Marketing is the way in which you can communicate with the public and attract customers, and it is just as important as having a valuable product or service to sell. Without a good marketing strategy, you could reinvent the wheel and it would still sit on the shelf collecting dust. An effective marketing strategy is one that communicates with people based on an understanding of their demands and desires.
The first thing that your marketing has to accomplish is to present your business as distinct from the competition. Chances are slim that you’ll be offering something completely new, so you need to give potential customers a reason to try your offerings. Your attitude, style and values must stand out. For example, people already know where they can get a good cheap meal. As a competitor, you need to meet those expected standards and then demonstrate how you go beyond them with exceptional service or a customer loyalty program, for example. Present yourself as confidently unique without disparaging the competition. Instead of emphasizing the shortcomings of competitors, emphasize your own best qualities.
No one will be attracted to a product if the business itself doesn't seem to trust it. If you truly believe in the utility and value of your product, you need to stand behind it through your actions. Demonstrate your good faith by offering a guarantee of satisfaction. While you may balk at this show of confidence, thinking it may result in a barrage of refunds, an effective marketing plan includes strategies to address consumer grievance anyway, guarantees or not. Showcase your guarantees in your marketing efforts to build trust and demonstrate that customer satisfaction is your goal. Satisfied customers are reliable and will reward you with loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Part of good marketing is to create a cultural space of understanding and identification with customers. The way to do this is to address customer demands. It’s not enough to simply tell people they need to buy your product, no matter how attractive it is. If you present customers with a dilemma they can't solve with their current product, you relate to their problem while setting yourself up to present a solution. Don't sell mobile phones, for example; sell a lifestyle of connection and convenience. This approach also allows you to demonstrate your empathy with customers, creating a solid foundation for trust and long-term relationships.
One dedicated customer is worth more than 10 incidental purchasers. You have to develop this customer base through genuine two-way relationships. Take feedback seriously, instead of just going through the motions of asking for it. Meet complaints with action and empathy, and express gratitude to customers who help you see a new perspective. Keep customers informed and ask what they think of developments in your business. Hold events and provide recognition for dedicated customers.