By Mike Young and Jason Yerka, Logan SBDC
The next "Big 5" ideas for your marketing campaign:
- Although Google has a huge variety of products, 95% of their revenue still comes from search. This is because Google search is very effective as an advertising tool. While AdWords requires a fair amount of knowledge and experimentation, Google recently came out with AdWords Express to help greatly simplify the search listing advertising process. If you don’t have a lot of time or money to put into search engine advertising, AdWords Express is the product for you! Search engine marketing works for small business because you can set a monthly budget, it is fast and easy, there are powerful analytic tools for tracking, and you can change your campaign quickly and fit it to any market. Search engine marketing is much easier and requires less time than social media marketing.
- Email Newsletters can provide a great way to keep clients thinking about your business. The content is critical and must be as engaging as possible. Here are a few email marketing tools to try: Constant Contact, iContact, Emma, Mail Chimp (Mail Chimp has a free program), and Email Contact (a local provider).
- If you don’t have or are not effectively using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, you are well behind the times. Many powerful web-based solutions can be accessed at a reasonable price. A few examples to consider are Salesforce.com, Act, Goldmine, and Solve 360. As with any database you keep, it is critical to remember that if you put garbage in a CRM, you will get garbage out.
- If you are working to expand your customer base, one useful trick is to create a profile for each of your top 5-10 customers and look for commonalities. As you identify common traits, build a marketing plan to go after customers with similarities to your current top clients. You are more likely to have future success in similar industries where you have had it before.
- If you are looking to start a new venture or expand into uncharted territory with an established business, primary market research is critical. Rather than just relying on secondary data, contact 50 potential customers and find out what they think about your idea and how they are currently meeting the need that you want to fill. Build your new offering(s) in a way that will both provide value to and make life easier for the people you contacted. Go back to your initial contacts with your new products and/or services and convert them to customers.