September 30, 2012
Develop a marketing strategy and plan to generate more profits
By Maureen McCabe
My mom always said, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” As a business owner, you know it’s key to spend your business dollars wisely. Like me, you want to learn from others mistakes – for free. This blog will give you concrete ideas and tips on “how to” avoid these costly errors which can help you generate more profits.
I’ve been working with start-ups and small businesses since 1998. These tips are based on their errors and a few of my own. This blog is an excerpt from the 19-page report that you can download Eight Money Burning Marketing Mistakes that Reduce Profits! But, you still need to
1. It’s not all about you – “needs-based” selling (communication) skills.
Speak in the words of your prospective customers and customers or you won’t reach them.
- Needs (Needs or Advantages – not Features!)
- Dreams and Aspirations
- Immediate Benefit
2. Website expectations
Build it and they may come, but will they stay? Will they buy or contact you for more information?
First impressions don’t just count – they are everything in the online world. Learn how to reduce your bounce rate or “evacuation” rate – people who leave quickly, never to return again.
Five must-do’s for your homepage:
- Phone number (top right hand corner) – Don’t you want prospects to call you?
- Testimonials – Let your customers speak for you!
- Keywords research – What phrases are people using to find your competitors?
- Compelling content (good copy writing) – Needs- and benefit-based. It’s all about them. (Refer to tip #1 above.)
- Welcome video – Get staying power or “sticky eyeballs” with a well-done video.
3. Brand identity and online protection
Buy both the .ca and .com domains.
Social media may not be a priority right now and may never be. But you should still set up your free accounts/profiles on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Secure your brand identity now before someone, a competitor or teenager takes your business name!
I wrote a blog on this topic, check it out now. Free “brand” insurance. Just one mandatory “must do” whether you’re using social media or not.
4. Poor planning or no plan to attract new customers
The real question comes down to this – what do you need to do differently to make your business more profitable? How do you attract more customers? You need a marketing strategy and plan – your action road map for success and profits.
A client has a create plan and constantly attracts new customers. You will read how I’ve been embarrassed a few times with him in restaurants! Big Al’s 5 ways to build your business while having fun. Learn how to attract more customers today!
5. Value of personalization
Avoid sending generic emails or newsletters, particularly if the tool automatically inserts the prospective customer or customer’s name. Why? Frequently, people mistype their name, intentionally or unintentionally. For example I have received an email “Hi mAureen mccabe” – did I contact the business for more information – no.
Wherever possible, reach out to your prospective customers with a personal phone call or send an email that is personalized using their first name which is spelled correctly.
6. Identify prospects versus tire kickers – Maximize your time with true prospects
Unless you can answer the following four questions – is your time well spent chasing every sales lead?
- What is the size of the opportunity?
- Do they have budget approval for the project?
- Are you dealing with the decision-maker or influencer – or – just a junior staff person doing research?
- Can you get access to meet or speak with key players? Or will your proposal be given to an unidentified person?
Read more tips by reading, Four tips to help you identify true prospects versus tire kickers. Save time to focus on real sales leads.
7. When to destroy your marketing materials
If you have re-branded (new logo etc.) or there are any errors or typos in existing materials – throw them out. Put the marketing collateral in the recycling box. Why? You have worked hard to establish and maintain your brand and reputation. Errors do not instill professionalism or confidence. Get specific details on how you can easily identify proofreading errors.
Learn more by reading When to Scrap and Recycle Your Marketing Collateral.
8. Groupon or “Daily deal sites” do not create automatic long-term customers – you do!
Do not confuse an acquisition tactic – getting new customers – with generating long-term profitable customers.
Develop a “repeat sales” strategy and plan that is measurable before the contract is signed and the deal is launched. Otherwise Groupon will be the only one who generates a profit!
I continue to be amazed by how few business owners understand the In’s and Out’s of daily deal sites before their launch their deal. You must have a concrete method to track your sales. Groupon does not itself create automatic long-term customers.
Your Next Step
Request the full 19-page report now: Eight Money Burning Marketing Mistakes that Reduce Profits! It has been written so you can easily read it online and save a few trees. If you have any questions or would like to learn how to effectively market your business, contact the team at McCabe Marketing.
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