Maximizing small business marketing contact with customers

Brand awareness is a difficult resource to cultivate. There are quite a few ways that a company can put its name out into the public sphere, but the real trick is to make an image or name stick in the minds of consumers.

Deluxe Corp., a market research firm, conducted a survey of small business owners aimed at measuring this phenomenon's effect. According to Fox Business News, the research discovered that 49 percent of small business owners replied that the most difficult part of their job was reaching customers on a limited budget. Far behind that task were the costs related to managing a small business at 19 percent and the difficulty of securing credit at 12 percent.

What many small business owners understand is that they aren't reaching customers. However, what they may fail to realize is that it isn't necessarily how many customers you reach, but how well you reach the customers that you're able to contact. Here are some of the best methods for forming a qualitative connection with consumers.

Promotional products
Items such as personalized mugs and promotional calendars may not seem like intimate methods of communication. They're seen everywhere and seem almost disposable, but that doesn't mean that they've failed. In fact, the sheer notion that people see promotional products all over the place indicates that they're accomplishing their goals. When customers see a promotional product, it is likely being used on a regular basis. Whether it be a promotional pen or a logo USB drive, these items can become part of a person's daily routine and therefore a household name where branding is concerned.

Social media
Being friends with someone on Facebook or Twitter has become the modern definition of exclusivity. The entire idea behind social media marketing is that messages, deals and information are sent to an exclusive group of loyal or interested customers who have voluntarily chosen to link themselves to a company. In many ways, a tightly-knit core of consumers is better than a loose affiliation of many.

Email marketing
Like social media but in an even more direct fashion, email operates almost exactly like traditional mail. However, spam filters have become so effective that there's little reason for anyone to ever try to flood inboxes with garbage. Instead, email should be treated like the exclusive venue it is. Newsletters, deals and important information can be quickly sent to those customers who have given the ultimate gift – access to their personal email.  

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