Tuesday, 8 May 2012

5 Signs That Your Business Needs a Marketing Makeover

| Tuesday, May 08, 2012 | |

Marketing is one of those facets of business that is changing the most rapidly right now. It's been tough for companies of all sizes to keep up social media, blogging and more recently, the increase in mobile devices.

The consumer's needs have stayed the same, but their wants and desires have changed. They still need the same products and information, but they want it at their immediate disposal. Newspapers and magazines print yesterday's news...while services like Twitter and Facebook offer immediate response to the things that are happening now. This desire for instant information and response is changing the marketing industry as a whole, as consumer's are expecting companies to keep up.

Have you taken a good look at your business? Are you keeping up with the times? Here are 5 signs that you may need to change things up a bit:

If you're having problems verbalizing your marketing strategy, and being able to communicate it effectively to your team, then you may have to revisit it. Use a whiteboard to physically put it “on paper”, so that you and your team can visualize it, update it, and implement it.

You focusing solely on obtaining new customers. Yes, reaching out and attracting new prospects is an integral part of business, but don't neglect your current customer base in the process. On average, it will cost a businesses 6 times more to sell a product to a prospect than to sell the same thing to a current customer. Repeat customers also spend an average of 33% more than new customers. Many consumers will switch to a competitor if they feel you don't care about them. Divide your time appropriately.

You're not creating content. I was at a marketing conference recently, and if I had a nickel for every time I heard the word “content”, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this content. Your content is what attracts people, and sparks engagement. Conversing and building relationships with your customers is vital for maintaining brand loyalty and getting referrals. Have a blog, where you can write intriguing articles about your industry, and people can comment on things that you have to say.

You are still using direct mail. Nearly half of people toss out their “junk” mail without even looking at it. I know, it's just as easy to trash your junk emails too, but at least that doesn't require the time and money that direct mail does. Especially with the rising cost of postal rates. Save the paper and the money, and implement an email, text or video marketing strategy for a fraction of the cost.

You're not using social media. The disclaimer here should be, “or not using it effectively.” Social media is no longer for kids. Over two-thirds of online U.S. adults use social media now (according to a Pew Research study). Businesses need to have a social presence, and not just to push products. Using social media effectively, means creating a dialogue with your customers...even if it means addressing problem areas with your brand.
John Ehlenbeck is a small business owner, and contributing writer for Aprimo enterprise marketing management. 
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