All business owners want to find new and better ways to attract more customers. They also want to know how to keep the customers they have and sell those customers more stuff.
There are many ways to attract prospective customers – print advertising, radio, TV, the Internet, networking groups, direct marketing, mail/email campaigns and more.
The first challenge is to determine which method or methods will work best for your business. It’s one of those “pay attention to the results” things. If the marketing program you use produces the results you want, that’s good. If not, it needs to be tweaked or replaced with a different method.
Even when you find a marketing method that works it should be evaluated and tested regularly. Develop multiple methods that work. Test them against one another. Work to improve them and develop others that work. The more effective you are at getting the word out the better the results.
Finding the right marketing approach is hugely important, but important as it is, it’s only one of the components needed to attract and retain customers.
The other components are the 5 building blocks of every business – people, structure, leadership, trust, and effective communication.
Once you attract potential customers you need to convert them to actual customers. Money needs to change hands.
Although some campaigns that market specific products and services focused on specific groups can convert prospects to customers in one step, most conversions require a sales process. Successful sales processes include the right people using a well-planned sales system and effective communication designed to build trust and help the prospects make good buying decisions.
Once the sale is complete the product or service has to be delivered in a way that exceeds customer expectations. Once customers take delivery they have to be responded to and treated correctly in the event they have problems with or concerns about their purchases.
All of these business components and more are either successful or not depending the quality of the people, the structure, the leadership, the trust and the communication in an organization.
The best possible result is that each of these five building blocks is of high quality and when combined they create lots of positive talk about the business in the community. When employees, customers, vendors and others say good things about a business, the products and services they offer, and the way customers and employees are treated, the ultimate in marketing is achieved.
By all means develop, improve and expand on your marketing and branding methods. But, invest as much, if not more, in the basic components of your business. The return on your investment will be huge!