What does “marketing” mean to you? What does “Sales” mean to you? Some of us define the two words in a similar way but in reality they are different.
Regardless of what type of business you run, Sales is about cash today, money in your pocket, the proof of your competing in the market place and the value of your product.
When your sales rise there are only a couple of reasons 1) Existing customers are buying more or 2) New customers are starting to buy from you. For you and your business either way this is Good news…Sales are Good!
However, when Sales are falling the opposite is true… 1) Former customers are buying elsewhere and 2) New customers are not being attracted to your business. Not Good news!
Here’s where we need to focus. No one really talks about rising or falling marketing because unlike Sales, Marketing is not easy to measure. Good Marketing is about communicating useful information to prospective and existing customers! It’s about getting feedback from your existing customers to help you enhance your demonstrable superiority of your products and services.
For someone in the restaurant industry using the finest ingredients to create superior quality dishes over your competitors standard out of the box/freezer methods. For someone in the service industry, using simple systems as followup cards or calls to show that you care about your customers experience with your company goes a long way over competitors that don’t follow up. It’s all about communication!
Home grown marketing really comes from the heart not a hired firm that big companies may use. You know your customers and you can develop a marketing plan that is affordable and effective for your business, no matter what type of business you own.
The key to business is repeat customers and in order to have repeat customers you have to have superior products / services that are worth coming back for. Once you provide a great customer experience and WOW them, you then continually keep the lines of communication open to keep improving your products / services according to their needs. It doesn’t matter what type of business… these principals work!
Make Marketing claims only if you can deliver. Don’t make a claim you can’t back up! Consumers need real people to deal with not some hyped up AD or campaign claiming promises you can’t keep. Be real with your customers and they will become your best marketing tool by far!
Here are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when making a Marketing claim:
Attribute of your product or service
How the product is made
Who makes the product
What benefit does the product provide the user
Who else uses the product
Pick one of the above to focus on based on your type of business / customer / service and get your customers feed back via…questionaire, email survey, etc.
Communicate with your existing customers regularly, ask them what benefits they have with your products/services, ask them how to improve your product / service and be sure to give them an incentive to refer your business to their friends, family, business associates etc.
Being the Little Guy in Marketing can be fun when your Home Grown Marketing efforts come from your heart and knowlege of your customers needs. Have fun with it and remember you don’t need a huge budget for Home Grown Marketing but you do need a to set aside a regular budget for your marketing efforts. Invest in Home Grown Marketing and your business will grow and your regular customers will become your word of mouth marketing force.
If you need any assistance with any of your marketing efforts, let me know, I’d be glad to help you in any way I can. You don’t need to spend big bucks to get the results you’re looking for!