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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3 Reasons to Implement Email Marketing

72% of adults prefer communication via email. Email marketing creates an avenue for your target market to learn about your brand, establish a connection, and allows you a chance to learn more about your target audience. While you have likely been told you need email marketing, you may not know exactly why. It's important to understand why certain marketing efforts are done so you can track and learn as you go. There are many reasons and endless data to explain why email marketing is an important aspect of business. We have listed 3 reasons to help you get started:

1. Engagement. Many businesses send email campaigns from a "no reply" email address. As a small business starting to increase a customer base, it makes more sense to use an email address that your prospects can reply to. Engaging with your audience builds a relationship and increases trust in your brand. Once you've sent emails to those who have expresses interest in your business, give them an opportunity to turn the email into a 2-way street of engagement. One-on-one communication is the key to building and maintaining a true connection with your customers.

2. Mobility. Remember when you had to sit down and fire up your computer to read all your emails from the day? Those days are over. Emails are received 24 hours a day, nonstop, no matter where you are. The same is true for your customers. Data showed that 66% of all Gmail messages are opened on a mobile device. Also, 23% of people that open an email on a mobile device open it again later. The chances of your prospects seeing your email and opening it are so much higher than ever before. Why not take advantage of this? Saturate your options and get in front of everyone you can.

3. ROI. Any business owner wants to see where their money is going and what they are getting in return. Email marketing provides data and analytics that would satisfy any small business owner. In fact, according to DMA, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. Here is a simple calculator you can use to calculate your email marketing ROI. Email marketing allows you to track many KPIs that will paint an accurate picture of how your target responds to your efforts. Depending on what your overall email marketing goals are, make a list of KPIs to start tracking. Conversion Rate, Clickthrough Rate, and List Growth Rate are a few basic metrics to track.

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Results Gaining Trust

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.

Unfortunately, plants don't need to trust you to accept food; customers do.

The 5th step in The Seeding Process is Results.

Imagine the process of growing a plant. It takes more than just planting a seed. To nourish the plant in hopes of a healthy, fruitful bush, you must feed and water it. You will water the soil, creating a mud for the plant to live in. Plant food can easily reach the roots through the wet mud. Sunlight penetrates the leaves and stems. All the while, the plant accepts all of this. These are all aspects essential to plant growth. These are all welcomed by the plant.

Now think of your potential customers. How can you gain their trust and get them to accept and welcome you into their lives? After step 4 in the Seeding Process, which is Bait, the customer will likely begin to accept you. They've seen your name a few times; they've received some sort of special offer. The seed has been planted. It's now time to encourage them to share contact information.

Information can be collected in the form of an email address, phone number or, through the #1 way, sales. A few other avenues for information:

  • Facebook Like
  • Twitter Follow
  • LinkedIn Connection
  • Newsfeed Subscribe
  • Browser Cookies

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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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The Touching Formula 70/20/10

The Seeding and Feeding Process is a proven formula for gaining new clients.

For an effective marketing strategy, you must plant thoughts into potential clients' minds and then feed and nurture them to gain their business.

A similar formula is just as important, known as the touching formula.

"Touching" your potential customers is simply contacting them, in any form. Once your clients have expressed trust and shared contact information, the touching can begin. The touching formula follows a 70/20/10 rule. This is slightly different from the 80/20 rule mentioned in step 3. The reason for the change is because the potential clients have now shown interest, leaving you confident that contacting them would be accepted.

The breakdown ratio goes like this:

  • 70% - What would they like to hear?
    • Sports, cooking, hunting, outdoor activities​
    • Tie in the desired subject area to the message​
  • 20% - Inside your Service/Product​
    • Provide a case study​​
    • Client Testimonial​​
    • Non-profit involvement information​​
  • 10% - Reason they should engage with you​​
    • Special Gift
    • Discount​​​
    • Free Offer​​​
    • Endless options here!​

The messaging is equally as important to the media you choose. It is essential to use different media and try new ones often. Document what works and what doesn't, similar to tracking KPIs. For example, if you choose email as your media, track which subject lines get higher open rate. Your media options are literally endless.

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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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Measure Your Efforts Are KPIs Important?

The 6th step in The Seeding Process is KPI.

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.

While you're busy executing all the steps, you must be tracking your progress.

To reach your goals, whether strategic or operational, you must measure your efforts.

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, provide a clear scorecard for the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. KPIs let you know if your plan is working, and they help focus your employees' attentions on specific aspects of the business.

KPIs are the backbone of your business. They provide all the information you must know to decide if you're successful or not.

Imagine if you never kept track of your salespeople. Do you know how much they sell? Do you know how many leads they're contacting? You wouldn't keep salespeople who are underperforming.

The same goes for marketing campaigns. You have to know if they're working; if your efforts are being wasted; if they're making you any money; or if they're helping to find new customers.

The bottom line is, KPIs are essential.

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