For most small/medium business owners, marketing is an overwhelming concept. Marketing is the “man in the middle” – mediating between customers, prospective clients, sales, development, and management. Small/medium businesses need marketing solutions that ensure a smooth-running, profitable business yet most don’t know where to begin or how to focus their efforts. Add constant changes in marketing technology and it becomes even more difficult for companies to reach customers with information about their products.
Marketing Messages = Short and Sweet
Keeping marketing messages short and sweet is more important now than ever before. We’ve seen social media pared down to 140 characters (Twitter), videos truncated to 6 seconds (Vine) and research that shows the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds. The point is simple – your customers simply won’t take the time OR have the patience for long messages. While there is a time and a place for longer messages, there are places where a short message is the best route.
- Social Media Marketing Messages – Less is more.
- Blog Headlines – Shoot for a catchy short title to grab interest.
- Email Newsletters – Make clear succinct points and get right to the point. Likely the information at the bottom won’t be read.
- Contact Forms – A customer is more likely fill out a shorter form, so stick to the basic information. This gives you the opportunity to follow up and tailor your message to the customer’s needs in a more direct way.
What is Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
How is your product different from others? Why should customers choose your product over others? What sets you apart? Your marketing messages need to let customers know why they should choose your products over someone else’s. Things to think about when creating your marketing message include:
- What does your business do? Why? Who is your target market for your products or solutions?
- How does your product provide a solution to your customer?
- What sets your product apart from the competition? What features make it unique from competition?
- Follow through with what you’re selling – put your money where your mouth is. If you say it will be delivered in 24 hours, it needs to be delivered in 24 hours.
Marketing to Your Target Customer
Focusing on the advertising and promotion of your product to a target market will be the key to driving sales and obtaining a loyal customer base.
How to examine, identify and reach your target market?
- Who (examine current customer base and examine commonalities) – make sure you encompass your target market and the possible customer base surrounding the target market.
- Where – do you need to distribute your product differently to keep up with current times? Today’s consumers are impatient. Make sure you have a solution to get your product in their hands as fast and economically as possible. If you don’t, someone else will! Do you need an E-Commerce site or ways to offer online shopping? Today’s consumers browse online and buy online more than ever before.
- Quick Shipping – Your customer has ordered and now they want your product as fast as possible! Getting the product to your customer quickly helps keep the excitement of the purchase fresh in the consumers mind and their satisfaction remains high.
- Pricing – setting low prices doesn’t guarantee sales. Quality products need to be priced as such. Create the best product and market the qualities that make it the best.
- Follow Up – Contacting customers after the sale will allow you to confirm satisfaction, correct any issues and remind the customer they are important to you and your company.
Lastly, always pay attention to what your direct competitors are doing. You don’t have to follow or copy their plan but you need to be aware. Be prepared to make concessions to your loyal customers if you hear “but so and so is offering this…” Remind your customers about your product value, quality and customer service. Personal attention can go a long way in reminding your loyal customers why your company is the preferred choice!