5 Marketing Tactics Every Business Could Use

Get inside your customer's head with these effective marketing tactics.

Running a small business is tough. If you are a small operation, you have so many things going on, from meeting with customers and making your products to running your books and keeping tabs on everything so you stay on schedule with production and on track financially. When in the world do you have time to think about marketing, much less do it or measure the effectiveness of it?

Here are five tactics to ensure you’re not leaving business and income on the table. These tactics will allow you to have a better understanding of what your customers need and want. After implementing them, you will be able to get inside your customers’ heads more easily. When you understand them, it is easier to sell to them successfully.

Online sleuthing

Visit the web pages of your local competition. Read their content, and more importantly, read the comments. Positive reviews and comments are helpful, as they help you understand what works for customers. Lukewarm or negative comments are even more important, as they may point out needs or pain points that were unmet. You can use that information to help differentiate your business from your competition.

Follow up with non-customers

Take the time to ask someone WHY they went elsewhere or did not purchase anything. What prevented them from buying or what caused them to choose another business for their order? This will give them the opportunity to let you know where you did not meet their needs or their expectations. Ask them for their help, so that you can be in a better position to meet their needs in the future.

Follow up with new customers

About a month after you finish an order for a new customer, reach out to them by phone or by email to see how they are doing. Invite them to send you a photo of themselves (who doesn’t know how to take a selfie yet?) or someone else wearing or using something you made for them. Let them know that you would appreciate any feedback about the order or the experience of placing the order with you. Thank them for any positive feedback and ask if you can use that as a testimonial, along with their photo. Do not get defensive if they provide any negative feedback, as that is actually more valuable than positive feedback! If you fell short in some way, what would have met their needs better?

Set up a loyalty/rewards program

Consumers are 80 percent more likely to shop at a business that has a loyalty program, according to research. Create your program so that your customer qualifies for a reward fairly early in their process. Offer a baker’s dozen on new orders or a reduced setup/digitizing fee on their third design. Follow up at least once a quarter by email with your program members with a coupon or bonus offer. You could even run a simple survey to ask them what they believe would be the most desirable perk or benefit of the program for the current year.

Be visible, intentionally

Your customers are on Facebook, but they are not on Facebook looking to order decorated apparel. If you are connected to a customer on Facebook and they post something about their child winning a ballgame, make a congratulatory comment. If a customer posts that a family member is getting married, post a comment of well wishes. You just want to pop up on their radar occasionally, certainly not daily or even weekly. Hopefully, your comments will help trigger them to contact you the next time they have a need for some decorated apparel. Even spending 10 minutes every day scrolling and looking for a few appropriate opportunities to comment will benefit you. You will be aware of what is going on in their lives so that you better understand them and can connect with them as a person, not just as the vendor who makes their shirts. Plus, other people connected to your customer may also see your interaction with them and keep you top of mind. It is so easy to get busy in meeting the day-to-day needs of running your business and not get around to thinking about marketing, much less doing any kind of deliberate marketing activities.

Marketing your business is about being visible and present in the minds of your customers often enough to spark something when they need to place an order for decorated apparel and products. Effective marketing tactics bring you and your business into focus in the minds of your customers and potential customers, even occasionally.

jennifer cox

Jennifer Cox

Jennifer Cox is one of the founders and serves as president of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), an organization that supports embroidery and apparel decoration professionals with programs and services designed to increase profitability and production.

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