Smart business owners know that effective marketing techniques require constantly adapting to change, especially in today’s fast paced world. One day it’s all about counting keywords and the next it’s all about social media impact. While trends come and go, the key to marketing is stay on top of what your target audience is looking for so that you can influence and convert more prospects into customers.
As you balance these trends to effectively engage your audience, you can optimize the impact and ROI of your limited resources by following some of the basic best practices of marketing. To get started, here are four rules of marketing that hold true for just about any business model:
Rule #1: Know Your Audience
Effective marketing starts with knowing your target audience. After all, they are the ones spending the money that keeps you in business. To know your audience, routinely ask yourself who they are, what do they like, why do they buy from you, and how can you keep them coming back for more? Answers to these and other relevant questions will ensure that you’re keeping your hand on the pulse of your industry and your customer’s buying habits.
Rule #2: Develop and Maintain a Consistent Brand
Your brand message is the overall perception you want customers to have of your business. Fun, affordable, ecofriendly – these can all be part of your message and are key in differentiating your business. However, for this message to be effective and take hold, it needs to be consistent across all marketing channels. Though the style of messaging is different on different channels, the overall theme needs to be the same to reinforce your brand and appeal to your target audience in a way that leads them to buy.
Rule #3: Be Yourself, Be Unique
A successful business is one that stands apart from the competition. Ask yourself what makes you and your business unique and then find ways to effectively communicate that through your marketing channels. For example, if you provide residential cleaning services, how do you stand apart in terms of quality and price? Maybe you leave a white carnation on the kitchen counter after every visit because this reinforces your brand in some way. Maybe you have a blog that introduces eco-friendly ways to clean. Whatever you do, get creative in sharing who you are and what you stand for through your marketing message.
Rule #4: Drive Engagement!
The most effective marketing strategies are those that motivate behavior – ultimately buying behavior. This was true 50 years ago and remains true today. Today, however, there is more competition for your customer’s attention. To effectively drive engagement, you need to develop compelling ways of capturing interests and motivating action. Using the residential cleaning company business for example, your target audience cares about having a clean and beautiful home. To motivate them to engage and buy from your business you can:
- Leave business cards and brochures at local furniture stores in a cross-marketing effort.
- Offer a referral program where existing customers can get 20% their next appointment if someone they refer makes a purchase.
- Invite them to subscribe to your email campaign for updates that include tips from your blog, company news, and special rewards for subscribers only.
Marketing is all about sharing. The more you can be authentic self, the more likely your marketing strategy will be effective, the more likely you’ll have fun, and the more likely you’ll enjoy healthy sales and healthy profits!