Whether you are just getting started or have been growing for 20 years, chances are you can still know more about your customers. Finding the time, money and resources to build and implement an impactful marketing plan is often a challenge. Here are a few ideas to make a measurable impact on a budget.
What is your sustainable growth model over the next 1 to 5 years?
We would all love the problem of figuring out how to fill a boost in orders week over week. However, to grow successfully you need to grow at a pace you can manage. That might change from year to year, so check in occasionally to determine your optimal growth rate and how you currently measure against your goal.
If you measure by sales volume, consider how many consumers that translates to in a year. Then set consumer goals for trial, conversion and retention.
Who are your consumers? What are their demographics and purchasing patterns?
What are key characteristics of your consumers? Are there subgroups that are your best customers? Anecdotally, you have an idea of who buys your product or who you’d like to buy your product. Likely you have information about your customers, but it may not be centralized in a way to easily answer these questions with data.
Consider a few easy ways to start collecting and reviewing consumer data:
Create a website registration page. Collect more than just email address. While you might only be able to afford sending email now, one day you will be able to send thank you notes or birthday cards with coupons in the mail to your customers! When people register, send them a coupon to get the conversation started.
Utilize social media to drive people to your website. “Follows” on Instagram and “likes” on Facebook are a fantastic way to communicate your brand message, but to see if your marketing efforts are working, you need consumer level data.
To maximize the value of your data, keep it all in one place. A record of every customer, email sent, coupon redeemed, etc. Did you know you can put a consumer PIN on coupons and get the PINs keyed by your coupon clearinghouse for just a few cents?
How do you identify and reach consumers? How do you get them to try and repeat purchase?
Target your messages to make them more persuasive. With data at your fingertips, you can segment your customers in a variety of ways: look at purchase patterns, demographics, age, etc. How you speak to each segment should be different, not one-size-fits-all. The same way the message would be different targeting new moms versus pet owners.
Look at your data. How many people are repeat purchasers? How often do they purchase? Once you establish an average, you can reach out to initiate purchase reminders. For example, if on average your repeat customers purchase every 19.2 days, then on day 17 send an email with a 10 percent off coupon. On day 25, reach out to those who did not purchase with a different coupon and message.
Does anyone manage this within your organization? Are they able to focus on it as much as you would like?
Part of your sustainable growth plan should be to implement measurable marketing programs that speak to your core customers and find other customers who look like them. Whether that means hiring interns, a marketing director or a company to manage this for you, keep your consumers in mind. They are the ones driving volume and sales.