When it comes to marketing, there are the usual avenues to go down.
There are traditional marketing strategies, such as placing ads in the classifieds, or leaflet drops when going door to door in your business locality.
There are digital marketing strategies; spreading the word about your business through social media, email, and your website.
There is nothing wrong with any of these marketing strategies, and they should be encouraged, provided you have the time and finances to make them work.
However, there are other ways to market your business that you might not have considered.
You may have considered advertising your business on the television, but have you considered the radio? You may have considered this type of advertising irrelevant, perhaps because you think the television and internet consume most people’s lives these days. However, according to this radio advertising company, radio still reaches 90% of people in the US, not only through traditional local radio channels, but through more modern types of broadcasting including satellite and digital radio. Perhaps it’s time you started to catch the ears, as well as the eyes, of your potential customers.
We aren’t talking about your marketing or sales teams here. Rather, we are suggesting using your employees as brand ambassadors, getting the most out of your employees by encouraging them to promote your business to their families, friends, and neighbors. They can talk about your business, leave business cards with others, post reviews online, and spread word through social media. You might even offer your employees an incentive, giving them a boost in their pay or a corporate gift when you acquire a new customer because of their efforts.
Your business is nothing without your customers, as you need them to stay open. However, they can do more than buy from you. Your customers can also market your business for you, whether you ask them to or not. For example, if you have shown excellent customer service, your customer might naturally write positive reviews about your business online, or they might share good word-of-mouth to their friends and families. On the other hand, you might set up a customer advocacy program, using some of these ideas to enlist your customers into your marketing strategy. Provided you stay on their right side, and offer an incentive, they could become your greatest brand ambassadors.
In business school, we were taught to be wary of other business owners, but what if we could work with them? While you might resist working with your nearest competitors, there may be other businesses who can work with you in attracting customers. Provided you are reaching a similar type of customer; you can pool your resources together and even co-brand a product. Take a look at these examples of successful affinity marketing, and then consider who you might partner with to extend word of your business.
When it comes to marketing your business, you need to think outside of the box occasionally and reconsider strategies that you may have considered redundant. We have only touched on a few examples here, but do your research, and if you have any ideas of your own, please share them with us.