When it comes to business, these days consumers have most of the power. Competition for your business comes from every direction. As such, it is no longer a profitable long term business strategy to compete merely on price or availability. Focus instead on generating a steady flow of customers through creating a positive and lasting impression in the minds of your target market.
Everything you do to increase recognition of you, your business and your products can be defined as promotion. Define your target market as specifically as you can, and tailor the image of your company to appeal to these people. You then need to work out exactly how you are going to let these people know you exist. Focus your marketing efforts on a problem your customer may have, and how your product or service can offer a solution. Whether you choose advertising, giveaways, charity or community service, you need to promote that you run a credible business with a positive image.
Establishing credibility comes down to showing the world your expertise. If you have an online voice, you can run an advice forum, answer questions through your facebook page or other social media outlet, or by any other method of tip dissemination. Offline, you can do the same thing by running advertisements with free expert advice in them or providing free consultations.
It is important that you appear as professional but approachable as possible. You want your customers to relate to you as someone who will go out of their way to provide customer satisfaction, and takes their job responsibilities seriously. Don’t say you are the best. Let the customer know that you work hard to give the best possible customer experience and will resolve any issues that may arise, whatever they may be.
There is a very good reason why local business donate to schools or sponsor children's sports teams. They are marketing themselves as caring members of the local community. Do this online by placing charity support icons on your website and placing community services announcements. Take it a step further by donating a percentage of sales to a charity and allowing customers to donate with their purchases.
Centre your promotional activities around great customer service, positive company image, establishing your qualifications and community involvement and you will draw customers to you naturally, even when there are other options for the same products or services you offer. Your business will have a credibility to it which will make customers more comfortable doing business with you.
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