To grow your business, you must improve your sales. This is a cardinal rule of all businesses the world over. To improve your sales, you have to market your products or services.
While this may not be a thrilling activity in itself, it has to be done. You market your business by getting the word out to attract customers.
Marketing efforts can cost a lot of money, which can be a great burden to startup companies with limited financial resources.
The good news for small and mid-sized companies is that the success of a marketing campaign is not entirely dependent on the size of the marketing budget.
The goal of marketing is to understand the behavior of the marketplace, the competition, and the customer to create an action plan that leads to an increase in sales. You can achieve this outcome on a shoestring budget if you employ the strategies explained below.
Collecting, analyzing and responding positively to customer feedback
Customer satisfaction is the cornerstone on which all businesses are built. Improved customer satisfaction leads to an increase in sales, which translates to an increase in ROI. The only way to test customer satisfaction is by collecting and analyzing customer feedback.
This feedback gives you the overall value of your business from the customer’s perspective. Using this information to design your marketing strategy and influence your product development and service delivery is an inexpensive way to boost your sales.
In the form of customer reviews, customer feedback is free, credible, and unbiased advertising.
In other forms such as online webchat with customers, email marketing, use of social listening and web analytics tools, surveys and in-person conversations, customer feedback helps you know what is not working and what can be done about it to boost sales.
Content marketing by blogging and writing articles
Content marketing is an effective way to share news about your business.
By consistently writing great value-driven content, you build your authority and credibility on a topic or search term. This not only empowers your readers, but it also boosts your on-site SEO.
The goal of content marketing should be to promote your business in publications that your target market is reading.
In addition to creating your blog, make use of media outlets like magazines and newspapers. Getting your content published on their online versions is easy and cheap.
You can also be a guest blogger on other blogs that your target audience is likely to read.
Make co-marketing partnerships
Co-marketing involves joining up with another business and pooling your resources to market your businesses more effectively. Another form of co-marketing is linking up with complementary businesses whose products or services add value to your customers in a non-competitive way and vice versa.
This shared advertising helps both businesses extend their reach without hurting their marketing budgets. You also get to use promotional techniques that would otherwise be out of your reach with your limited budget.
Make all your communications sales pitch.
It does not matter how well your business is structured or how excellent your products or services are, and you cannot solely rely on other people to do all the marketing for you. You have to be your best marketer.
In-person marketing is the oldest, cheapest, and most effective form of advertising. Make sure to sell your business to everyone you talk to.
You can also use professional business cards and customize your correspondence to include your business name, logo, contact information, signature, and the latest business promotion information.
Marketing, just like any other aspect of a business, is a budgeted activity.
Trailblazing companies have huge marketing budgets because their target market and product range is equally huge. Much smaller businesses targeting fewer customers can operate on very lean marketing budgets.
As long as your marketing goals are met, your sales are set to improve.