Where do I spend my marketing dollars?

Although this will vary by industry – the overwhelming thought this year is to spend the bulk of your budget on the clients you already have. We know it costs more to get new clients than keep existing ones… some of that is due to the shear cost of searching out and courting these prospects.

Direct mail is helpful and a staple for many industries. However, the decision to limit funds spent in this way and instead focus your marketing dollars on those that have contributed to the success you’ve reached thus far makes a lot of sense.

Marketing to this audience costs less and is more productive.

* You already have their contact information

* They already have experience with your company

Phone calls, notes and greeting cards to current customers show them you think of them. Such actions will also ensure your customers think of you. “Out of Site – Out of Mind” is true. Even those customers who had been happy with your service may not think to call you when they need you again – especially if it has been several months or more since they last did business with you… or last heard from you. And always send industry specific holiday cards at Christmas time. Cardscheaper.com has a huge selection of business or profession specific cards to choose from. You are sure to stand out from the crowd of cards your client receives, which is just as important as the sentiment that is shared.

Happy customers make a great sales force for your company. Ignoring their power has the same impact, but for your competitor.

If you neglect them, they will leave.

Sounds obvious, yet many companies concern themselves with new customers at the expense of current customers. 

Ever see the cable or phone company ‘special deals’ on TV?  They always end in “applicable to new customers only”.  That actually penalizes me for being a current customer. 

Loyal customers are the key to a successful business.  If you don’t believe it – neglect them.  Especially in today’s market place, such neglect or perception thereof won’t be tolerated.

So how do you get or keep loyal customers?

Start with Communication. Consistent communication is important.  Don’t confuse this with continuous sales pitches – pestering them can be as damaging as neglecting them.

  • A regular (weekly, monthly, quarterly – depends on your industry) newsletter or flier (mailed or emailed) keeps your company name in the foreground of your customers’ psyche.
  • A reminder card for a tune up, regular service, or suggested service shows you care.  A follow up phone call ensures your contact information continues to be accurate and again, illustrates your concern and reminds them that they matter to you and your business.
  • A greeting card, whether at the holidays, a customers’ anniversary, as an appreciation for their business or birthday recognition personalizes your company to your individual customers.

Be sure you know them. Know what/how they order.  Know the frequency and what motivates their decision.  If possible, know them personally.  Don’t pry for personal information, but knowing your customers and being able to ask “how’s your son’s little league team doing” or “how was your vacation last month?” demonstrates that it isn’t just their business but the individual customer that means something to you. 

Show your appreciation.  Thank You Cards and phone calls really do make a difference.  In addition, providing customer incentives that are only available to Current (LOYAL) Customers speaks volumes. Show your customers that you notice that they’ve been loyal.  This doesn’t have to be expensive, infact it may look like you might be charging too much to begin with if you just offer some gift (wine, golf outing, etc.) Instead, offering free shipping, cleaning or a free service or product you sell encourages your customers to come back.  It GIVES them something they would normally have to pay for to receive.  Recognize they have other options and encourage in your words and actions the importance of their loyalty to your business.

Take the time to write personal notes and send cards. Send themed Christmas cards to clients during the holidays. Cardscheaper.com has a huge selection of industry specific holiday cards to ensure your company’s card stands out and gets you noticed. Adding your company logo to a greeting card created specifically for accountants further focuses your client on your company. Visit www.cardscheaper.com and view the selection of professional, whimsical and artistic greeting cards for your industry.

Why the construction industry needs holiday greeting cards in their marketing strategy

The sole purpose of a good marketing program is not to generate a flood of qualified sales leads. The golden rule in all your marketing efforts is to build relationships with your client base and with your potential future clients.

The construction industry is a highly competitive market place. Your company needs to stand out from the rest and have a unique selling point that will attract potential clients. According to Business Development Managers within the construction industry, building relationships is the most crucial strategy you can adopt in developing a healthy client base.

Create a strong desire for clients to use your company. Focusing heavily on ‘benefits’ is far less effective than focusing on ‘loss aversion’ whichs is a more compelling when it comes to purchasing and motivation. When you’re developing marketing materials, keep this fundamental concept in mind. With companies coming and going, having a long and reliable track record is priceless to reinforce the concept of loss aversion. You want potential clients to know, if they choose not to use you, they will lose out because you have experience, reliability and good client relations.

Take the time to write personal notes and send cards. Send construction themed Christmas cards to clients during the holidays. Cardscheaper.com has a huge selection of industry specific holiday cards to ensure your company’s card stands out and gets you noticed. Adding your company logo to a construction greeting card further focuses your client on your company. Adding “serving clients since…” verbiage inside the card helps reassure your clients you are stable and reliable. Visit www.cardscheaper.com and click on the construction text on the left side to view the selection of fun, whimsical and artistic construction greeting cards.