When most small businesses start trading there is a great idea coupled with immense passion, which serves initially to deliver early customers. As the business starts to grow, more clients are needed to ensure sustainability. This is when the importance of a marketing strategy, as part of the overall business strategy becomes vital to ongoing success.
Research has proven that, on average, it takes 8-12 communications for a prospect to become a customer (Source DMA). That’s a lot of activity! How can a small business owner achieve this in addition to delivering the service and managing the other functions of the business.
Firstly you need to understand your target audience. What is the ideal profile of your customers? It’s easy to think that anyone can buy your product or solution, and they probably can, but who is most likely to and, just as importantly, who do you want to work with.
Secondly you need to know what you want to achieve. What do you want for your businesses in terms of growth? By understanding this you can calculate how many customers you need to achieve your growth.
Then you can start to review the marketing tactics that will work for you to deliver your growth. Everything from social media to direct mail should be given consideration. And to achieve your 8-12 communications you are going to need several tactics working on a continuous basis, with measures in place to ensure the effectiveness of each stream.
And don’t forget about your existing clients too. You are 60% more likely to gain sales from an existing customer than a new one. (Source Smallbiztrends.com)
Plan your marketing strategy now; include your ideal new client and your existing customers. Use multiple tactics; test and measure. And prepare for growth.