Small companies make mistakes when copying the strategy of large corporations
Allan DIB, author of the book “one-page Marketing plan: get new customers, earn more money, get out of the crowd”, says that a well-thought-out marketing plan will help build a successful business.
In his opinion, most small companies make a mistake when they rely on the strategies of large corporations. Their budgets and tasks are not the same as those of small businesses.
To please the investor, to ensure that the brand name is recognized by a wide range of consumers — all this is not necessary for managers of small companies.
According to Allan DIB, all marketing work to find, attract and retain new customers can be divided into three phases: “Before”, “during” and “After”. What are they and what should be done?
Phase I. To
This phase is a period of “foreplay” when you are dealing with a potential client who may not even know you exist.
At this stage, your task is to tell us about yourself so that a potential customer wants to answer you. As soon as he shows interest, it will mean that the stage is passed.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Select a target audience
Many entrepreneurs, in response to the question of which consumers they are counting on, answer: all.
But this is a fundamental mistake, because in reality it means: no one.
For large companies, this approach will work — it is important for them that the brand name is recognizable, for this they have brand managers. However, in a small business, it is more important to hit the target accurately.
So define your niche — this will allow you to be a “big fish in a tiny pond”, that is, to take the main place in a small market.
Create a marketing message
Most messages are boring, modest, and ineffective. To stand out from your peers, you need to attract the attention of your target audience.
A marketing message for a small business is structured as follows: the company name, logo, list of services or products provided, a statement about their high quality, plus contact information. But in this situation, you can only count on the fact that the client will see the ad and buy it by accident.
To exclude the element of randomness, you need to select the object exactly and refer to it.
Decide what you want to say and what the potential client should do after that. It is better if there are several options for feedback — a letter, a phone call, etc.
To reach out to the customer with ads
This is the most expensive part of the process, so it is worth choosing an advertising platform as carefully as possible, so that the return on investment (ROI) is high. To do this, you will need to conduct analytical measurements to know exactly which ads worked on which site.
And don’t be stingy — hire someone who understands media platforms and can find the one you need.
Platforms can be different — social networks, blogs, advertising newsletters, direct advertising, advertising in publications, digital or print. Choose a method that is right for you.
Instead of trying to make the brand name recognizable, learn to recognize the name of a potential customer.
Phase II. During
In this phase, potential customers become prospective customers — they already know about your existence, and they are interested in you.
Now they should love you and buy your product or service. As soon as they do that, they turn into customers. And you will go into the third phase.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Attract a prospective client
Very few people are ready to place an order as soon as they see your ad, so here your task is to move from hunting and gathering to cultivating land. You have sown the seeds, and now it is worth taking care that they sprout and bear fruit.
Most entrepreneurs are “hunters” and spend a lot of time trying to attract new customers. But your task is to reach those who are already interested in you, and put them in the database. Treat everyone with respect, regardless of income.
Feed a prospective client
There comes a time when you need to ensure that the customer is not just interested in your product, but wants to buy it. This means that he must be interested, motivated, have the means and disposition to what you offer.
Prove to him that you can be trusted, that your product is of the highest quality. To do this, you will need to be persistent and continue to communicate with the client — for example, using newsletters that tell you about the situation in the industry or offer new options for services.
Contact a prospective client with an offer
To do this, first of all, you need to learn how to position yourself correctly in the eyes of the client. Remember that you have come to the field where someone else has already tried before you. Your customers already have experience with people who offer products and services similar to yours, and if they were unhappy, this attitude will automatically spread to you.
Trust is the most important factor that will help prospective clients become real customers. At this stage, you have already treated your client well enough — he already knows you, he is interested and motivated.
Now you need to prove that you are special. That is, not to beg or push like others, but to show that you are fully qualified and confident.
phase III. After
In this phase, you are dealing with customers. They already love you and your product and are willing to pay for it at least once. Now your task is to ensure that this happens more than once or twice, so that your customers become your fans. To do this, you need to offer them nothing more than an unforgettable experience, and then create an atmosphere for them that they will want to plunge into again and again.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Offer an unforgettable experience
By doing this, you will attract customers to the gathering of your ardent fans. It will be a community of people connected to each other, with a leader, and United by an idea.
This is natural for a person — for thousands of years, he is part of the tribe.
This is what distinguishes outstanding entrepreneurs from ordinary ones: the latter deal with customers, the former with fans.
They constantly try to impress the customer, establish long-term relationships with them, create a sense of theatrical action unfolding around the product, and create a coherent system that provides all these processes.
Sell customers what they want, while giving them what they really need.
Let’s give an example of a fitness instructor. People come to him in the hope of finding a beautiful body, but in fact they need health. So his task is to make them healthier, so that they feel better and come back for that feeling again and again.
Strengthen the client’s attachment
Long-term relationships with the client bring the most money. Yes, it’s not as exciting to maintain them as it is to hunt for new ones, but it’s about preserving what you have, the success of your business, your gold mine.
Do not be afraid to raise prices: many entrepreneurs believe that this will scare off customers, but in fact this is not quite true.
If you position yourself correctly and create an unforgettable experience for the consumer, which we have already discussed, they will not be so sensitive to the price.
Just don’t forget to explain that you are doing this because you are providing the highest quality product and thereby helping to save money in the long run.
Another way is an additional offer (as in the fast food chain, when you are asked if you want extra syrup in a latte or fries with a Burger). And try to make the customer buy from you more and more often — with reminders, newsletters and special offers.
Initiate and encourage recommendations
Many entrepreneurs dream of being recommended, but do not know how to achieve this. Word of mouth, which many entrepreneurs rely on, can play a key role here.
However, you need to make sure that information is passed from mouth to mouth. Many entrepreneurs are afraid to declare themselves to partners, not wanting to be thought of as asking for support. But this is a question of how you position yourself.
Imagine that you recommend a restaurant or a beauty salon to someone: you don’t do it as a service to the institution, do you? So you should not be given a service. But you must be talked about.
Don’t be afraid to ask to be told about you. Many people just sit and wait to be found, opened, recommended to someone.
And asking is very simple. For example, provide a gift card or discount coupon and offer to give it to someone who might benefit from your service.
Let people know that you will be happy if they recommend you to others — and they will reach out to you.
In the dry residue
1. If you have a small company, think of a niche that you will occupy. And if it turns out to be narrow, it’s good, not bad.
2. In order for a customer to purchase a product or service from you, you need to ensure that they begin to trust you.
3. Keeping a client is a separate task: let them be your fan and loyal follower. Do not turn into an entrepreneur who only wants to hunt for new customers, forgetting about those who already exist. Regular customers bring in the most money.