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SCORE Business Tips: Marketing + Maximizing

This Summer Focus on Marketing to Your Best Customers to Maximize Your Return: 3 Tips on How to Get There

Forget all the issues surrounding inflation. There is some very good news for small businesses.  A recent study by Constant Contact found that 70% of consumers say they will support their favorite small businesses no matter what happens with inflation.  People love their small businesses and want to see them flourish.

That’s great news but it doesn’t mean let your guard down and it definitely doesn’t mean reduce your marketing.  Marketing is what brings consumers to your business–they don’t just “come” to your business even though they love you.  So keep your marketing programs up and running.  We know money is tight so we recommend that all small businesses create a streamlined plan that leverages the best parts of past marketing plans. We want you to: Be Smart. Be Efficient. Be Effective.

Here are three hints on how to do that:

  1. What works: spend some time reviewing past efforts and identify those programs/campaigns that worked best. All businesses need awareness so often you’ll run an ad or social media campaign and you don’t see immediate results. But over time, the impact of your various efforts add up and customers finally act. So be careful as you think through past efforts. Identify the social media efforts or the events or ads that have cumulatively done the most for you. What brings customers to you?
  2. Who are your best customers: identify those customers that are most profitable. Are they ones who hire you annually, come into your restaurant weekly or who visit your store once a month but always buy items that are highly profitable. These are the people to focus on as they generate the most revenue. It’s far more efficient and effective to focus on them versus trying to bring in new customers. Identify them as best you can—by name, by town where they live, age, income, sex, interests and most importantly, determine why they love your store/restaurant/service. What is it about your business that keeps them coming back. That’s the message you should scream…loudly to those Best Customers. It’s okay to narrow your focus right now—you’re looking for a sure return on your dollars.
  3. Simplify your life with a plan: no 30 page document. We’re talking a spreadsheet that lists out who you are targeting, with what message, when and in what media/event/etc. Organize your summer.  Create and schedule your social media posts now for the entire summer. If you need to buy some ads, get it done now. Using an email campaign? Write it now and schedule it. Participating in an event? How will you maximize your presence and get that message out that drives your customers to you? The key is to find ways to focus on your Best Customers and make them feel special. Offer them previews of new items/services/menus.  Ask them to tell a friend about you. Don’t feel obligated to give them a big discount to do this—they love you already!

The goal? Maximize your return by solely focusing on your best customers. Get your plan and media done so your time is spent with customers and focusing on the day to day of your business. Feel good knowing that leveraging your relationship with your best customers (the people most likely to spend with you) will pay out now. And the good news is that all this attention will make them even more loyal in the future.

Need help with this or other business questions?  SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands provides free, confidential mentoring.  Contact us at [email protected], at 508-775-4884 or on our website at www.capecod.score.org