Every small business owner without the funds to invest in a huge marketing campaign is at risk of miscommunication. They expect that if they’re going to achieve a decent R.O.I, they need a creative marketing strategy.
That’s where the communication mishaps come into the equation and it could be what’s holding you back and getting you a lower R.O.I than you expected from your advertising.
Every company has something unique to offer. If you didn’t have a decent USP, the bank or any other investors would not have contributed to your start up costs.
The USP of your business is not only important for funding, because it’s something that will continue to contribute to the amount of customers who decide to do business with you.
People will only hand their money over to people that they trust and that’s what your communication efforts need to do; establish trust right from the get go.
Problems occur for start-ups when they focus they’re material towards attracting investors rather than customers. You need to reverse that mentality and attract the customers first. The words you use in your marketing material are what promote your business in a way that attracts new customers. You simply cannot use the same language to communicate with both customers and investors.
If you need to raise capital to expand your business, it can be tempting to alter your materials, such as your web content to appeal to an investors’ interest. That will do you no good in the long run, because investors are only interested in what people are paying for.
That’s why there is a number one rule in every business to always focus on the customer first. If you can attract the customer and retain their business, the investors will sit up and take notice. If you’ve started your business in the last five years, you’re still considered a start-up business.
Most businesses fail within that time frame, so to ensure yours thrives beyond that and grows to a success, you need to attract the customers.
For effectively controlling your marketing message in a way that does your business justice, you need to think beyond the first impressions you control internally. The way your staff answer the telephone, how your invoices are branded with your company logo and any other marketing material that inform people about your business, be it a service or a product-based business.
The first impression people have of you are not always with you. In fact, the most powerful first impression people have about your business – you have absolutely no knowledge of it. It’s when you have one customer and they speak to someone else about your company.
That’s a first impression and if that is poor, you won’t have the chance to put things right. You only get one chance with first impressions, and if that one is through an existing customer, you have absolutely no say in what is said and how. You can however control the conversation partly by always delivering excellence in customer care.
You need to acknowledge that every customer interaction is part of increasing awareness about your business. The more people do business with you, the more people are exposed to your company name. That’s why a strong and memorable company name is essential to get your company off the ground.
Your brand is not your logo and company name
There’s a misconception over branding that it’s all about stamping your brand logo in all your material. That is not your brand. That is only the face of things. Your brand is the customer interactions with your company. How people perceive your business is your business brand. That’s what you promote.
That is why customer reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools that any company can leverage. They are independent user reviews verifying the legitimacy of your brand. Remember that your brand is your reputation. If you want to promote your brand name, you promote your reputation.
For every customer who leaves you a review and permits you to use it on your website or other marketing material, fire up your newsletter and announce it to your prospects.
So much emphasis is put on the graphics of brand promotion, when that is only a fraction of the battle. The real heart of effective marketing is controlling your first impressions with your company both with you and from your previous/existing customers.
Leverage what you already have for maximum effectiveness by giving each of your customers an excellent level of service and that will allow your business to control the first impressions both with and about you.
The more people hear about you from others, the more effective your promotional efforts will be.
Whenever you run a marketing campaign in the local paper, or radio, you want people to have at least heard of your company because they will already have a first impression and based on that, they will make a decision to contact you, or dismiss your business.
Pay close attention to controlling your reputation and you’ll have a far easier job marketing your brand name effectively, without being overly promotional.
All you need is your first customer and from that first experience, your business can grow, or fall flat with negative feedback circulating about your business. Take care of your reputation and your brand will become stronger consistently.
Please feel free to contact us today. We’d be happy to discuss your brand promotion and marketing requirements.