Entrepreneurial marketing

How your business can benefit from entrepreneurial marketing.

Traditional marketing is usually pretty expensive – whereas entrepreneurial marketing is distinguished by its focus on time, imagination, and knowledge.

It can lead to effective results, without great expense, making entrepreneurial marketing well-suited to small business. Here are some ways to use it to your advantage.

Communicate frequently

The easiest way to keep your business top-of-mind with your customers is to stay in touch with them. This could be as simple as:

  • Forwarding a newspaper article that might be of interest to them.
  • Following up after a sale.
  • Sending out email newsletters.

Focus on your current customers

Your customer database is one of your most valuable assets. That's because it costs six to ten times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one.

Entrepreneurial marketers make the most of this by:

  • Sending personalized holiday or birthday greetings to key customers.
  • Analyzing their buying habits.
  • Looking for ways to up-sell or cross-sell based on their needs and interests.

There’s no end to the possibilities offered by a detailed customer database.

Follow the profits

Take a close look at your most profitable customers. What distinguishes them? Do they buy more often? Do they buy goods and services with the highest mark-up? Do they buy online?

By building a profile of your most profitable customers, you'll know where to deploy your resources most effectively when prospecting for new customers.

Promote your expertise

Customers and prospects respond better to education and information, as opposed to hard selling.

As part of your ongoing communication with your customers:

  • Offer them educational reports.
  • Invite them to seminars
  • Give them ideas on how to improve their business.

By positioning yourself as an expert, you’re demonstrating that you understand their needs.

Use a range of communications

There are many ways to stay in touch with customers and prospects. As part of your marketing plan, educate yourself about all the evolving ways to connect and engage such as:

  • Blogging.
  • Social networking.
  • Posting videos.
  • Pay-per-click advertising.

Listen to your customers

Make a point of asking customers what they want. If you have a website, solicit feedback on everything about your company – for example, your site's:

  • User-friendliness.
  • Products or services.
  • Customer service.

Successful companies are those that innovate based on customer feedback.

Form alliances

To extend your reach in a cost-effective manner, build partnerships with non-competitive businesses that target similar customers. For instance, fitness instructors and golf pros might be a good fit – as might interior designers and real estate agents.

Use permission-based communications

Customers today are bombarded with countless marketing and sales messages. If you’re using email newsletters as part of your marketing strategy, be sure to gain consent first and always give customers and prospects the opportunity to opt out.

Build trust

Bringing in new customers can be time-consuming and expensive. One way to meet this challenge is to reduce the potential risk to new customers. You can do this by offering:

  • An unconditional full money-back guarantee.
  • A trial period for your product or service.
  • A gift along with the trial.

Many businesses do these as a matter of course, so why not build it into your marketing communications.

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