Marketing basics
You don’t need to gold-plate things. You just need to get your marketing basics in place.

Marketing plans don’t need to be complicated. 

Here’s a simple 5 step marketing basics plan that you can use to get the ball rolling…

1. Build a database of customers

– capture their details simply by asking for them. 

Or you could get creative and capture them in other ways.  Perhaps use a feedback card, or run a prize draw once a month.

At a minimum, you want to capture their name and email address.

If you get their birthday, you can send them a happy birthday freebie every year.

If you get a few more details, you can personals your promotions to be extra-special.

If you’ve got their contact information, you can keep in touch with them, encouraging them to come back again and again. 

Which leads me nicely onto the second part of your simple but effective marketing basics…

2. Communicate regularly to your customers

It costs a lot more to win a new customer than it does to make more sales to past customers. 

The statistics say, in fact, that it costs six times – or more – to make a sale to a new customer compared with the cost of making a repeat sale to a past customer.

How do you keep in touch?  These days you’re spoilt for choice. 

You can send emails, SMS messages.  You could use Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger.  There are chatbots that do this kind of thing too – ManyChat is a very popular one.

Or you could send something in the post directly to them.

You can even give them a call and catch up with them that way.

And of course you can use a whole combination of different approaches if you really want to make sure you get the message through in the right way.

It doesn’t really matter too much how you keep in touch.  Just make sure that you do.

3. Create a strong USP for your business

What is the difference between your business and every other?

Why should customers choose you over your competitors?

Most people in small business say “our service is better and we’re friendlier”. 

But in truth, everybody thinks their service is the best, and nobody thinks they are rude, do they? 

So being pleasant and decent at your job isn’t much of a unique selling point at all.

Write it in plain, bold words and use it everywhere.  Can’t think of a good one?  Take a look at this guide for creating a unique selling point for an ordinary business.

4. Keep score – the most essential of the marketing basics

Measure how many leads you get from every different marketing source you use.

If your marketing is all online, measure the performance of different campaigns and web pages. 

Google Analytics is a fabulous and free tool to track where your traffic comes from.  Combined with Google’s free Webmaster Tools, it’s a crazy powerful combination. 

There are far more sophisticated methods than this, too, like Hotjar or CrazyEgg, that let you really interrogate the data and understand exactly what’s going on with your website.

But what if you use offline methods?  Things like a referral scheme, paid professional introducers, magazine advertising, vehicle or building signage, direct mail, telemarketing or whatever?

You must find a way – ideally a simple way – to track how well they perform. 

This is really important.  Because if you don’t know how well it’s working, you don’t know what to do more of and what to drop like friend who does crystal meth (OK, so I’m a Breaking Bad fan, don’t hold it against me).

5. Network

People buy from people, so put yourself out there amongst others who might be interested in your products and services. 

Plan to attend a business networking meeting every week or two. Build professional friendships. Be interested in the other people – don’t make it all about you.

When you have relationships, you will find that work flows your way. People buy from people they like. Be likeable!

These steps are very simple and powerful, yet most companies aren’t doing them all.  Are you?  How much difference could it make to your bottom line within a month or two of getting your marketing basics in place and polished up?