Marketing campaigns are costly, so it makes sense to ensure your target market is hearing you loud and clear. But without good data you could be wasting your budget on a slick campaign focused on the Dubai market, when most of your customers are from Abu Dhabi. Here are the top reasons you campaign is falling on deaf ears.
You don’t have a CRM system
A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system, one of the most powerful tools in marketing. Inside this system you can track purchase histories, the age of buyers, their geographical location, what they like, what they don’t like, how often they buy and where and how they buy. This is serious marketing data that can be harnessed to improve sales and improve customer relations.
Your profiling is too broad
Regardless of what you are selling (from financial services, office stationary, to designer gowns), if you only think of your customers as one homogenous block, you are missing out on sales. Used in conjunction with your CRM, you can create very specific profiles of your most/least profitable customers.
Profiling allows you to see what age groups your products and services appeal to the most and also which geographical locations are your hotspots. This is particularly important when starting a new campaign. Without this knowledge you could be spending thousands on mailshots, e-shots, billboards and mobile ads that simply aren’t going to the right districts. Which is costly, lost opportunity.
Your tailoring sucks
Are you still sending out the same message to all your customers? If you are, you’ve fallen into the trap of believing that because you sell one thing, you only need to market on a single level.
Good marketing comes from knowing that people are different. They may all be using your services as an accountant, but they’re experiences will be very different. Find the broad categories of your customers. Do you have three main different customers? For example, do you have retail companies, freelancers and restaurants using your accountancy services? If so, you can use this knowledge to develop more specific marketing materials to appeal to each group.
You don’t localise
Although you might be marketing to all of the UAE , don’t forget to spend time on maximising your local market. You may import perishable goods to sell across the region, but have you looked on your doorstep for customers?
Where’s the global element?
You may not have an overseas component to your business, yet. But if you are planning to ship your goods and services abroad, a little research goes a long way. Find the story of your business. If you’ve only been trading for a short period, focus on the start-up journey, and if you’re well established, find the landmark moments.
Create specific marketing materials for targeting foreign markets: glossy brochures, a micro-website, business cards for the person you whose job it is to be the main one point of contact for new business from abroad.
And speak to your business contact at local government. They may run schemes and workshops to help small UAE companies create marketing campaigns for foreign markets.
Every entrepreneur knows that building a business from scratch is pretty similar in Dubai, Pretoria, or New York: it’s all about marketing.
1. Get the branding right
Entrepreneurs know the key to great marketing starts with a memorable name and great brand identity. Whether it takes a day or a month, spend time creating a name and a great back story to your brand. It has to be something your target market will identify with quickly.
2. Use social media wisely
Social media is now a cornerstone to marketing a business, and successful entrepreneurs research thoroughly before stepping into the social media pool. Don’t just look the big social media brands, your niche may have customers in more location based social media. And if you don’t know your Twitter from your Dribble, get yourself on a course and educate yourself.
3. Find a mentor
The best entrepreneurs know that a mentor is a key ingredient to their success. Whether for finances, boardroom tactics, or marketing, they’ll provide insightful advice to keep you on track.
Don’t expect the mentor to do all the work for you. Do your research and find out as much as you can about the market your aiming at, then go to a mentor with very precise questions you can’t find the answer to anywhere else.
4. Design the best website
Shoddy websites are an instant turn off, and good entrepreneurs know not to hire their cousin/mate/friend of a friend. Find a professional web developer who produces excellent websites that look as good on a mobile as they do on a desktop.
5. Great online content
A great looking website is only the beginning. Your site has to have ‘sticky content’. A marketing term for content that is interesting enough for your potential customers to ‘stick’ around.
Only you know what your product/service is capable of, so you have to translate this into an easy-to-use shop, great blog, fun/serious (depending on your audience) videos, tutorials, e-books: create excellent content and make that site work hard for your marketing strategy.
6. Create a mobile strategy
The use of mobile phones has soared, so harness that power and build a mobile strategy to help customers connect easily with your business. Whether it’s making it easy for they to buy your products on their phones, to reach out to them with a neat little game, order support at the touch of a button, or load up your latest fashion line: every mobile strategy is different, so research how you want to use it to market yourself effectively.
7. Be seen
Entrepreneurs aren’t shy. They get out there and meet their customers face-to-face. Don’t hang back and let someone else sell your business for you. Get stuck in and be seen at conferences, on the street stall, in the board room, on the radio, in the papers and on TV. When it comes to marketing, entrepreneurs get stuck in.
8. Find the Free (that doesn’t break the bank)
Everyone likes a bit of free thrown into their shopping basket: free delivery over x amount, free three months support, or buy one get one free. Find what you can give for free and use it as a marketing ploy
9. Get the customers involved
Whether it’s a product or a service, the best way to get people interested is to let them experience it directly. Have you developed a new drink? Take it to the people and let them try it: demos at shows, a cart next to a popular shopping area, take into people’s homes and offices. Be imaginative. Have a new type of software to help businesses streamline their systems? Go to conferences and sponsor a coffee stand, provide free workshops, give talks, arrange to go and talk directly to businesses in their offices.
Is your brand suffering from neglect? Or do you think it’s just not working for your business anymore? When a brand stops being a welcome sight for customers when see it, you know you are in trouble. However, the fact is many businesses don’t realise their brand has lost it’s appeal until it’s too late. Here are some classic symptoms of brands losing their shine.
The lure of the new
Your brand may have stood for something reliable and trustworthy in the past, but people have found a shiny new brand, and your business simply doesn’t cut it any more.
Because nothing stands still in business, when a new business starts muscling in on your territory you have to react intelligently before you start losing customers. The lure of something fresh is strong, and people will give it a go at least once to see if it’s for them. If they like it, they may never come back.
Keep on your toes and keep ahead of what customers want from your products and your brand.
Customer experience sucks
It’s easy to get complacent with your customers. They come back time and again, and then one day they don’t. You may never know why, but poor customer service is one of the highest ranking reasons for customers going elsewhere.
Test your customer service regularly to ensure you teams are doing their best at all times – not just for the big ticket clients, but the regular low spenders as well.
Your PR machine is boring
You may be spending a huge chunk of your budget on marketing, but is it in the right place? And does it really engage your customers’ interest. If your brand isn’t been seen, or heard, in the right places, customers may begin questioning the relevance of the products and services your brand represents, or even forget you entirely.
It’s not just getting good press, it’s about creating a buzz around your name. Get your thinking caps on and look at new marketing techniques to breathe life into your brand awareness strategy.
What’s with the logo?
It can cost a lot to update a logo, only to find customer’s preferred the old logo. Spend time and efforts getting it right in the first place to make it stick firmly in the customer’s mind.
If you have to rebrand, really consider every angle. Some customers won’t notice at all, others may be offended or turned off by it. Be careful with your logo, it’s going to be on everything you make or attached to everything you do.
Where are your cheerleaders?
Brand loyalty is something to be fostered. If you meet a really enthusiastic customer at a trade show, don’t look over their shoulder to focus on getting new customers, give them your time, be appreciative. You might even learn something about what’s so cool about your brand that makes them love it so much. And rather than ignore those nice words someone wrote on your Facebook page, thank them! These days people love connecting directly with their favourite brands, so it pays to be vigilant and not be…
Too quiet on social media
It is so easy to fall into the trap of setting up social media accounts, scheduling a few tweets, Facebook shares, or blogs. But if you don’t engage with the people you attract to your social media accounts, all that effort is wasted.
The whole point of social media is to interact with people: whether it’s to deal with a customer service problem, acknowledge someone’s made a really neat short animation using one of your products, or to shout out when someone wins a competition you’ve run, be social, not an automated robot.
Your brand is one of the most important elements of your business, so treat it well.