8 marketing strategies that you can steal from Corporate giants, starting right now…
Customer Service – Priority 1
Apple has an amazing reputation for the quality and effectiveness of its staff and efficiency of service. I was most impressed when I took back my first iPad mini after seven days because it simply wouldn’t start, and was promptly given a new one by the young member of staff, without having to refer to a supervisor or anyone! You may not have Apple’s enormous budget, but remember when you treat your customers with respect, are polite and friendly, and listen to their concerns, you will create an army of evangelists eager to promote your cause.
Let’s Talk About It!
How often do you see ‘leaked’ reviews, or sneak previews of the latest electrical gadget or upgrade about to be launched. Apple and Sony use these kind of tactics in television advertising, social media, and press releases to get people excited about their latest tech. So can you create some teaser articles and posts that hint at major performance or service improvements, or new solutions to problems that prospects are struggling with.
Adapt To New Markets
Even market leaders such as Apple experience tough competition from other giants such as Samsung and HTC. Whilst their brand may be a little less ‘exclusive’ or ‘luxury’ than it once was, increased competition comes as no surprise to them. And importantly, they have prepared a range of strategies and tactics to fight for their brand share, for example with new product launches and now with launches into streaming TV and music.
If you are planning to launch into a new market where competition is high, plan in advance, anticipate competitor reactions, and adapt your sales strategies to rise above them.
Free Sample Madam?
You see free samples and trials everywhere. Because they work. Whether it’s Apple’s ‘pick it up and play’ retail stores, The Body Shop’s ‘tester’ bottles, or a free snack box from Graze, they all enable their consumers to try all the products and ask questions before any sale. Major supermarkets constantly promote their new products with in-store demonstrations and tasters.
The size of your business doesn’t matter, even the local butcher cooks up a batch of his new blend of sausages for consumers to taste before buying. How can this technique be utilised in your business, too?
Know How To Use Social Media
Like it or loathe it, social media is here to stay. And you can’t afford to get left behind in the world of online networking. Whilst multi-nationals have social media departments and teams, and tons of money to invest in social media, you can still compete. Remember you now have the opportunity to create your own newspaper of magazine (in the form of your blog or newsletter or newsfeed), and your own TV station (in the form of your own YouTube channel).
And a small budget doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively use Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to share news about how you are solving customers problems on a daily basis. And you should be using these free platforms to engage directly with your customers, whether it’s about an individual question, complaint, or compliment!
Get Ideas From Everywhere
Use your Social Media followers, your existing clients, even your suppliers and employees to get feedback and suggestions. Google does this all the time to improve both it’s business and personal services. If you need ideas for new products or services, simply go out to your customer and prospect databases, and ask for their help!
Version One is better than version None!
There’s only one thing in life that brings results, and that’s ACTION! So don’t wait to be perfect. Remember the law of diminishing returns, and get your product or service out there, and request feedback so that you can modify and improve ‘on the run’. Your ideal customers want your solutions NOW, and you can always offer complimentary upgrades if appropriate.
Why Not Higher Prices?
Pricing is one of the most important aspects of any business, with potential to make or brake any enterprise. My advice? Don’t cheapen your brand with a rock-bottom price tag. If you feel you offer a quality service or product, let the price reflect that, and explain your reasoning to prospective customers. If prospects tell you that you are too expensive, then it’s because they don’t see the value you are offering, and that’s your fault (and your job) not theirs!
Try using some of these corporate best practices in your own business and remember that the corporate giants may have bigger budgets, but you have the same Marketing Strategies, and you can adapt and apply and refine them much more quickly!