Fun facts and info on advertising, marketing, business, and life in general

Monthly Archives: March 2021

QuestionSmilyFaceWe all know bringing in #NewCustomers grows a business.  Advertising and Marketing help find those new customers. But if not done correctly it can actually HURT a business.  Many of us that deal with small businesses know how tight their budgets are, and, unfortunately how they usually feel that advertising and/or marketing is an expense they can afford to cut.  

I once had a client, a service business (people had to make appointments) that swore the advertising & marketing was not working.  They were not growing.  I knew something other than the advertising was probably the reason. So I suggested we look over the income, customer base, old and NEW customers, types of service – basically an overview of the business itself.

MadMan (2)What I found was astonishingthey were getting NEW customers every month, but the owner was right – they were not growing.  The owner blamed the advertising.  Amazing!  I tried to explain that it has to be an internal issue causing the lack of growth.  Customers were not coming back.  I tried to explain if you are bringing in new customers each month and your customer base was not growing, then it seemed obvious – at least to me- that the customers were not coming back and you were losing existing customers.  It was hard for the owner to see and admit that something internally might be the cause.  I explained we needed to find the reason before spending any more money on advertising and bringing in more new customers.  

Owners need to realize that advertising and marketing has to have in-house systems supporting the plan for it work properly. Businesses need to work on How to #KeepCustomersHappy so they return.  Once the Marketing Plan shows results, the business and staff need to do their part to make sure it continues to work.   It is better to start off each month with an ever increasing customer base than to have to spend more $$ to just maintain numbers.  It should not stop at bringing in NEW customers – you need to appreciate your existing customers.   

They are a number of ways to achieve #CustomerSatisfaction; Rewards Programs, some of which are built into credit card company services, are a great way to track # of visits and/or $$ amount spent each month by customers – and then reward them with a special.  WHAT you reward is important.  A % Off is NOT a reward. It has to show the customer that they are important to you.  It should also help increase your business, have an expiration date, have and not be too complex with restrictions. For a restaurant an example would be 2 FREE desserts with any 2 meals purchased in house, and have an expiration date.  Service industries – add an extra service, for example a Spa can add a product or longer service. a Marketing person can help pick the right item so it helps your business.

This accomplishes a few things – it shows the customer you value them, brings them back in, maybe sooner than they would have without the offer, is an add-on item so it does not take away from an existing sale, and it can get them to try something they had not.  If the product, service and experience are GOOD, customers will return.

Future blogs will be about how #GoodCustomerService can make or break a business.  Little things businesses can do to help make decision in their favor when people are ready to shop, dine, or have a service done.  

 


404 error
Many small business owners build a website, open social media accounts but then do not use them to their advantage.  In many cases their web presence is actually bad for business.

Having incorrect or out-of-date info on the web really harms a business, especially a small business. 

For example – I needed to make a service appointment at a business I have used in the past.  When I looked them up on google, got to their website, they had a contact phone # – which I called.  I got a recording that the number was not in service.   I assumed the business had closed, and I should look for a new service provider.

Instead, I decided to a little more digging.  I found another phone number doing another google search, further down the list – called it, and they are open.   I then checked a few other businesses’ web presence – it is amazing how many have information over a year old, or no info to help potential customers, and/or have bad links, or links that do not link to anything #Non-Link!   Some still show they are temporarily #CovidClosed and would probably re-open in a few weeks BUT the post is dated April 2020!!!   Consumers do not typically have the patience to keep checking and digging – they just move on to the next business.

By not keeping a website updated businesses may have LOST a LOT OF BUSINESS. Unfortunately, there is no real way to track LOST business or calls. Having a social media account, and having information and posts that are outdated or ONLY about business can also be harmful. Social media posts should be a mix of interesting and current trends, discussions or current events as well as updated CORRECT info about your business, products, special, hours, etc. Photos and videos help too. Using Hashtags is great, IF you it correctly. #EverythingisNOTahashtag! This is the perfect example of why spending some $$ on hiring a professional to keep your web and social media presence up to date, pertinent, and informative is really an important investment in your business.

Bad or outdated info is like having a store front, staffing it, then keeping the doors locked and the lights out!

Check out BestMarketingNC.com for more info on out plans and programs for small businesses.