Owning and operating your own small business can be a rich and rewarding experience, especially when everything is running smooth and you are making money. What about those times when your phone just isn’t ringing as much as you would like? Okay, so it’s plugged into the wall. Now what? Ask yourself if you’re plugged in Ã¢Â?Â¦ to the power of touch? Experts say we need to “touch” people at least five times to make an impression. As we educate ourselves in marketing strategies, we understand that for marketing to be successful we need to be persistent. Promoting yourself once isn’t enough. We see Coca ColaÃ?Â® advertisement wherever we go. We too must also be consistent.
Sometimes it’s difficult to think of five ways to touch or get our name in front of potential customers, and ultimately get them to purchase our product or service. Making your touch powerful takes some research. First ask yourself some important questions. “Who is my customer?” “What do they want or need that I can supply?” “Can I supply that product or service at a price customers are willing to pay?” In other words, is there perceived value?
Anytime you make changes to your products or services, it’s necessary to ask these questions again, as the changed answers may affect the evolution of your business. If you own a hair salon and call it Quick Cuts, you can expect to get customers that want a quick haircut. But what if you decide to add nail services? People looking for nail services are not going to think of you, and therefore, search for a business that offers nail services. Answer these questions each year when you organize your marketing campaign, and then you can move on to the second stage of touching them.
More important questions are in order. What type of marketing reaches them; television, radio, flyers, trade conferences? Will they respond to brochures, direct mail, billboards, or flyers?
Here are five touch promotions that I’ve used while marketing my business:
1. Cross-promoting – Find another business in your area that compliments yours. Trade gift or discount certificates to be given to new clients or clients who continue to use your services.
2. Team up with a group of non-competing businesses and offer an educational event. Offer a half or full day seminar and invite a specific audience; teachers, senior citizens, teenagers, nurses etc. Unless you are a celebrity, keep your admission prices low. You can increase them as you gain a reputation. Create a powerful awareness of your talents and abilities.
3. Many business people find it effective to purchase advertising specialties such as pens, letter openers, calendars and appealing items imprinted with their names. These giveaways promote continued awareness of your business. Promotional items can also be given to church organizations or community organizations who facilitate fashion shows, health events or community events.
4. Offer a gift certificate as a prize to an organization in which you belong. It increases exposure and has the potential to get you a new client. I’ve often heard oooh’s and aaah’s from the audience when an appealing prize is announced over the loud speaker, especially from restaurants or travel agencies.
5. Tie-in your promotion with a theme, such as a holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year Celebration, Valentine’s Day and others).
Many small business people think marketing is expensive or difficult. It can be if you don’t do your research. We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to judging which promotions work with a specific audience. We can learn a lot by watching what works (and doesn’t work) for both small and large businesses in the marketplace. Our goal is to “touch” our clients in a way that is both rich and rewarding in a mutual way.