[This blog was first published (under a different name) way back in 2011. But despite its age, I decided to give it a little revamp because its sentiment is just as relevant today.]
If you’re in business, you have to get into marketing.
Large corporations have dedicated marketing departments who take care of everything, leaving the big boss to concentrate on other more essential things, like golf.
But what happens when you are a smaller business or a one-man-band?
You are unlikely to have an enormous marketing budget (or even a small one that can pay for a full-time staff member to do it for you), so most of the work will probably fall on your shoulders.
Suddenly, you have to be everything to everyone – you’re the Finance Director, Operations Director, Marketing Director etc. And, unless you happen to be a very rare breed of superhuman, you’re not going to be an expert in all of these fields.
What do you think of when you think about marketing?
The promotion of your business can take many forms:
- Email marketing
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Direct mail
- Blogs and articles
- White Papers
And that’s just for starters. But what do you know about each of those? Probably not a lot other than what you’ve read on blogs like this one.
The words that you use within your marketing materials are vital. Most people put graphics and images first not realising that it’s the words that will do the selling. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you hit the right tone. To help inject some life and zest into your marketing materials, it’s a great idea to find yourself a professional copywriter who will take the burden from you and create fantastic copy that works.
Going it alone
If you decide to go it alone, marketing can seem an endless job. No sooner have you finally revamped your website copy you realise that your brochure is now out of date.
The launch of a new product or service means press releases, new web content, email marketing, perhaps even white papers.
Marketing is a constant merry-go-round.
So, what happens when you wake up in the morning and really can’t face doing any marketing?
Do you sit back and take the day off?
Although tempting, it’s unlikely to do your business any good. If you really can’t face it, be productive with your time and do two things. The first is to find yourself a blooming marvellous freelance copywriter to get your content written for you. The second is something that is equally important and that your customers demand.
Going the extra mile
Marketing will get your message out into the marketplace and get your business noticed. But there is something else that your customers want that will set you apart from your competitors.
What’s your customer service like?
Let’s go back to the morning when you wake up and really can’t face doing any marketing. Rather than nothing, invest some of your time in enhancing your customer service.
What do customers want? That’s easy to answer. You are a customer so think about what’s important to you.
When approaching a new company, their attention to detail is what will get them noticed over and above everyone else. You want a company that welcomes you, offering advice, one that isn’t pushy and has excellent after-sales service.
So, if you want to stand out, that’s what you have to emulate.
Exceptional customer service
If you’re exceptional, customers will come back repeatedly and recommend you to others (how about that for a marketing idea).
What do you do once a customer has bought from you? Do you wave them goodbye and hope they come back, or do you keep in touch?
Whether you get their permission to send them emails, newsletters or send a ‘how are you?’ card, keeping in touch with them and sending them advice (as well as future offers) shows that you’re a company that cares about its customers and is willing to go that extra mile to ensure they are happy.
So, the next time you really can’t face writing your marketing materials, take a break from them and review your customer service instead. Making small changes within your business (such as creating an advice sheet that can be handed out with every sale) can make a massive difference to your customers and their perception of you.
Let’s face it; customer service and marketing go hand in hand. Make a great impression every time you interact with a customer, and they’ll spread the word generating new business for you.
Do you use any innovative customer service techniques to drive business? If so, why not leave a comment below and share them.