It’s a tough marketplace out there and it’s only going to get tougher. What your company needs is an image to set it apart from everyone else. It’s all very well having good copy and good design, but knowing what to do with it is the key to a successful marketing and promotion campaign. You need to have a consistent image from business card and flyer printing to your web presence, your customers need to know that you’re the company to turn to for their needs. To make sure you’re making the most of your company’s potential, here’s essential tips for promoting your business:
- Have an ethical philosophy. When creating your business plan (which includes marketing and promotion), one of the first things you need to do is create a company philosophy. Consumers more and more are taking notice of their responsibilities when buying and will want to know your company’s stance on issues they care about. Google’s informal corporate slogan of “don’t be evil” has seen it rise to almost becoming synonymous with the Internet. Sorting out a basic philosophy that can dictate where your company heads will inform your marketing strategy, making you a more approachable, personable company than your competitors.
- Advertise for your size. If you’re starting out a new business you’re going to need to start turning profits as soon as possible. Larger corporations can afford to fish for customers and wait for them to bite, but a smaller business will need to offer something special such as an opening day discount or immediate rewards system.
- Cheap or premium? Aiming your advertising at the right people is important. Offering a cheaper version of the product than your competitors currently are is an easy way to target those budget-conscious consumers out there. Alternatively, you can offer premium products. Customers are more than happy to pay more for something than they usually would if the promise of quality is there.
- Use unconventional marketing strategies. Consumers will overlook something if they’ve seen it all before. Find an interesting way of getting your message across by grabbing their attention, such as mail-out postcards or novelty ad placements. The more extreme end of this method is guerrilla advertising: using complex or underground methods of gaining attention for your business.
- Use your words wisely. Simple, unadorned advertising is often the most effective. Ideally, you need to get across your company philosophy, product and location with a glance from the consumer.
- Share costs. If you’re a small business, you may want to consider joining forces with another small business. Joint advertising campaigns are an effective way of pushing the products of two complimentary businesses. They are cheaper for each business, will generate more views of the advertising and will cross pollinate clients between them.
- Loyalty. Taking advantage of your existing customers is a sure fire way to keep them coming back and generating word of mouth. Think about the effectiveness of coffee and bookshop loyalty cards, points systems and special discount days for VIP customers and how these ideas can be applied to your business.