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It should go without saying, but to successfully market your company, your company must be marketable. You must have something to market, and that should include the entire customer experience, not just the product. Yes, you can have a great product, but if you don’t treat your customers right, they will go somewhere else.
What good is it to have the best product on the market if your customers hate dealing with you so much that they will not buy it from you? The original Apple Mp3 player, the iPod, was not the best or the first player on the market, but it was the easiest to use and Apple was the easiest company to deal with, not to mention probably the most fun.
The following 10 tips will help you develop and implement the best marketing plan for your company:
- Be customer-focused. Business is not about you; it’s about your customers. Always work to figure out their needs, and then meet or exceed those needs every time.
- Dig deeper. Define your target customers and what it will take to win them; develop an ideal customer plan.
- Check out what your competitors are doing. The best place to find out what is going on in your marketplace is to monitor what your competitors are doing. You don’t have to imitate them, but you can study them in terms of what’s working and what’s not. This is also a good time to discover what solutions are not being provided and start providing them.
- Marketing is all about planning. You must plan for the future—next week, the month after that and the year after that. You should develop an ongoing live marketing plan and live with it every day, and adjust as needed.
- Make sure that your company’s policies are customer-friendly. Go over them and make sure they are not offensive to your customers.
- Develop your company’s story; be sure that everyone in your company knows it, and everyone in your market, too.
- From this story, develop your brand; from your brand, develop your advertising.
- Pay attention to your advertising. Most managers likely believe that they already do this, but often all they are doing is talking about how much they spend on advertising. Here’s a hint: Whatever you are spending on advertising is not enough—you should be spending more. If you truly intend to be the leading company in your segment of the industry, then you must make sure that everyone in that segment knows what you do and why you are the best.
- Always be selling and marketing. Without customers, you will have no sales, and without sales, you will have no company. That is all there is to it. You can buy all the equipment you want, and you can have all the technology you need, but what good are those things if you don’t have any customers?
- Use any tool available to help your sales and marketing team. This includes social media, value content newsletters, lunch and learns, seminars and webinars, and whatever new thing comes down the road. Do anything, learn anything, and buy anything that will give you an edge over your competition when it comes to getting your name out there.
And one more—always underpromise and overdeliver. Make sure that everyone in your company is on board with your marketing effort. Be certain that your staff all know and respect your customers; they should consider the customer in everything they do. Empower your customer service people to be on the customers’ side. Give them some latitude to make the right decisions when they are dealing with customer issues. In short, have everyone ready to put the customer first—always.
Great marketing, great customer service and great sales service are all key ingredients in developing and sustaining a great customer-focused company. Pay attention to this and make sure you are always purposely driven in your sales and marketing efforts, and in the end, you will have an industry-leading company.
It’s only common sense.