Any small business owner who neglect the opportunity to build relationships may be missing a big opportunity to boost profits. If so, it’s time to take a new path to alter marketing tactics in some old-fashioned ways. It’s all about effective follow-up, according to Entrepreneur magazine, and it’s the new marketing rage, even though it’s based on old principles. It might require an attitude adjustment, however.
Build On Existing Relationships
Guerrilla marketing relies on time-tested methods to court customers, seek referrals from satisfied buyers, consistently boost the dollar amount of individual sales, and increase the number of transactions per customer. Why? Because the primary rule of marketing is that getting a new customer costs six times as much as keeping an existing one. When the budget is tight, it follows that the way to increase profits is to start with the customers that already exist.
The basic rules of guerrilla marketing are:
- Put aside competitive tactics in favor of cooperation
- Focus on dialogue instead of monologues
- Build relationships rather than counting sales
- Address individuals, not groups
- Perfect and practice follow-up strategies
Guerilla marketing provides value by focusing on the “you” rather than the “me,” by offering interesting information, new insights, additional services and pertinent advice rather than simply promoting products and advertising prices. In short, it’s a way to connect with the customer in a world where much of that connection has been lost.
Strive for a Personal Touch
No matter where you spend your marketing dollars, the approach should be multi-level and targeted. But it’s vital to understand what really drives sales.
There are numerous ways to to modernize marketing efforts, but first consider this: Seventy-five percent of small companies place at least part of the blame for ineffective marketing on data that isn’t current. Making decisions with outdated data undermines those important marketing efforts. And overloading customers with email blasts and unwanted discount offers is counterproductive.
If the budget is limited, resort to old-fashioned means. Use the telephone; write a blog post; post a picture. Get personal. Send a letter or send an email, but keep it conversational. Consider holding an informational class, workshop or demonstration; participate in a street fair or charity project; create a simple brochure; revamp your existing website. Always direct traffic back to your website so that potential clients can find all the necessary information to make buying decisions on their own time and in their own way. Assure that those decisions can be based on facts and good information rather than hype and impulse. It works!
Audio, Visual and Action-Packed
Social media tends to be graphic and far-reaching, and boosted posts that are easy on the budget can be used to great advantage. Promoted posts are deemed effective by more than 60 percent of the B2C content marketers who say they use them. Branch out into infographics and, if appropriate, think about videos, tours, “how-to” demos or “expert” discussions. Become social media savvy if you’re not already.
Customers appreciate being involved in the afterlife of the products and services they purchase, and most customers appreciate hearing from other buyers about their experiences. Ask for referrals and testimonials. Post them on your website. Respond to all questions, complaints or criticisms you receive. Keep your word; stand behind your promises.
Marketing may be different in today’s fast-paced world, but basic principles are the same. Treat customers with respect, and they are likely to become customers for the long term. That’s the basis of guerrilla marketing.