Some great tips and ideas to think about as you roll out your marketing plans for 2012

By Brad Tornberg

Do you ever ask your customers how they would best like to be contacted by you? How frequently? Have you ever asked what types of information can you provide to them that gives value to your relationship? Offer them an incentive to respond to a survey for a free prize and you may show your customers you respect the value of their tie and promise not to bother them with information that is not relevant. The customer now dictates the relationship and when they are ready to buy. If you provide too much information and marketing at too high of a frequency they will shut down. If you don’t give them enough they will not “know” you which will never lead to like and trust and eventually try and buy which is what marketing is all about.

Do you send text messages to your customers? People value the email but the text message can be very powerful as well, appear personalized and will usually evoke a response. Ask them a question and see if they respond, they will. Ask them to tell you their greatest concern when using your product or service or how can you improve your product or service – you may be surprised but you will get responses and valuable feedback that should help you refocus your  marketing initiatives and messages. Offer them a 10% discount when they do respond or a thank you for responding. Younger generations are using the phone and use email less and less. They are a mobile culture and work better within a mobile framework.

How many times do you Google your competition? Do you look to see where they are weak? Is there any internet geography they are missing from (no YouTube Videos but heavy presence in Facebook) where you can fill the void and create content that fills that void?

Do you attend many network events? How is that working for you? Have you ever thought of creating an event that centers on you and the types of people you want to do business with? It’s a great idea. You are the host. Everyone talks to the host. Give and you shall receive. Being known as a “Connector” is a sure sign of networking success and part of the Duct Tape Marketing System of people getting to know, like and trust you. If you have it in your place of business people get to know you and your operation. Donate the proceeds to charity and also gain the reputation of Philanthropy.

Do you give referrals? Everyone talks about it but it really is the least used tactic to gain warm referrals and easier to convert business. Why is it so hard to reward employees who can actively seek these? They become an extension of your sales force. Create contests – the winner of the most referrals gets a trip to Hawaii. It may be the best money you ever spent and cost a lot less than commissions would. Contest get everyone involved and it becomes fun yet at the same time look at how it’s helping the pipeline!

When was the last time you asked a satisfied customer for a testimonial? If you did where is it now – hanging on your wall? It serves a much better purpose if it’s emailed to your clients and prospects – look what people are saying about us! or even posted on your website. Video testimony is powerful and generates more unique content for your company. Content is king – the more you have the more the search engines like it and move you higher in the organic rankings.

Finally your marketing message – is it focused? Is it clear? Does it communicate your strategy? What makes you different from your competitors? Does your ideal client see it and does it resonate with them? The fact is simple is still best. One message across multiple mediums is how the social media space is leveraged and should be used as any good set of tools should be.