The new year brings a host of new challenges for small businesses. Complications can rise at any moment, and last year’s strategies might not always be effective for combating the issues. Adaptation is the key to success in the corporate world, especially when it comes to marketing efforts.
In 2013, entrepreneurs have to enact new plans to successfully advertise their establishments. New trends can help independent companies increase their marketing presence and reach large groups of consumers. Additionally, owners can combine new tactics with traditional strategies like holding promotional giveaways.
Customer retention is an important aspect of success in an uncertain economic climate. Consumers have grown increasingly frugal while they worry about their short- and long-term finances in the wake of the recession. As a result, Business 2 Community writes that gratitude is an emerging marketing trend for 2013.
Enterprises should reinforce their relationships with regular customers to hold on to steady business throughout the year. A rewards program is a great way to foster loyalty among consumers. Heather Evans, the former head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s client analytics for the global markets division, believes that understanding spending habits is the key to developing an effective rewards initiative.
“To design a program that works, you have to understand why your customers use your service or buy your products, and what would get them to use or buy more,” Evans told MSN.
Promotional discounts are popular rewards for budget-conscious customers. Consumers who are tracking their expenses appreciate when businesses distribute special offers on goods and services. Regular coupons and sales can help attract regular clients who adhere to strict budgets.
Alternatively, personalized business gifts could be the perfect rewards for loyal customers. Recipients always enjoy small presents, but personal identifiers are more effective than generic content.
“People like seeing their own name above all else,” Mike Linderman, former chairman of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), told The New York Times.
Small business owners can emblazon their customers’ names on promotional mugs, calendars and other functional gifts as rewards. Other items like custom pens and umbrellas can also make excellent presents for regular clients.
Digitizing analog tools
The proliferation of mobile technology has added greater importance to digital marketing ventures. Consumers are actively engaging with small businesses through email, social media and mobile advertisements that are optimized for tablets and smartphones. Mary Ann Parshall, CEO of Premier Data Direct, says that it’s important use traditional tools to reinforce digital advertisements.
“While marketing techniques have evolved with technological advances, digital media isn’t the only effective way to reach new customers,” Parshall said in a statement.
The source recommends using Quick Response (QR) codes and social media imagery to combine analog and digital campaigns. QR codes can be very effective when it comes to directing consumers to web content and building a marketing presence on the internet. For instance, entrepreneurs can print the digital watermarks in their promotional calendars or direct mail advertisements to direct recipients to various landing pages and online stores. Additionally, logos can be embedded in the center of QR codes to increase brand recognition.
Other online strategies include printing hashtags and symbols on promotional marketing products to draw consumers to business profiles on social networks. Entrepreneurs can encourage customers to use slogans and catch-phrases to access online-exclusive promotions on their favorite merchandise. The strategy helps businesses find more online followers and create a large consumer base for its social advertisements.
Entrepreneurs should create their own hashtags to avoid being lost in the online shuffle. Mashable notes that a unique slogan can generate buzz around a business as more consumers share the saying with their friends. Additionally, the news source writes that entrepreneurs can use hashtags to advertise events like promotional giveaways to attract the optimal number of participants.