By Christopher Telles, Founder, MarketVouch
This is a special guest post by one of our AnyMeeting users. Want to write for the AnyMeeting blog? Get the details.
In part 1 we covered the correlation between football and small business regarding the use of planning and strategy to protect their most valuable investment from the blind side. In part 2 we covered the creation of a marketing plan to help small business owners create a game plan to help them acquire new customers.
As a quick refresher the blind side in football or in business is the point you are the most vulnerable. For small business owners this point is most often in the area of marketing. Like in football, the blind side can be protected by engaging the biggest, strongest, and fastest marketing actions in your small business. The marketing plan actions serve as your protector.
Once you have a marketing plan defined you will need to populate it with elements to proactively target new business. These elements can range from a single source to multiple sources. In marketing these elements are referred to as marketing channels (although not necessarily the same, the term sales channel is sometimes interchangeably used in its place). These channels are where marketing actions take place just as the linemen on a football team take action to execute plays.
We’re going to look at five marketing channels that can be implemented to help you increase customer acquisition and increase revenues.
In his book “Guerrilla Marketing” Jay Conrad Levinson states that Guerrilla marketing is “everything you do to promote your business”. It’s written in the first paragraph on the first page and this couldn’t be truer today.
Promotion can be anything such as picking up the phone and calling ten new prospects a day, hiring a flash mob to promote your brand, or sending a tweet. Guerrilla marketing actions can be one of the least expensive and most effective ways to promote your business. If you aren’t already using Guerrilla marketing actions then you’re missing out. Pick up a copy of this book today. A used copy of the most recent version is $6.07 on Amazon. This will be the best marketing expense you could ever incur.
Depending on the complexity of your selling proposition you could consider teaming with an outsourced sales company. These companies offer sales services on an ad hoc basis. The service could be engaged to help you introduce a new product/service or help to revive sales of an existing product/service. Find a company that you feel comfortable with and can work within your budget. Look for a company that will take on some of the risk through a partial pay for performance fee structure.
Email marketing is alive and going strong. If you have a list of current and former customer emails you could build email marketing campaigns for as low as $8.50 per month. Many of today’s email companies have easy to use email creation templates that allow you to produce high quality html emails. Insert pictures and links to help get customers to visit your website. Email has a high ROI and can be a good source for new customer acquisition. Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, iContact, My Emma, and Godaddy are a few good companies (I have no affiliation with these companies).
Social media marketing is one of today’s least expensive forms of advertising. If you’re new to social media or haven’t yet started using it for marketing then just know it’s easy to get started. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some other social media networks all have the capacity to put your business in front of millions of potential customers. Each has their own rules on how you can use the network to promote your business, but the take away should be that you can start for free or for very little money and the results you receive could very well be worth the effort.
The latest innovation in marketing has come in the form of daily deal sites. The daily deal industry is changing the way small business finds new customers. Many consumers look to daily deal sites to find new products and services and receive discounts to try out new businesses. But as a small business owner you should look to daily deal sites for marketing support and as a marketing channel to help you find and acquire new customers. The cost of acquiring new customers using a daily deal company can be lower than the customer acquisition costs using other forms of marketing and advertising. (disclaimer: I own and operate a B2B daily deal website)
As a small business owner you need to protect your company from the blind side. Your company’s marketing plan is the left tackle of your offense and it’s what protects you from where you’re the most vulnerable. Select your marketing channels wisely and measure the actions they take to find and acquire new customers. Tackle your marketing plan head on and start producing new revenue from new marketing channels actions.