Loans & Lines
Your Goals & Life Events
Investing For The Future
Managing Your Business
A business without customers is not a business, at least not for long. Effective marketing is the key to getting new customers. Reaching those customers may require using a variety of marketing strategies: traditional advertising, public relations, promotions, community involvement, partnerships, etc.
In this article we will focus on three basic activities: advertising, public relations, and in-store promotions. To determine the best ways to reach potential customers, and develop an overall marketing plan that blends those methods, start by assessing your company first.
Ask yourself these questions; the answers will form the basis of determining how to position your business in the minds of potential customers:
Then focus on your customers:
When you've answered these questions, you may find that not only do you have a start on developing a marketing plan, but you've also learned ways you can better serve your customers. (It's easy to fall into the trap of focusing on how you do business instead of focusing on how you can improve the experiences of your customers.)
Answers in hand, it's time to consider which types of marketing are most effective for your business and your customers. Let's look at the strengths and weaknesses of the basic forms of marketing.
Advertising includes any paid method of spreading the word about your company: Print ads, television ads, radio spots, web advertising, direct mail, etc.
Public relations includes issuing press releases, getting media attention, participating in charitable or community efforts, etc. Some public relations efforts are relatively low-cost or even free; for example, if you are interviewed by a local television station, the exposure you receive is free.
While most marketing efforts are intended to attract customers to your business, don't forget that marketing does not stop at the entrance. In-store sales, loyalty programs, and promotions can generate additional revenue and turn casual customers into long-term customers.
Take a look at each basic area and create an overall plan that meets the needs of your customers and reaches those customers. For example, external advertising should focus on creating customer awareness and calls to action. In-store promotions should generate additional purchases, incent customers to try new products or services, and build long-term loyalty. Public relations efforts should complement advertising by reaching customers who at least partly ignore traditional advertising. Taken as a whole, each area should play a part in driving business and revenue while enhancing the image and brand of your business.
Securities and Insurance products are:
Not FDIC insured. May lose value. No bank guarantee. Not a deposit. Not insured by any federal or state government agency.