~ written by Susan Barton,contributing author
The terms Advertising and Marketing are often used interchangeably but in reality they’re very different. Marketing is comprised of several components such as advertising,market research,media planning,public relations,product pricing,distribution,customer support,sales strategy,and community involvement. So you see advertising,which simply put includes things like direct mailings,newspaper and radio ads,etc.,is just one component of marketing. To have a successful business you must have a good marketing strategy and implement this strategy to maximize benefits. Below are 8 marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Notice the final 4 are all customer service related.
1. Get to know your target market and be prepared to adapt. If your customers are telling you “the other guys” are offering a 10% discount or a life time guarantee be prepared to do so as well.
2. Whether your business is a sole proprietorship or has several employees everyone involved should be a salesperson. You and your employees need to be ready,willing and able to sell your product or service.
3. Be honest about your product or service. Inflated claims will likely cause dissatisfied customers.
4. Track the results of every component of your marketing campaign. What results are being generated from print,radio,television,internet and direct mailing ads? You don’t want to waste money on things that aren’t producing results.
5. Don’t neglect your existing customers. While you should always be actively seeking new clients show your existing customers you appreciate them. Follow up emails and phone calls let your customers know you care and are ready to assist them further.
6. Along with number one,follow up calls and emails are extremely important to your business. Studies show businesses never hear from 96% of their dissatisfied customers.
7. 50% of all customers who complain would do business again with a company who rectified the problem quickly.
8. Customers are twice as likely to talk about negative experiences with a company than a positive one