Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent November/December 2012 Contents MARKETING TOP 10
"people don't buy from
businesses, they buy from people"
They mastered the
art of relationship
It is said that people don't buy
from businesses, they buy from
people. All too often we approach
marketing logically when we should be approaching
it from a standpoint more emotional and relational.
Your business may well have the best products or
services in your field, but if the other guy has the
best relationship managers on staff, he'll win just
about every time, and win over time.
They paid attention to aesthetic details
When was the last time that you had your business
secret shopped or evaluated by a merchandising,
decorating, space planning or other type of expert?
Businesses that devote resources to analysis of the
customer's journey through the business (whether it's
a physical location or a virtual one) are more likely to understand
the aesthetic details that may have nothing to do with their actual
products or services, but which may none-the-less make or break
a customer's experience.
They created a unique customer experience
Let's pick on restaurants for a minute. When you visit a fast
food restaurant, you know the drill. Enter (or drive up) and
wait, order, wait, sit and eat (or take your food and go). And the
same goes for a dine-in restaurant; enter, wait, be seated, review choices,
order, wait, eat, pay, leave. My point is that many businesses provide
similar experiences, only the details of the actual product or service types
vary. But if you can create a customer experience that is outside of the
customer's expectations---in a good way---you set the stage for repeat
visits and referrals. And this intrinsic experiential difference can become a
topic that is buzz-worthy in and of itself.
populate their blog
Businesses that blog
regularly get more web traffic
and businesses that get more
web traffic get more sales. Write blog
articles on topics that your target audience
are likely to search for online and you will
increase the number of people who find
your blog and other web properties.
And once you've got them there, plan
your blog (or website, social media, email
newsletter, etc) so that these landing page
articles entice them to take another action
you want them to take, whether that is to
learn more about your business online or
visit your business (offline or online) for the
purposes of shopping or (better yet) buying
something from you.
They send regular email
I love shopping and with a husband, two dogs
and six kids, I can usually find a reason to shop
each and every week. That being the case, not
very many weeks go by where a retailer doesn't
ask for my email address. But even though I've given my
email address out to many businesses, only a handful
actually send me email messages.
Email newsletters and updates are one of the best and
lowest cost ways to communicate with your customers
quickly and at the right frequency. What's more, if you've
asked for your customer's email address, it's likely that
they expect to hear from you. Study after study indicates
that customers who interact with a brand online do so
for the purpose of obtaining discounts and coupons. At
the very least, you should be using email marketing to let
your contacts know about current promotions or special
Plus, when someone visits your website with interest
in your products or services but isn't ready to buy, email
newsletters are a great option for keeping your business'
name in their mind so that when they are ready to buy,
they buy from you. In fact, it could very well be one of
the best means at your disposal to continue the dialogue
with prospects in this way.
They ask for, and utilise,
There's nothing that sends the message that a
company really does care about its customers than when they
actually act on the suggestions, ideas, feedback and requests
made by their customers. Make the dialogue within your
relationships two-way relationships, rather than monologues
(you telling them what they should buy from you). You'll get
great information about how to improve your business and
the customer experience as well as reviews, raves and other
feedback you need to evolve your product and service offering
mix in alignment with market demand.
*Elizabeth Kraus is the author of a number of books on marketing and writes a blog which has great ideas for various seasons.
National Newsagent November/December 2012 43
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