3 Ways to Engage the Community

​Your marketing strategy should not only be about your product. If you learn anything about marketing from Marketing Perfected, it needs to be that marketing is the building and maintaining of relationships. Connecting to your customers creates a bond that goes far beyond the average customer who buys from you once in a while.

There are many ways to engage your community and spread the word about your brand. Every community is different; evaluate yours and determine some new and fresh ideas that would appeal to its members. To get you started, we've listed 3 ways to engage your community today.

1. Customer Spotlight. People love to be noticed and recognized. Your customers have already decided that you are a valuable asset to their lives. They buy from you and value your brand. What better way to show appreciation than by highlighting a special customer each week, month or quarter for various reasons? This is a great way to get to know your customers and show appreciation for their patronage. Your Customer Spotlight campaign could recognize a customer for community involvement or a simple "Get To Know Our Customers" campaign that offers basic information about someone. Whichever path you take, your customers will appreciate the thought and effort. 

2. Partnerships with Surrounding Businesses. If you're a small business, you are likely surrounded by other businesses in your area. Each company around you serves as an opportunity for partnership. Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to evaluate how to connect your brand with another, but it can be done. For example, if you own a car wash business, consider partnering with the nearest tune-up shop to offer discounts. One discount could be 25% off a car wash with a receipt from an oil change. The offer should be relevant to each business and promote sales at both. Partnerships also promote convenience for your customers. When two of their needs are so close to each other, they will take advantage of a good deal!

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The Importance of Ambassadors

​Let's start with a simple exercise: Close your eyes and think of a brand that you truly enjoy. It can be for any reason, whether it's their products and services; their marketing campaigns; or the tone of the company. You can likely think of at least one brand. Now, answer these questions: Would you refer your friends and family to this company? Would you write a positive review about the company? Would you post on social media about an exceptional experience? If you answered yes, you are a brand ambassador.

Brand ambassadors are sometimes hired by large companies to help build awareness about the brand and represent the company in a positive light. However, in our modern business atmosphere of social media and word-of-mouth advertising, brand ambassadors are everywhere – representing companies for free! With something as quick and simple as a tweet about exceptional service or a picture of great packaging with a handwritten note, brand ambassadors love sharing experiences with their friends, family and social communities.

Once someone has a very large social following, their opinions become highly valued by companies. Brands seek these people out and send free products in return for an honest review. These ambassadors are now called influencers. Because they have such a high reach on the social channels, they influence peoples' buying decisions. Companies spend millions of dollars on influencers to establish a relationship and increase their reach.

Consider your own purchase decisions: Are you more likely to take recommendations from friends or buy from a brand you don't know? Most people want personal recommendations and firsthand accounts from influencers, ambassadors or from their close group of friends. In fact, according to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from family and friends over all forms of advertising. Many times, a friend may not even be in the market for a certain item, but when they hear about the experience and quality, they will likely become interested.

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The Lifetime Value of a Customer What Are They Worth to You?

The 1st step in The Seeding Process is calculating the Lifetime Value of a Customer.

Seeding and Feeding is the process for gaining new customers for your business.

Just like growing plants, it's all about planting thoughts in peoples' minds about your brand and nurturing the relationship to ensure a lifetime customer.You cannot begin to feed until you seed.

Understanding the value each customer brings to your business will help set the tone for your future marketing efforts.

The lifetime value (LTV) forecasts the net profit associated with a customer. Before you can begin seeding thoughts to your customers, you must figure out what each customer is worth to you. Keep in mind, not all customers are equal. You will have customers who last a shorter time than others. The basic formula for LTV is as follows:

Lifetime Value (LTV) = Total Customer Revenue – Total Customer Costs

Let's say you have a diaper business. The average customer would purchase diapers for 2 - 2.5 years for 1 child. In addition, a customer would purchase wipes and other products you provide for this specific need. On average, a customer will use 10-14 diapers a day plus wipes. After calculating your costs, a reasonable LTV for this customer could be $1,500-$2,000 per month.

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Prospect Profiling A Portrait of Your Customers

Prospect Profiling is the 2nd step in The Seeding Process.

Seeding and Feeding is the process for reaching and selling new customers for your business.

Just like growing plants, this process is all about planting thoughts in peoples' minds about your brand and nurturing the relationship to ensure a lifetime customer. You cannot begin to feed until you seed.

Once you know who your potential customers are, you can effectively communicate to them.

We've all heard the word demographic. We know what it means. But does your business understand its specific demographic? You may have a basic understanding of who your customers are – maybe they're sports fans or coffee drinkers – but there are many more details of their lives that you must know to effectively market to them.

Profiling your prospects takes more than simply knowing what they like. Here are a few additional things to consider when profiling your prospects:

  • What is their daily routine?
  • What is their average family size?
  • What type of car do they drive?
  • Do they prefer indoor or outdoor activities?
  • What is their passionate area?
  • What is their ideal vacation spot?

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Using Bait Intrigue your Customers

Seeding and Feeding is the process for gaining new customers for your business.

Just like growing plants, it's all about planting thoughts in peoples' minds about your brand and nurturing the relationship to ensure a lifetime customer. You cannot begin to feed until you seed.

The 4th step in The Seeding Process is Baits.

If you're a fisherman, you are aware of the endless styles of bait available; spinner baits, plastic worms, jigs, etc. Unfortunately, there is not one miracle bait that attracts all fish. Each one is carefully designed for each type of fish, their environment, different climates, and different bodies of water.

Similar to fishing, potential customers require unique and personalized baits to get their attention;, once you have their attention, based on their stage in your sales process you can convey your message or do a sale. The bait must appeal to their lifestyle, passion and routines.

In a perfect marketing world, your potential clients would become lifetime customers after the first contact. But people usually need a push or some sort of convincing to give your brand a try. Sometimes that convincing comes in the form of word of mouth advertising from a friend. Sometimes the push comes from bait.

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