By Philip J Reed on behalf of Dex One, providing local marketing solutions for your business
While large companies with established customers and millions in sales understand that they need to adapt, and small businesses can enjoy even bigger benefits from being able to change their focuses to adjust to changing markets, new technologies and revolutionary marketing techniques. The digital age has created entirely new ways to market products and services, focusing on greater personal interactions with customers, social networking and capturing the interest of far-flung clients to create loyalties based on like-minded attitudes. In this environment, small changes can attract one customer away from a competitor, but the process gets repeated dozens, hundreds or thousands of times for each new viewer. Making that extra effort to adjust your strategy to attract one ideal client offers repeat benefits for each new viewer of your online content.
Small Changes Have Major Implications
Established companies must be willing to change, or they risk becoming irrelevant. You may have heard of the “butterfly effect” — the theoretical premise that a single beat of a butterfly’s wings could change the course of history. Small changes in marketing focus could give your business the edge to beat a competitor each time a customer searches for a certain product.
Analytics help you to make adjustments based on what viewers do when browsing on your site. You can also track where they go after they leave your site. This technology allows better follow-up service, prospecting and accounting. Conservative businesses often fail to identify smaller opportunities by trying to appeal to the greatest numbers of people. Small businesses try harder to please their clients, and people respond. You can fine-tune your strategy to get higher returns from each website visitor, increasing sales and selling additional products.
Technology has its impersonal aspects, and customers hunger for personal connections. Combining technology with personal service encourages people to take note of your brand and recommend you to their friends and online contacts. Offering personal assistance and referrals to reliable online partners helps you to develop a positive reputation among certain groups of clients. These people may prefer to contact you for their needs, and they often prove willing to pay more for services.
Focusing on Ideal Customers
Business owners create systems for all kinds of tasks: ordering, production, quality control, hiring and building maintenance. Marketing systems also work like an assembly line, and if one part goes missing, then each product suffers. Many marketers try to reach greater numbers of viewers who have no intention of buying their products.
Savvy marketers adjust their campaigns to attract the ideal customer. Advertising and promotions must attract ideal customers for success, so refining your focus becomes mission-critical. Once you identify who makes an ideal customer, you can coordinate your advertising to reach and influence this type of customer. Landing a customer marks the first step, and keeping each client happy leads to referrals, repeat sales and potential lifelong loyalty.
Generating Favourable Press
Nobody understands your business as well as you, so you have an edge in communicating. Take advantage of free marketing tools that give you better promotional abilities. Posting press releases, blogs and videos helps to spread your message. Regardless of forum, remember that you really want to change behaviour, so give people valid reasons to do so. People who sell products and services must give compelling reasons to persuade people to change brand loyalties. Don’t make the mistake of describing cool features — people buy benefits, so show how your products provide the benefits that people want.
In some cases, you might need to change your own behaviour to appeal to certain clients. This could involve taking an active interest in the community, becoming a recognised expert in your field or offering incentives for people to try your superior products. You might need to include interactive website features to build customer loyalty or start a video campaign that gives instructions in uses for your products. Consider features like Google Virtual Tours to give viewers better understandings of your product’s advantages or your taste in design. Customers who like your style will be predisposed to favor and buy your products, services or calls to action. Learn how to contact media outlets to promote special events. Articles, press releases and media pitches can express your views to expanded audiences to help attract ideal customers.
Cloud Storage Offers Frameworks for Rapid Growth
Everyone who markets online needs to store data about their customers, but switching to cloud storage systems could facilitate growth, help to market products through mobile devices and protect critical data from accidental losses or theft. Cloud services help you share information and files, allow customer access to service resources and facilitate sending out emails to thousands of clients to promote new products and services.
Social Media Networking Multiplies Small Changes Exponentially
Social media networking helps to extend your influence, targets your ideal customer and builds loyalties among like-minded customers that share your views or interests. These people will more likely buy your products and services, improving your returns on marketing investments. You can’t force people to respond, and hard-sell efforts are doomed to failure. Grow your community of followers by offering organic content that people find meaningful and engaging with content shared by your followers.
Social media promotions require attention and hard work. The cost financially is small, but be prepared to work at growing your business. Social sharing makes the efforts worthwhile because happy customers share their experiences with friends. Making the right small changes attracts clients, leads and referrals. The process repeats exponentially through referrals, so small changes in strategy could deliver phenomenal results. Hard selling might be inappropriate, but don’t be afraid to ask people to like your content and explain the benefits people get by liking your pages.
Examples of Successful Adaptation of Change
Many companies have experienced dramatic results by making small changes in their marketing strategies. Examples include all kinds of businesses, and even simple improvements to checkout processes could multiply the number of successful sales for small businesses.
This Washington state winery made good wine but got few sales when it was called Balsam Root. The name change and social media promotion tripled sales.
This company created a plug-in for Adobe’s Dreamweaver that gives users more appealing shopping-cart checkout experiences, and social media promotion alone helped the Adobe cart grow into one of the top-two shopping cart applications, with strong sales in more than 11 countries.
Wine Library, an established New Jersey retailer of spirits and wines, grossed $2 million annually without any online sales program. The son of the founder created an online marketing program, which he promoted with a video blog called Wine Library TV. This company now earns $60 million annually.
Method, a company conceived by Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, built an astonishing green business selling natural cleaning products by promoting ecology, recycling and taking advantage of people’s interest in superheroes.
Finding out how to make the right changes has no exact formula, but studying the market, identifying the right ideal customer and taking advantage of new marketing and technology trends can help you achieve astonishing results. You can take advantage of the demand for information by providing articles, stories, descriptions, illustrations, videos and social sharing. Combined with analytics, these small changes can help to refine your efforts to find the most effective strategies.
Philip J Reed is a business writer residing in (sometimes) sunny Denver, CO. In his spare time, when he gets any, he likes to unwind with a good book and his great dog.