1. Really get to know your BEST customers – profile their characteristics in detail and then go, find similar ones!
2. Communicate regularly with your customers: current customers, potential customers but particularly lapsed customers. Newsletters and emails are great but can you find other methods e.g. podcasts?
3. Take a look at how you are perceived by the outside world. Image is all today! Do you need a new brand image, a new website or new business cards? Review your website. If you have more than one area in your business, consider having separate microsites rather than one large website.
4. In a world of spam, never overlook the humble postcard. A good postcard can be more effective than a bad brochure.
Why buy from us?
5. Decide what really makes you special. What is your USP? What are the benefits of buying from you? Once you have identified it, encapsulate it in a few words or a strapline and promote it everywhere!
6. Consider co-marketing with another (non-competitive) company with a similar customer profile. Could you do a joint venture? Could you ‘piggyback’ on someone else’s marketing activities? Could you swap mailing lists or share costs?
7. Review your advertising costs. If local advertising works for you drive a hard bargain on costs and make it a sales advert with a clear call-to-action.
8. Editorial is free so cultivate a few journalists. Make sure that you have a real ‘story’ to tell first though!
9. Use free social media tools – especially blogging! Obama won the US election by understanding and using social media.
10. Consider video – even accountants reading slides have got 500 views on!
11. Use market research tools as a basis for CRM improvements and communication – www.surveymonkey.com is free
Plan and monitor
12. Have a plan! Create a simple one-page Marketing Plan that works for your business.
In the current economic climate monitor your results very closely and adjust as necessary. Track everything!
Finally, the key to marketing success is to pick one or two tools that work for your business and use them consistently!