. A lot of social media success stories tend to be from large companies so it’s nice to be able to share some ideas from the small business sector. Even more appealing are that these ideas can be used in your own business, and can be implemented without a huge marketing budget. Continue reading