Find a new type of customer – Chances are you have a pretty good feel for what your customers want, but you might still be missing out on potentially lucrative niches for your products if you haven’t considered how others might use them. For example, the iPad’s target customer base might be professional thirtysomethings, but that didn’t stop Apple from marketing it to schools as a learning tool.
Live in your customers’ worlds – Have your staff attend the same events as your customers, mingle with them and get to know them. Don’t have them try to make an immediate sale; instead, encourage them to learn more about what drives your customers. Doing so will undoubtedly lend insight into how you can better serve them, spur product ideas and establish a loyal customer base. Be sure they’re handing out business cards to everyone they meet – after they get to know them.
Research … then take risks – A lot of small business owners I know blindly try new marketing mediums or buy media that THEY use without ever researching how well they perform for their products or services. Research marketing tools, then make decisions based on their established performance. You might also discover marketing tools your industry doesn’t use, so you can tap into them without competition. Don’t be afraid to take risks… just make sure they’re educated risks first.
Outsource – You can’t do it all, but when you outsource to qualified providers you can accomplish more and make more money in less time. There are many outsourcing guides available; the best advice I can offer is to make sure you select your providers wisely. Do not waste money in retainers, fees, billable hours, etc. if you don’t have to. When you have a great provider, you can achieve great things with little risk.
Have fun – Have fun with your new marketing ideas. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm or to try something no one else has ever done before. After all, the biggest prizes go to the innovators.
Consistency is king – All of our clients know, from me repeatedly stating this, that The No. 1 thing you need to do with your brand or product is be consistent. This means that your messaging, positioning and look should line up across platforms. It’s not about posting the same thing on each social media platform — it’s more about having everything have a consistent look.