If you own a small business, you must learn some basic marketing techniques to help you grow your business. Marketing has a lot of definitions, and most people associate it strictly with advertising. However, marketing is not just advertising. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
This definition shows that under marketing, you also have market research, sales, and advertising. Some business schools like Western Governors University offer a very in-depth marketing program. You can take some of the classes online to learn more about general market practices. Below you will find some tried and true marketing techniques that will be very useful to any business in 2017.
Direct Mail or Email Campaigns
There is a reason that you still get mail from banks 10 times a week in your mailbox: they help reinforce brand recognition. Direct mailings work because they are personalized, tangible, highly targeted to your main audience, and it is a relatively inexpensive method. Email is even less expensive than direct mail since it is all digital. This form of marketing helps you reach a very wide audience without using up a lot of resources. Check out this article for more reasons why you should use direct marketing.
Referrals are another great form of marketing because they are free. All you need to do is ask your current customers to recommend your business to their friends and family. Also, if you just sold something to a customer, you simply need to ask if they know anyone else you can contact about your business. Companies of all sizes rely on referrals to increase customers and market share.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Making sure your customers are happy is crucial to maintaining your client base. Customers satisfaction surveys have been used for a long time to help business owners and executives gauge how well their company is performing from the customer’s perspective. Surveys are great because they provide real feedback from customers and can provide a metric to measure performance and improvement. Surveys are also relatively inexpensive and easy to create. Check out this article for more information on customer surveys and why you should use them.
Upsell to Current and Previous Customers
Most business leaders know and will agree that gaining a new customer is significantly more challenging and expensive than selling to existing customers. With that in mind, you can use the techniques above to sell new products or services to customers that already purchased something from you in the past. Or, once you get a client to say yes, keep upselling them until they tell you they don’t want anymore. Fast food companies and fortune 100 companies all use this technique in the selling process. Once you win a customer’s trust, it is much easier to ask them to buy more.