Monday, 7 September 2020

Three ways knowing your ideal customer benefits your business

There is no business, whether large or small, anywhere in the world, that can create a product or offer a service to everyone!  No one business can fulfill the needs of every single person on the planet.  There must be something that differentiates what your business provides from that of your competition.  There may well be overlaps in some customer groups but almost certainly there is no product for everybody.


Knowing your ideal customer is integral to business success.  It guarantees the business a place in the market and with the right marketing messages, such a business can realize profits from an engaged customer group who will consistently support the business, refer new customers and help to propel the business into new markets.

As small entrepreneurs venture into business especially now, it is crucial that customer solutions are not created in a vacuum.  Knowing exactly who is the targeted customer group, is even more important as smaller businesses must operate efficiently to reduce waste and maximize each element of the business to ensure measurable outputs.

The following are three ways that knowing your ideal customer benefits your business:

·         Researching customer groups defines the customer and validates the product/service – Conducting research to validate your business or product offering among the specific customer group can only yield positive benefits.  The research helps to refine the product or service thereby ensuring that the business is providing a solution for the customer.  Research also helps to identify the ideal customer for the solution being provided.

·         Product testing, sampling and trials runs refines the product/service - Usefulness, functionality and practicality are important to the success of any new product or service.  Doing trial runs, sampling and product testing are great ways to get feedback from the target group.  This allow the business to showcase their new product features and benefits, provides a preview for the customer group and gives the customer an opportunity to have a say in the final product.

·         Early customer engagement incorporates customer opinions, gets the business more leads and builds strong customer relationships – Customers love to feel part of the process and engaging them in the decision-making process makes them feel a part of, and ownership of the product/brand.  This ownership when properly managed can result in new customer leads and stronger customer relationships.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Five ways to automate your small business marketing

Automation is important for any business but even more so for small businesses who more often than not contend with limitations in resources such as personnel, budget and time.  Automating marketing tasks in particular frees up the business owner to focus on other areas of business.

As marketing continues to evolve into more tech-based solutions, it is crucial for small business owners to take advantage of the technology to improve the customer experience as well as customer response times.

While social media updates may come to mind as the first step in marketing automation, there are actually many other ways that small businesses can automate marketing to increase business visibility, improve revenue streams and increase customer recall. 



The following are five ways that small businesses can engage automation to maximise time, save money and build brand awareness: 

1.    Use an email signature – Your email signature says who you are, what you do and how to find you.  Those few lines are powerful for establishing yourself and your business as a legitimate contender within your industry.  The fact that you don’t have to retype it each time you send an email, is an added bonus.

2.    Use an auto-response for emails and social media touch points – Increase responsiveness to the customer by setting up automated responses to emails as well as on your social media touch points.  This buys you some time as you process the customers’ requests and the business will benefit from the boost in the customer’s perception of your business.

3.    Use appointment reminders – As a small business owner, doing it alone, it is easy to forget an important meeting or telephone call to a prospective client or investor.  Most email platforms offer a calendar which allows you to schedule reminders; mobile phones and computers/laptops also offer the same facility. Use it to remind you of important appointments so that you remain efficient.

4.    Email marketing – Emails are still a great way to keep the lines of communication open between the business and its client group.  Providing weekly or monthly marketing updates to customers can be a time-consuming task especially with the other demands of the business.  Have a content plan for your email marketing.  It outlines what is to be communicated to your client group and when.  Of course, allow room for adjustments as things can change on the fly but be prepared to generate those specific marketing emails in bulk and schedule for delivery as required.

5.    Social media marketing - Updating social media platforms can prove to be a time-consuming activity.  Utilizing social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, can help small business owners to appear more active on social media than they really are.  Dedicating one or two hours out of the week to schedule the week’s post frees up the entrepreneur to focus on other critical areas of the business. 

 

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Three ways knowing your ideal customer benefits your business

There is no business, whether large or small, anywhere in the world, that can create a product or offer a service to everyone!  No one busin...