Where exactly did this year go? It seems like just yesterday, we were celebrating the beginning of 2008 – and here we are, another revolution around our sun, and it’s time to consider steps for the new year.
During this traditionally “slow” business time of year, there is a perfect opportunity to take a few steps to help set a course to consider for 2009. Here are a few things you might focus your current marketing efforts:
1. Attract – don’t sell.
Don’t promote yourself in the “Look at me! Look at me!” way that is so rampant throughout today’s social media sites. Instead, provide your audience with insights and ideas that may prove useful to them. In time, you’ll attract the customers you seek as opposed to turning them off to your message.
2. Add the 5th “P” – Participation .
Product, Price, Place and Promotion have been the staple of marketing for many years. It’s time to add the newest member of the “4 P’s”: Participation. Establish a new model that allows customers, employees and partners to engage your company.
3. Find and build your niche.
“Micro specificity” is today’s mantra. Define your target customer to the smallest detail – then target them with your specific niche messaging.
4. Audit, audit, audit.
Place each and every customer experience you provide up for review. Every interface is an opportunity to provide a better level of service, and establish a stronger following through word-of-mouth marketing.
5. Build your social network.
Do it on Facebook, or Ning or the good ol’ fashioned way: an advisory board.
6. Eliminate stupid policies.
One bad customer experience often establishes a pattern how to treat future customers. This is, in fact, the very worst thing you can do. One person’s circumstances cannot be made policy for all – and in the end, you’ll be establishing counter-active procedures that hurt you.
7. Develop your social media training in-house.
In 2009, word-of-mouth advertising will be accelerated by social media even more than it was in 2008. Truly understanding the core basics of social media, how it works and its effects on reputation and sales should be part of everyone’s company training programs.
8. Ban the word “consumer” from your vocabulary.
Using “consumers” to describe your customers, or end-customers discounts their individuality and complexity.
9. Raise your ethics bar.
Dedicate yourself to making 2009 the year you set a higher standard for ethical behavior. Make these new standards clear to employees, partners and vendors – then enforce them.
10. Do what you love.
We hear it all the time – enough that it has become trite. But if you truly don’t love what you do, it will show. And if it shows, how can you expect anyone else to share your passion?
(11.) Ok… I said 10 Easy Marketing Tactics…but certainly, there are more.