Published : 14 August 2017
Whatever your product or service, you're only going to be successful by selling it. And to do that, you need to promote your business. It's a simple science - but there are a few different ways of doing it.
There's an old saying: 'If you want to catch fish, fish where the fish are'. This might sound obvious, but it's amazing how many businesses don't do that.
It really all comes down to good market research. You need to identify your target groups, and promote your product where they go. And that's a step you should have taken before you even opened your business!
Fish Where the Fish Are Biting
Having said that, it's a mistake to keep fishing the same pond until it runs out of fish! It would be nice to just sit there on the bank, dozing in the sun, with your hook in the water, wouldn't it? But at some point, the fish will stop biting.
That's why your business needs both a short-term (current pond) and long-term (new ponds) marketing plan. And you need to keep refreshing your bait (new products, special offers, incentives).
There's something else you need to remember, too. If you fish in a pond that only has trout, that's all you will ever catch. So perhaps you need to broaden your area. Your main target group (the trout) is the most important, but keep an eye on what else is biting.
Finding the Best Fishing Spots
Let's say you sell children's toys. Your main target group is parents, but it would be a mistake to only market to Mums and Dads. Grandparents buy toys, too. So do Aunties and Uncles.
Finding the best fishing spots can sometimes be hard. It's a matter of looking in the right places, and talking to the right people. Networking is crucial, if you want to keep tabs on the market and win referrals.
Of course, some anglers want to keep their favourite fishing spots to themselves. So it's important to watch what your competitors do. Where do they advertise? What incentives do they offer? Do they attract new business by sponsoring community groups or events?
Don't Overlook Your Existing Customers
Talk to your customers. Find out what they like about your products, and encourage them to tell friends and family. Customer incentive or loyalty schemes are brilliant for boosting word-of-mouth marketing.
Put some thought into how you can sell more to your existing customers. They are already on the hook. It's much easier - and cheaper - to keep existing customers, than catch new ones. What's more, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost your profits by 25% to 95% (Harvard Business Review).
American comedian Steven Wright said, "There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot". Do your research, get professional marketing help if you need it, and you'll be reeling them in!
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