REVIEW YOUR TARGET MARKET: Finely tune your target customer by placing them into groups with similar needs so you can align your products/services to fit those needs. The more you identify applicable categories, the more areas available to approach or create opportunities later.
IDENTIFY POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS WITH COMPLEMENTARY BUSINESSES: Make a list of local businesses or organizations that offer products or services to the segments both partners have in common. This allows both partners to benefit from the relationship and keeps your customers returning.
DEVELOP A “PILOT” CAMPAIGN: Start small, so you can test the results of a small campaign geared at your newly developed target audience in conjunction with your partner(s). You can promote a product/service “freebie” or one of your products/services at a discounted rate with a high perceived value, but low cost to you.
MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE: After developing the pilot campaign strategy, setup the appropriate metrics. Start with setting goals e.g. 25 new clients in 60 days and two local partnerships. Then, if you choose to market your promotions via email measure the amount of new leads that came in from the e-blasts through click-through rates or by prepping your materials, software, staff and the like to ask “how did you hear about us?” On your website, you can use lead capture forms on a landing page that ask for contact information.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Emphasize the importance of genuine customer service by creating an experience many customers will often not only return for, but pay more for versus less expensive competitors. Be courteous to your clients and make sure to respond in a timely manner if a customer offers any concerns, complaints or praises.
REVIEW THE RESULTS OF YOUR CAMPAIGN: Review your web analytics for web visit behaviors, how long your clients spent searching your content, the most influential pages on your site, and the geographic location of your visitors to start. Once you map out all of the channels you used e.g. email, web, print advertising, you can review which channels helped bring in the most new customers; identifying the most and least profitable.
MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION: Collecting contact information whether electronically or in person is crucial to maintaining a relationship with your clients, and especially your best clients. Set up an e-mail marketing system and send personal emails of “welcome,” “thanks,” or “revisits” for things like oil changes that occur every so often, checkups etc. through automated email marketing services like Constant Contact. You don’t have to sell constantly, just stay on their mind. The key is communicating a healthy, transparent mix of your business’ happenings to stimulate a sense of customer value.
ASK FOR REFERRALS: Use your current client base and your top two or three most profitable marketing channels to communicate and remind how you fit a need, made life easier, or more enjoyable. Ask your best and/or most loyal customers for recommendations via social media if appropriate and don’t forget to include the links to your pages!
HOST AN INFORMATIONAL WORKSHOP AT YOUR BUSINESS: Invite your best customers and have them bring a friend. You can even offset sales period declines by hosting the event during your “slow season” in conjunction with a special offer for that day.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Reward your customers and attract new ones on the basis of adding an element of exclusivity in addition to offering an opportunity to save on purchases and much more.
For more information on attracting new customers and growing your business, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.