In a very competitive world businesses owners all understand that they have to come up with effective ways of marketing themselves and their businesses to the market they want to reach. You want to make a lasting impression in the market – you want potential clients to never forget who you are and what you do.
One way of getting attention is to hand out promotional clothing.By doing this you are hoping to remind them of who you are and what you do every time they look at, touch or wear whatever piece of clothing it is you gave them.
While most companies’ budgets may prevent them from handing out expensive items, it is still possible to come up with pieces that are not too expensive but will make an impression. One item that is very often popular is a piece of clothing that sports enthusiasts and their friends will appreciate.
Most societies enjoy sports, even if they don’t partake – they still follow it on television, the press or in social talk. Therefore promotional clothing is a popular handout. The recipient appreciates it and the company that distributes the items know that their name has reached a certain target market. A win-win situation.
People everywhere like the idea of being given something, something they do not have to pay for. And if you are clever in terms of your marketing strategies, you will hand them something not only for free, but something that they will remember you by. If, for example, you hand tennis enthusiasts, or golfers, or rugby players an item that they find useful and use often, they will be reminded of your company.
That is why it is important that whatever you hand out in terms of promotional clothing carries your emblem or logo and contact details. If your business sells clothing for sports enthusiasts, for example, and you want to target specific sports groups and clubs, you want to know that they will come to you once they need that specific clothing.
But there is nothing wrong being from an unrelated industry handing out clothing or equipment to sports clubs – you only want to get your message across which is for clients to remember who you are. It is just that so many people are sports enthusiasts that it is one of the effective ways of making an impact.
Of course you can hand out clothing to private clubs, schools, community centres, universities and any other organisation that you want to target with your promotional clothing.When you plan to hand out promotional items it is important take certain considerations into account.
Of course budget is paramount. Never spend too much on the clothing you hand out. You are hoping to recover any money you spend this way by getting people to deal with your company. Also, make sure you hand out something that will last, especially if it is clothing.
Whether it is a T-shirt, which is a popular item for this purpose, or baseball cap, a hat, a light sweater, shorts or any other piece, you want it to last and the recipient to see your logo for a long time to come. Very often handing out children’s tops is an effective way of getting people to remember you. Or a nice scarf or soft gloves. The possibilities are almost endless.
Promotional clothing should also have a logo carrying the name of your business and all contact details – such as telephone or mobile numbers and email addresses clearly visible – so that once they need your services they will know how to get in touch.
Once you decide to use this way of advertising your services or products, you also want to make sure you can have items produced as reasonably as possible. Get in touch with a company that is known for producing these items on a large scale.
That way you will know that someone with experience and knowledge in terms of producing promotional clothing is paying attention to your needs. You want to distribute a good, reasonable, effective item. Let a professional company help you to design and produce what you want.
Trump has been trumping a lot lately about whether Obama was born in the U.S. or not.
Some may ask themselves – who cares?
Well, if you want to learn a thing or two about marketing, then you should care – just watch the big man in the white house – he’s one of the best self-marketers around.
So, what’s the deal with that whole Obama’s birth certificate?
If you really don’t care about it – it just goes to show you’re not an ideal Trump prospect, but…
If this whole issue stirs any kind of emotion in you towards Trump, be it admiration or resentment – that’s exactly what Trump is aiming to do here.
See, the tactic Trump is applying here is called using a common enemy with his crowd –
If you’re a Republican or any kind of Trump enthusiast, then you hate Obama’s guts.
If you’re a Democrat, or simply don’t like Trump, then you hate Trump’s guts for yapping on an on about Obama (or any other issue for that matter)
So by keeping the Obama birth certificate subject in the news, Trump is forcing you to pick a side – love him, or hate him.
As long as you’re not indifferent to him – Trump’s mission is accomplished, because like any great salesman knows –
If you get your prospect all emotional, it means he cares.
And if he’s emotional – you can channel that emotion into action.
In other words, Trump would rather you hate him than not care about him because if you hate him he can eventually convince you he’s right at some point.
But if you simply don’t care – that’s the worst thing that could happen to old Trump, or as the old saying goes –
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
So the lesson learned here is to talk about things that are guaranteed to stir emotions in your prospect.
Be them good or bad – as long as there’s emotional weight, you can leverage it to bonding with him and getting him to buy from you.
You’d be amazed how many times we start a relationship with some business by hating them, only to eventually learn to respect what they’re saying, even if we don’t like it, and finally become their customers.
Learn from the big man in D.C – use controversy to stir emotion in your prospect, so you’re always on his mind.
In future articles, I’ll talk about how to use those haters to your advantage.
Boredom is the death of the sale, and indifference is the death of the salesman.
Business marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to other businesses or organizations. These other organizations may resell these goods and services or use them in their own business to support their operations. Business marketing is often called as industrial marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
The perfect example of Business to business marketing is the automobile industry. Automobile companies buy various spare parts such as tires, batteries, electronics and door locks which are manufactured independently by other businesses and sold directly to automobile manufacturers to assemble automobiles.
Even the Service industry is also engaged in large number of business to business transactions. For example Companies specializing in housekeeping provide services exclusively to other organizations, rather than individual consumers.
Business-to-customer marketing is when a business markets and sells its goods and services to retail consumers for personal use. While most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies. The business-to-consumer as a business model differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to transaction between two or more businesses.
Business market (B2B) vs. Consumer marketing (B2C)
B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing in a number of key ways. A Business market has very few customers as compared to a consumer market which has large numbers of customers. A business market usually sells a customized product where as a consumer market sells a homogenous product. A Business to business transaction is a huge value transaction as purchase quantity is very high where as business to consumer transaction is a small value transaction. Price can be negotiated in business markets where as price is usually fixed in consumer market. Business markets have lengthy and complex selling process with multiple decision makers but in consumer market buying decision are simple and are made by individuals.
Keys to success in Business markets are:
1) Value creation & Customer satisfaction
Business begins with value creation. It is the prime objective of the business to create and deliver value in an efficient manner which will ultimately lead to profits. Value leads to customer satisfaction. Customer experience is an integral part of B2B marketing. The customer experience is the key brand differentiator, even more than the price and product.
2) Social media marketing
Social media marketing is when a company uses social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market its product or services. Social media marketing is one of the best and efficient platforms for marketers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing including current and potential customers.
3) Mobile marketing
Mobile marketing is a digital marketing strategy whose aim is reaching a target audience on their Smartphone, tablets, and other mobile devices through email, SMS and multimedia messages.
Smartphone usage has increased multiple times during the last few years, app usage has also highly increased. Therefore, mobile marketers have increasingly taken advantage of Smartphone apps as a marketing resource. Marketers aim to optimize the visibility of an app in a store, which will maximize the number of downloads. This practice is called App Store Optimization (ASO).
4) Multimedia Content Marketing
Marketing using Multimedia content attracts more customers. B2B marketers are widely adopting this trend. The primary driver is the desire to make content more engaging, compelling, and shareable than just the traditional modes. The most common forms of visual content include 360-degree videos.
5) Effective Personal selling & Executive Branding
Distribution channel is the path through which the product reaches the final customer. Personal selling is the most preferred form of distribution and promotion used by B2B marketers The sellers promote the product through their attitude, appearance and specialist product knowledge. Executive Branding is when an executive showcases his professional strengths as a way to attract the customers. Executive branding is also known as reputation management. Especially in B2B environments, executive branding is now considered a necessity. Senior management must create and develop their personal brand image to attract new customers.
Generally, companies are broken down into four levels of hierarchy, the corporate, the division, the business unit and the product level. The overall plan of the company is designed at a corporate level. As part of this planning, each resource is allocated to each division of the company. Next, division level planning allocates resources to each business unit of the company. In addition, business unit planning designs a strategic plan for each business area, which determines each of the marketing objectives/goals, strategies and tactics, that have to be consistent with the overall strategic plan.
Therefore, a marketing plan, according to Kotler, is a “written document, which includes the objectives, strategies and action plans regarding the elements of the marketing mix which facilitate and enable compliance with the strategy dictated at the corporate level”.
So in order to bring success to your business, you need a strategic marketing plan. Strategic plans are classified according to their time frame to long, medium and short- term plans. Usually long-term plans tend to be between 5-10 years at corporate level, medium-term plans 2-5 years and short-term consists of a time period ranging from 6 months to 1 year.
A proper marketing plan has 10 sections.
Executive Summary: the marketing plan like all the documents that are submitted to established executive bodies must begin with a brief summary of the whole plan, with basic numerical data and info.
Mission and Vision: the marketing plan includes the company’s “reason of existence”, values and its future intentions and strategic approach.
Situation Analysis: this section includes all the market research results with various subsections. It includes an external analysis (macroenvironment and microenvironment analyses) and an internal analysis (with the assistance of various internal matrices such as BCG Matrix and General Electric Matrix).
SWOT Analysis: the company’s strengths and weaknesses and environmental threats and opportunities for the company, this is the basis for defining the marketing objectives and strategies.
Objectives: the goals that the company plans to achieve, that can be classified based on their characteristics as quantitative or qualitative.
Marketing Strategies: based on the objectives, a marketing strategy is the roadmap to success.
Marketing Mix: one of the key points of the marketing plan is the design of medium and long-term approach of the 4 Ps (price, place, product, promotion).
Action Program: on this section all the actions to be performed are gathered with specific information, timetables and responsibilities among the personnel.
Provisional Income Statement: the plan must include an income statement with any inputs for which the marketing department is responsible for.
Monitoring and Control: the purpose of this section is to make sure that all 9 sections are followed and the proposed objectives are being achieved.
Apart from these 10 sections a marketing plan in order to be successful it needs to have 3 characteristics.
The plan must be flexible, because the business environment is changing rapidly and the plan needs to be able to adapt in order to achieve the objectives that have been set.
The marketing plan must be clear and precise in each section order to avoid misunderstandings within the department.
It has to be systematic and structured, written as a series of logical, organized steps and complete in regards to amount of information.
The fact is that content marketing is consistently evolving. Exactly like previous years if you have been observant, content marketing remains the main strategy to acquire new customers and increase brand awareness.
In addition, this makes sense because more businesses in 2017 have had significant success with content marketing when compared to that of 2016. The key to having consistent success in this effort is your capability to foresee imminent trends and embrace the changes as soon as possible.
In this article, I will explore important trends, which in 2018 will shape content marketing.
For a small business, content marketing is the sure way for the acquisition of new customers regarding the fact it doesn’t need a huge budget. Nevertheless, according to various reports, mega-brands such as Google, Facebook, and Apple are investing thousands of dollars to get original content. Therefore, original and consistent content is apparently all the frenzy irrespective of your business type – small or big.
As 2017 winds away, brands are expected to spend more in 2018 considering the numerous success of their content marketing strategy. This is why content marketing will be more competitive like never before. So, hiring a content team is important if your business is directly determined by producing relevant and high-quality content on a consistent basis.
You can begin with a well-documented content strategy while planning an editorial calendar to modernize the entire content marketing process. You should define the roles of the content team to help keep everyone on the same line. After this, you can evaluate your growth on a consistent basis while refining your strategy as you forge ahead.
The next future of content marketing is video. According to Cisco, by 2019 video will encompass about 80 percent of internet traffic generated. In addition, a large number of marketers also agree to the report and conclude that video will be the dominant content marketing strategies in the future.
If you could incorporate video into your content marketing strategy or your sales process, it will provide a self-serve service for your customers. Using this strategy gives you the opportunity of distributing accurate information without your salespeople being involved.
Besides video, another emerging trend, which is speedily becoming the standard across industries, is live streaming. For your business to stay ahead of your competitors, you must find innovative ways of using this video platform to get new customers.
Overall, due to the transparent nature of live video marketing, it does work. Every customer or potential client like brands that are “real and cool.” Live videos enable you to see what is taking place behind the scenes while allowing you to make your customer become more familiar with you.
There are indications that brands that invest in a different kind of content personalization in 2018 will out outsell those without a personalized content by over 20 percent. In short, the effectiveness of content personalization strategy is unquestionably high for any brand that adopts it.
Of course, I won’t say content personalization is an easy task, it is challenging. It requires a long-term effort by anyone involved in your content creation. Nevertheless, you can start by developing an onsite focused campaign through dynamic content blocks and modal popups. You may also consider using email automation as a way of informing your customers by offering important information at the right time.
Most brands are investing in specifically user-generated campaigns, which inspires loyal customers to become brand advocates and share their positive experience with friends and family on social media.
User-generated content on social networks functions as social proof since human beings have the tendency of trusting and following the choices and actions of other people. Actually, people have confidence in content made by others than they trust the brands’ own content.
The use of User-generated Content is prevalent mostly on Instagram, where most brands use hashtags and create fascinating stories. User-generated content also increases your user visibility and engagement. These two are important factors that ultimately increase your brand awareness.
Content marketing just like any kind of marketing discipline changes over time. You must respond to the latest trends else, you will be swept off your foot. It is therefore imperative that you do all that is possible to stay ahead of your competitors before the trends become obsolete.
Following these upcoming trends is important if you want to succeed in Content Marketing. You will need someone with the experience and skill to bring these to reality. If you want to stay ahead of your competitor then hiring the best content creation is not an option. Let me help you in providing quality and valuable content that will increase your brand awareness in 2018.
What are you sharing with your audience?
Is it content that is aligned with your brand? Are you sharing it with your authentic voice? Is it having the impact you want it to have?
All good questions to be asking about your marketing content. Those aspects and more go into creating great content that really reaches your audience, connects, and builds relationships. All essential steps before a buying decision.
You can craft your content to connect, so you build that relationship. How? Here are 6 aspects of successful content:
Demonstrate your expertise by sharing what you know. When you do, it adds to the perception of your brand as a subject matter expert. You also give your audience a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
I recently did a video where I put on a top hat and Groucho Marx glasses and mustache. It was fun to be goofy! And I got so many comments – people liked seeing me laugh at myself.
Your sense of humor is part of your authentic, unique self, right? We’d love to see that!
Another way to entertain is to surprise people. Do something unusual. Include a little intrigue to keep their interest.
3. Tell stories
Stories engage. Since we sat around a fire in caves, we’ve been telling stories. Your marketing as a whole tells a story about your business. Stories are the most effective way to sell your product or service. Tell stories about your business, your impact, your clients, your team in a way that aligns with your brand. Tell a powerful story and you’ll connect with people in a deeply meaningful way.
4. Add value
Bring value to your audience with your marketing content. If you’re looking for ideas, listen to your audience! What are they asking? What are they commenting on? If you want to know more, ask them! Guide them to additional resources, like one of your articles, podcast episodes, or videos.
5. Be authentically unique
Bring out what’s unique about you and your brand. That authenticity is what sets you apart and helps you connect with your ideal audience. Fly your freak flag! Emphasize how special you are.
6. Be relevant
Consider your audience. Is your content going to speak them? Bring them the information they want?
Every time your business touches the outside world, you’re telling people something about you and your business. Each time is also an opportunity to connect with your audience and if they like what you’ve presented, to share it and spark conversation.
See how many of these aspects of successful content in your marketing you can include for more impact. You’ll connect and build the relationship that will lead to more income for your business.
Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.
Roller banner displays are known by many names. Why are there so many terms for this product? Experts have a logical explanation for it. Actually, each name refers to the benefits that the product offers, and based on the benefits, the name is given.
Let’s take pop ups, for example. They do what the name suggests. They pop up and show a message. And when the message has been delivered or conveyed, its purpose is served and it goes up again. Afterwards, it’s taken to somewhere else to serve the same purpose. Let’s take a look at some main benefits of these articles of advertising. Read on to know more.
Ease of assembling
For the sake of ease of use, roller banner displays feature a solid retractable system. All you have to do is slide it out and then fix it in place. The whole thing is installed on a sturdy telescopic pole. It’s so easy to install that you won’t need to spend more than a few seconds to get the job done. As far as convenience is concerned, this thing is an ideal choice.
Since the product is made out of strong vinyl, you can use it in different environments, as it will stand the test of time. Actually, the beauty of the thing is that it comes with strong structural support and can last several years. Typically, aluminum is used in the making, which is why the thing is quite tough and durable.
Even if you have a small space in your office or house, you can use these roller banner displays. Once disassembled and rolled up, you will require little space for keeping them safe. As a matter of fact, you can store hundreds of units in a small room. So, there is no need to reserve a lot of space for them.
Convenience is another benefit of the product. If you need to use the roller banner displays at more than one location, of course, you will need to take each unit over there. Since they are lightweight, you can easily carry them from one place to another. So, convenience of transportation is another benefit that you can enjoy.
No matter the occasion, roller banner displays can promote your brand. You can use them to promote a job fair, a business conference or a trade show, for instance. Other alternatives can’t serve multiple purposes as they are not as portable as these banners. And that is one of the primary reasons why most businesses of today make use of these products.
To cut a long story short, if you are looking for an easy-to-use, affordable and reliable solution to promote your products or services, we suggest that you give a go to roller banner display. They offer a myriad of benefits and can be had for a few dollars. So, they are a cost-effective solution for individuals, small businesses and large companies.
Sales methods and techniques are meant to give you a boost in your sales figures. Here are the top 10 salesman tips for a better salesmanship. I tried to explain all these top selling techniques in a very lucid and practical manner.
Sales Tips For Success: Why Required?
Sales methods and techniques are meant to bring the true salesmanship out of you. Moreover, sales methods and techniques help you in identifying your loopholes and improving sales figures. But you may find some of the salesman tips (secret weapons you possess) are not working effectively as it used to be.
Hence, you need to switch out of your old-fashioned approach of selling and try new top selling techniques to smash your own sales records.
Top 10 Selling Methods and Techniques
Help people to make decisions
Offer a cup of coffee
Sell in a bundle
Make your words fancy
Repackage the product
Take the pre-booking approach
Accept debit and credit cards
Be a specialist
Long time experience in the business
Do not compare with the leading brands
1. Help people to make decisions: You may be surprised, but it’s a fact that most the people find it difficult to make decisions. To be more straightforward everybody is not that smart. People believe your words, slogans etc. in your advertisement. You are saying “This health drink is good for your child’s health- better immunity, strengthen bones, sharpen minds bla bla bla… “. A popular brand like Horlicks does the same to convince buyers.
You are not lying but playing some psychological tricks. Your products surely not to have these supernatural qualities and customers are also not going to test your products in a laboratory. But your salesman tips work. You are helping them to take the decision or convincing them that they aren’t taking a wrong decision if they buy the product. Surprisingly, this is one the top selling techniques applied comprehensively.
2. Offer a cup of coffee: Believe it or not, is an effective sales tips for success. A lot of deals can happen over a cup of coffee. On a fine winter evening, you entered a garment showroom to find a jacket of your choice. And you are greeted with a cup of coffee (sign of a true salesmanship). You are pleased. Enjoying your coffee and the salesman is busy demonstrating their best collections.
Now in such a scenario, it would be hard for you to ignore such hospitality and only a moron can get out of the place without buying the jacket. These tiny gifts or presenting small sample packs of our products help us in pleasing the customers and inspire them to buy.
3. Sell in a bundle: In a store, you have varieties items- some are good, some are mediocre and some are bad. These products are not categorized in terms of quality but, in terms of popularity among customers. Good items have lesser margin than the bad ones. Now, what will you do to prove your salesmanship? Give up the bad items? That is not a very good idea at all.
So, sell in a bundle. Make offers or combo packs and schemes to sell both good and bad things altogether. These sales methods and techniques are frequently followed in restaurants, fast food joints like Dominos, Pizza-Hut, shopping malls etc.
4. Make your words fancy: Don’t lie, don’t fraud (which are against salesmanship), but say your words in such a way that makes life fantastic. Using tricky words are part of the sales methods and techniques. “A cup of coffee can make you rich- what?” You wonder and your curiosity will drive you to read further. People like shortcut methods to gain, achieve and to be successful.
That’s where the salesman tips work. Convince people to make a connection between their life and the product offered. Use of carefully chosen fancy words with your products help the customers to find out the usability of it in their lives and how’s life going to be better.
5. Repackage the product: Apply these salesman tips when it’s hard for you to find an answer for the flop performance of your product in the market even though you know how good it is. Mind it, it needs some makeover. Simply changing label may not do, you have to rebrand it or change the name, put a comparison with competitors, show up the advantages your product offers and how life changing it is.
If your product is inexpensive you can increase the price. You will be astonished to learn that people believe the products with obscene price tags more than the lesser one. Adding the words like ‘New’, ‘Special’ etc. to the name add value to the product and obviously customers like them. Lots of big brands rely on these sales methods and techniques to augment their sales figures.
6. Take the pre-booking approach: In this way, you can create some really crazy mob, insane to buy your products. You are showing up a product, describing its features and everything, but you are not offering it for sale. This is a tricky salesmanship. Actually, you are creating hype about the product asking your potential customers- have a look at such a great product and blissful to own it by booking it now. It creates an ambiance- be the first to own it or wait till the next lot comes.
Some companies who have already created popular brands often go for this type of marketing like Apple Inc. This way you are collecting a huge sum of money before the product is released and of course, it’s better for you, because then the customer doesn’t have a chance to back out of the deal if they hear your product isn’t so great.
Once they receive the product the connection between the product and the money they paid has long gone. Even if your product isn’t great, they will not feel deprived because it’s like they are getting it for free. The longer the time between pre-order and release the better.
7. Accept debit and credit cards: Believe me, it’s one of the effective sales methods and techniques. It’s a fact that business outlets accepting credit/debit cards do more business than their counterparts depend on cash transactions only. Most of the people find it difficult to part with hard cash. They see it as an instant loss. Moreover, there is a constraint of cash in their wallet and the customer may shy away from buying a product if it exceeds their wallet.
But in case of credit card, people rarely behave with frugality. In many cases, credit card bills are not paid by the user himself, which make them more lavish while spending. Use of cards gives them the freedom to spend more lifting the constraints of carrying hard cash, which ultimately helps in augmenting the sales figures.
The credit card companies charge an extra fee for transactions, so if possible you shouldn’t charge the same from your customers and this will encourage them to use cards frequently. To add further, some discounts may also be given if a customer buys more than a certain limit. Remember, the more methods of payment you accept, the more money you’ll make.
8. Be a specialist: You are running a shop and your salesmen are labeled in an old-fashioned way like sales executive, junior salesman and so on. Trust me, your customers will not be impressed with their demos and explanations for a particular product even if they explain things in a best possible way.
But, suppose, a customer enters your shop for a laptop and is introduced to the same guy having a designation as laptop expert, it would not take much time to convince the customer. These salesman tips work great. The customer feels confident since the salesman is an expert and he cannot suggest something bad, no matter what rotten knowledge he has about the product.
9. Long time experience in the business: These salesman tips have positive effects, if you tell, you are in the business for more than 10 years, people find it comfortable to deal with you. It’s psychological. A customer naturally gets some confidence in your salesmanship and believes that you know all the pros and cons of the product you are selling. This feeling among the customers certainly improves the sales figures beyond your expectation.
10. Do not compare with leading brands: You may know, that your product is better than some of the leading brands, but do not tell this to your customers. It may take a toll on your salesmanship. Because if you make a comparison with leading brands it creates a feeling in the mind of customers that you are trying to screw them.
A customer knows that the popular brands are of high quality and he is accustomed to it. Now if you tell him that brand is inferior to your one, you are hurting his ego. This ego will not let him purchase your product no matter how’s best it is. So, your approach should be a bit polite. First, let him try your product and then tell him why it’s better than your competitors.
These sales methods and techniques were tried and tested in many cases and results drawn out of it are very positive. But if you want to see those sales tips for success you have to practice these tips based on their practical situations and not in stereotype way, it’s a guarantee the seller will not be deprived off. Sometimes it’s even necessary to go for unethical sales tricks to survive the competition. Remember ground application salesman tips rests on you. The better you convinced, the better you can convey.
Customers are your source of revenue so it makes sense to invest money into attracting, converting and retaining them. But as you plan your efforts, here are a few things to consider to make your customer investments pay off.
#1 – Look Beyond Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is certainly an indicator of customer repurchase intentions. Improvements can reduce churn and create new business through referrals. But even satisfied customers are not created equal when it comes to profitability. Understand why customers are satisfied. Some factors that impact both satisfaction and profitability include brands, products/services, buying experience, differentiation – and of course, price.
Satisfaction and profitability are not mutually exclusive. Some customers simply can’t be profitably satisfied. So why make the investment in them? Invest resources in your profitable customers.
#2 – Focus on the Lifetime Value of the Customer
How much you invest to acquire a new customer or retain them will vary. But you need to think beyond the most recent or first transaction. Consider instead what you expect to earn from customers on an ongoing basis.
This long-term view considers what products or services they buy, how often and for how long. Seek to understand your customers’ value. When you do, you can look for ways to improve it and decide how much you will spend to acquire and retain customers.
#3 – Budget and Plan for Retention Too
When it comes to marketing, think beyond new customer lead generation. While important, a portion of your marketing budget should be allocated toward nurturing and retaining customers. When you consider lifetime value, it’s a good decision. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one!
#4 – Track Retention Rate Over Time
What we measure we can celebrate or improve! Do you want to know if your customer investments are paying off? Your customer retention rate, over time, will tell you that.
You can calculate the retention rate for any period you choose: weekly, monthly, quarterly or something else that is relevant to you. Pay attention to the trends over time! To calculate, you need to know the following:
Retention Rate Formula: ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100
- CS – number of customers at the start of period
- CN – number of new customers during the period
- CE – number of customers at the end of period
Let’s do the math with a simple example.
- You started the first quarter (January 1) with 200 customers [CS]
- You ended the first quarter (March 31) with 250 customers [CE]
- During the first quarter (Jan 1 – Mar 31) you acquired 65 new customers [CN]
Let’s plug them into the formula: ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100250 – 65 = 185; 185/200 =.925;.925 x 100 = 92.5
Your retention rate for the period is 92.5%
#5 – Monitor Satisfaction
If you spend money to acquire and keep customers, it makes sense to get feedback and monitor customer satisfaction. Surveys allow you to do this. When done right, they help you quantify the quality of your business – and support your investments.
New Product and Expansion Development Process – What do I do? AND Not do?
New Product Development (NPD) is a process that is different for each organization. Some organizations take as little as 30 days to go to market and other organizations have a longer process taking from 6 months up to a year.
What is the right process?
The process depends on the organizational structure and the products/services they are offering. It is important to continuously look at the process because of the fast-moving technological world we live in. The duration from ideation to launching the product depends on the target audience, the goals of the organization, resources available and of course, as always, the budget and expected return on investment.
There are some key questions when deciding how long the process will take and what is needed for the product to succeed. Is the new product an enhancement of a current product? Is this a new product but to the current customers or a new customer base? What resources are needed internally and externally? What are the organization’s expectations? Is the product a soft or hard launch? Is the new product local, national or international?
A new product can increase the acquisition of new customers; growth of current customer ROI; open or broaden to a new market or industry; improve or push a company’s resources; increase market share within the industry.
There are obstacles and challenges in developing new products and there are times when the odds are higher than the successes. It is important for the companies and the employees to understand the consequences, the markets, the competitors and the target market. What are the costs to develop and launch new products? Is the organization capable of handling possible losses? Are there processes within the organization to review and approve next steps?
There are eight major steps in the product development process:
1. Idea Generation – What’s a good idea?
2. Idea Screening – How do we screen?
3. Development and Testing – Who and what is involved?
4. Development of Marketing Strategy – Getting leadership on board
5. Business Case Analysis – Make your case!
6. Product Development Tactics – Details!
7. Pilot/Test – What is the right timeline? How are results measured?
8. Launch/Commercialization – Yes!