Like most businesses, each year our goal is to grow our business, always hoping for more predictability to make that easier. Over the last several years, the one constant that we see in marketing and growing our business is less predictability and more change.
So, how should you respond? I think the key is to give your business the flexibility to change with the times whether it be in marketing or in other aspects that affect your growth. We know that almost every key issue is now hard to predict, even in the near future. This includes broad issues such as taxes, health care, and economic outlook to more specific issues about your customers and business. What you need to do is continuously evaluate these issues and position yourself to react quickly.
It is also important to use your marketing dollars wisely to drive customer loyalty and increase the dollars they spend at your business. In addition to providing your customers with the products and service that they need, you need the customer experience to be positive and exceed their expectations. These loyal customers will then become advocates for your business.
The following are some ideas to increase your customer base, gain your customer's loyalty and grow your business:
- Don’t be afraid to try some new things that might drive traffic to your business by marketing through areas that are relatively low cost (digital, social, email, mobile, etc.).
- Offer your loyal customers incentives to get their friends and family to try your business. These loyal customers are a great source of customer referrals that bring in new revenue opportunities.
- Work on collecting information from your customers so that you can better market and communicate promotions to them through low cost digital options such as email and text marketing. This can then be used to drive traffic to your business by highlighting new products and services you may have or to drive customers back another time.
- Finally, give your customers a reward for their loyalty by offering a program with benefits based on how much they spend.
These ideas can effectively drive new business through your doors, but don’t forget that if these new customers don’t have a good experience, they won’t be back. Good luck to you as you focus on growing and marketing your business in 2013!