Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marketing is dead Finding and selling to customers is in

The word is out "Marketing" is dead! Well not marketing exactly, just the word itself.

I think that we have got tired of "marketing" and especially self elected marketing specialists.
Finding and selling to customers is one leg of the business holy trillogy - and that's marketing.

Ask 85% of small businesses if they want some marketing help and they'll say  "No! I do all my own!" When you ask them what they do, they finally tell you then it's often "I stay open later now", "I had an advert in the xxxx local magazine last month" or "I've got some special offers, and the leaftel's on the counter" . If you don't broadcast that you are open longer nobody will know. If you advertise just once the results will be slim - you need to be regular. If your leaflet is on the conter it won't get new customers into the shop. I don't think these are marketing.

Big business have the resources and cash to employ a marketing team and pay for adverts, buy space and carry out huge leaflet drops. Small business are looking for way to bring customers into their retail units and shops for as little as possible but few are using innovative ideas.

I did see this small a-trailer being towed by a bike on Sunday and the same business set up big posters around town. There was also a stilt walker dressed as a baker but little else.

Possibly small business owners don't know who to listen to or what to do right now. They keep reading about these marketing guys but often don;'t want to spend money on what may not work or what they can do themselves anyway.

And everyone is talking about social media. The problem seems to be few business owners actually understand it. And there are people out there charging large amounts but usually not achieving measurable results. There are some good people out there. It's just finding them. If you want someone who is really hot with social media for small businesses just e-mail me at I've found a real gem.

Meanwhile here are some ideas that will get either new customers or existing customers buying from you. Ideas that aren't new, that you know about but which you haven't tried.
Pick one a week and try it out:
1. Hand out leaflets with a special offer. Do it from your shop doorway is allowed.
2. Get existing customers to sign up to your newsletter
3. Make sure your website has your phone number at the top of each page and answer the phone within 2 rings every time
4. Give amazing service. Today I have seen some really excellent customer service that I;ll desribe on another occassion 
5. Get a loyalty card system in and advertise it in your window etc
6, Ask customers what you can do to improve their shopping experience with you
7. Set up some joint ventures with non competing adjacent shops (both of you get an offer on a leaflet and hand out each others to customers as they pay for their purchase)
8. Check your window display looks good and is current and there is something to entice people over the threshold.
9. Check your staff are trained and are attentive to customers. Smiling is a great way to start a good shopping experience for customers
10. Try for additional sales. Today I watched a girl sell a handbag for £180 then went on to get a matching purse and credit card holder worth an extra £87

and a bonus:

Bonus: Hold an open evening where customers are invited in to try some products, hold a fashion show, see a demonstration. Get invites and encourage them to bring a friend. When the friends become customers send out a thank you card to whoever brought them along.

It's not knowing but doing. So take action now.  Good luck

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