When working together, marketing and sales can do wonders for a company of any size. For small companies, PR should also be added to the mix, as it helps to create trust and credibility in the eyes of your buyers. Marketing, on the other hand, can also help to do that, but it can do more in terms of advertising. Marketing should be used at all points of the customer experience. Whether the buyer is contemplating buying your product, or is at the check-out, marketing materials should be present.
This consistent presence of marketing materials can be less invasive than advertising, like TV ads. It can also help to remind the customer of your existence when the purchasing time comes. You want to be on their minds and the first one they think of when they need your product or service. Ways to help encourage this include customer quotes, your mission statement, your goals, accomplishments, and your expertise. If you know something about the industry that buyers should know in order to make the best, most well informed decision, share it with them! When it comes time to buy, they will remember that you’ve helped them in the decision making process, and perhaps be more inclined to buy from you.
Another way to remind buyers of your offerings is to use promotional tactics. Depending on your goal, there are a variety of tools you can use, including promotional events, like sponsoring a fundraiser, sponsoring a concert or festival that your target market frequents, etc. You can also use promotional items like reusable totes (if you’re target market is concerned with being environmentally friendly), water bottles, pens, etc. These items are like free advertising for you when they are used, and free items for your customers that they will hopefully use as well. Buyers are big, big fans of free things, but only if they’ll use them. What value does free information or items have if the customer finds them useless?
You can also do things like host a contest, raffle, or other sort of prize drawing. Not only will this help to generate interest in your product, you can also generate leads with the information gathered. Email addresses are vital pieces of information to gather. Though the customer may not want your email, and may simply delete it, it’s hard to ignore something your eyes see if the email is opened. You’ll be reminding them of the raffle, which should increase interest in the email more, and you’ll be reminding them of your company.
The best way to make use of these tactics is to be aware of customer feedback and to offer something more than just a pen. Offer a connection, and way to communicate with you. Use social media to give updates on the contests, to get in touch with people who’ve talked to/about you, and be there. There is nothing more annoying to a customer who’s complaint goes unnoticed because a company is unaware of the things being said about them. This sort of monitoring can help your company to avoid a crisis, and possibly diffuse a potentially bad situation. Negative WOM (word of mouth) can be rather detrimental.
Remember that marketing tactics are not meant to trick customers, but rather generate interest and offer them something of value that will make them glad they made the decision to talk to you, get to know more about your company, and see what you have to offer. This sort of satisfaction in their decision will make them even more likely to stay with you and make the move toward a sale.