|Photography by Yuri Arcurs|
There are a few tell-tale statements that company executives make when their marketing campaign isn’t working or when they’re losing business. If you have found yourself or anyone at your company vocalizing thoughts similar to the following, immediately evaluate your marketing campaign. If you don’t change course, your company could be in trouble.
Here are the statements to listen for:
1. "Traffic is our problem."
You can’t blame your failures on slow traffic when you are the one that drives that traffic. Figure out the cause of the slow traffic. If it’s because the public doesn’t know about you, that means you need to employ more, or new, advertising avenues. Maybe it’s your business, not your marketing at all. If your customer service isn’t up to par, you need to fix that first and then advertise the fact that you’ve amped up your customer service.
2. "It doesn’t matter what the competition is doing; what matters is what we’re doing."
Marketing a business is a competition; you need to think of it as such. If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you’re going to lose out because your customers know what your competitors are doing. Clients are comparing you to your competition, so you need to compare yourself to your competition.
3. "Our customer just doesn’t like XX about our product."
Maybe your customer doesn’t know about XX, which is whatever characteristic that is turning people away from your service. Or maybe your marketing materials aren’t explaining XX sufficiently or clearly so that people understand it. Check that your copy is clear and that your images are understandable.
4. We just aren’t reaching our target market."
Most of the time, your target market is seeing your advertising, they just don’t understand the message you’re trying to send. If you have a black-and-white flyer that showcases your bold color in your designs, obviously that message is going to be lost.
If part of your message needs to convey something that pertains to color, invest in color printing. Make sure colors are true and perfect. If not, people aren’t going to get the message – they’ll see that your service doesn’t change a thing.
5. "There are plenty of clients out there to buy a little from everyone."
Yes, BUT: With high gas prices and a shaky economy, you need to fight for all the clients you get. As soon as you relax, you’re going to lose clients. The majority of people don’t have unlimited disposable income – you need to earn their spending by giving them products and a service they need and want and by telling them exactly why they should choose you over your competitor.
6. "We can rely on our customer service."
It’s great if you have superior customer service personnel, but if that’s the only thing you can tout in your marketing materials, people are going to wonder why. Those kinds of ads generally make you sound like you’re making up for something – namely, a low-quality product.
Customer service is subjective, so your definition of great customer service can differ immensely from your client's. It’s better to rely on service benefits than customer service – something that is objective rather than subjective for success.
By Kaye Marks
Image by Yuri Acurs
Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of developments in color printing industry and how these improvements can benefit small to medium-scale businesses.
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