OK, without the multi-million pound marketing budgets the big corporates have, how can SMEs compete? But you can accomplish it just as well within your sphere by using these three simple, common sense marketing techniques that needn’t cost the earth.
First, make your messages regular, repetitive and always upbeat. There are plenty of ways to achieve this: blogging is just one of them, and now with the rise of social networking, Twitter in particular, there are other media where we can bombard our followers (or potential customers) with carefully constructed marketing messages frequently posted to gain maximum effect.
The good thing about Twitter is that is you only use 140 characters (or 120 to leave enough room for, hopefully, retweets) so you have to think about what you are going to say before submitting it. This is a very good practice all marketers should adhere to. The same should apply when posting on your blog, or playing with Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites: keep it short, sharp and sweet, making it obvious what you’re talking about from the beginning, and be appropriate, relevant and newsworthy.
Second, turn your marketing around so you don’t mention the product or service directly, but how it will affect the customer, how they will feel, who it will change their lives for the better, what impact it will have. This is a concept most successful businesses employ, and it works! Customers aren’t interested in your product, they only care how it will affect them: will they get their money’s worth, will they look good, feel good, be the envy of their friends, raise their social status or whatever?
Third, be consistent with your marketing messages by creating a routine. OK, this is difficult for SMEs who may not have enough personnel to spend time on this, but try and make it part of your 40% a week marketing activities; I’m sure you can slot in a few tweets and calendarise a blog post now and again? It will pay dividends, as large successful businesses promote their new products at least 27 times, in the hope that their customers will see it between 7 and 9 times.
Frequent marketing tactics will eventually sink in: this is all part of building your relationships with your customers (which is what marketing is all about), either for immediate effect but definitely for the future. Remember, you don’t want them to forget you, or be seduced away by your competitors, do you?