How can a marketing consultant charge $3,000 an hour and get away with it? Simply because marketing is the area of your business where you have the most leverage.
One small change in your marketing strategy can mean an increase in your business profits by up to 30% or more. You can change any other area of your business, but you won’t see the same massive difference to your bottom line results. If you can’t afford to spend the money to hire a consultant to do the work for you, you can learn what marketing consultants do to make improvements in your business performance. This article outlines some of the more effective techniques that add value to your marketing mix.
The seven marketing techniques that might assist in growing your business are as follows:
- Offer a guarantee
Almost every type of business should offer a guarantee. Tell your customers exactly what your guarantee is. Unless you include it prominently in all your marketing and promotional material, its marketing value is wasted. Many businesses hold back from offering a full guarantee because they are afraid their customers will rip them off. In 99% of cases, the extra business you get from offering a guarantee more than compensates for the few customers who take advantage of you.
- Generate referrals
Most businesses get most of their customers from referrals. If you get a lot of your customers this way, make sure you have a proven system for generating referrals. For example, you could give every customer a card which has a very generous first-time offer for their friends, relatives or business associates. Then you might call them to ask how they are going with your product or service, and if they know anyone else who could benefit from it.
- Test everything
You can’t improve your marketing unless you test one technique against another, measuring how much it costs to get each customer through different types of marketing, and comparing the results. It is amazing how many businesses run regular advertisements, without knowing whether or not they are working. They could be losing thousands of dollars on that advertising.
The first thing you can test is the price of your product or service. Sometimes a product will sell just as much or more at a higher price than at a lower price. Think about it. It’s not you who decides whether your advertising and marketing methods are working, it’s your customers.
- Use joint ventures
Can you think of any businesses that sell to the same customer base as you? If you can get access to those customers, you can quickly increase your own customer base. There are several ways you could do this. You could ask the business owner to send out a letter endorsing your product and offering a free trial, or a significant discount. In return, you offer a percentage of the profit you make, or you could offer to do the same for them.
- Be unique
Specifically state the single most important reason your customers should buy from you instead of your competitors. It is no good to say “We have the best service in the business”. Everyone says that, and no-one believes it. Spell out exactly what you do that makes you better than any other business, and make sure you get this across in all your advertisements and promotional material.
- Keep in contact
The main reasons customers don’t come back are: they forget you exist, or they think you don’t care. Don’t let this happen. Keep in contact, by letters or birthday cards, or by phoning them to ask how they are going with your product or service.
- Know the customer’s lifetime value
Once you know how much business a single customer is worth to you over his or her lifetime, you will treat the customer in a totally different way.
Does all this seem too simple? As if you can do it yourself? If it does, you are on your way to becoming your own marketing consultant. Learning these techniques can take time and effort, but it will be more than paid for in the growth of your business.