It is not easy to measure success in business. You may be counting a few blocks of cash at the end of the year, but you could still find yourself in debt when you add up the loans, payables, and other bills. You must have established this by now, especially if you are new to the entrepreneurship scene and are in the process of learning the ropes, maybe even the hard way. Still, having the burden of a new business on your shoulders may be the most exciting journey you embark on.
In this world of business marketing and mass communication, there are billions of people waiting to become your customers when they receive the right cue. This signal will be generated from a specific and tailored stimulus, which we call “marketing,” without which you may just be selling a single book or landing that one consultation call and ending up racking thousands in debt and a memory that stings. So, how you do avoid that?
Effective Marketing and Relationship-Building to Scale your Business
When we go through the basics of marketing, we learn that it is “an action or practice of promoting and consequently selling a product or service after conducting market research and displaying advertisements.”
In today’s modern and technology-driven era, however, we do not just want to sell. We have to build relationships, create a brand image and philosophy to engage those new customers and spread the word to even more people. A good marketing plan is what you need to gain a headstart, but it should not merely revolve around a piece of paper reading, “ADVERTISEMENT.” A number of core business functions are initiated from a well-thought-out business plan. A marketing plan that has the answers to the following six questions is likely to lead to the success of your small- to medium-sized business.
1. Does it Inform?
You know as well as I do that without informing the target audience about a particular product or service, you will not see those customers walking in through the door. You must be aware of the ins and outs of your offering and should be able to convey the benefit of having the product or service in one’s life to the customers, no matter what the medium. Educating the consumer should be a priority as it will ultimately lead to effective relationship-building and generate the kind of business you are looking for.
2. Does it Equalize?
Marketing is less expensive today, especially due to social media. All you need to do is design an attractive and engaging ad and hit “SEND” or “SHARE” to share it with a community of billions. You may find this to be one of the most affordable options, especially if you are just starting off and are struggling to meet your day-to-day cash needs. Moreover, your small business also gives you the benefit of focusing on individual customer needs and catering to them to the best of your ability to make this relationship grow and spread in unnumbered directions.
3. Does it Sustain?
Marketing is a way, in today’s day and age, to sustain an organization’s image, not just a step to improve the engagement. Sustainability of the brand image is only possible if continued efforts are directed not only to sell, but to care for your consumers and build long-lasting relationships with them. People do not even have the time to change their milkman or drive around the neighborhood for a cup of coffee if the grocery shop down the block offers an acceptable alternative. To encourage them to take a step towards your brand, you have to build a brand image they can relate to, so they become loyal customers.
4. Does it Engage?
Strong customer engagement is one of the most prized possessions of any business and its marketing efforts. While this was done face-to-face in the past, the dynamics have shifted. Today, you can use social media, email, and other messaging services to stay in touch. Marketing forms a bridge between you and your customers and brings you on the same page, something that can be done through TV ads, social media notifications, interesting guerrilla marketing techniques, and much more.
5. Does it Sell?
The bottom line is making money and indulging in marketing efforts that result in relationships being built, ensuring that you form a community of loyal consumers who will help you meet your sales goals. Additionally, simply disseminating knowledge about the product and services will not do you any good – you need to create content that is fresh and invites customers to invest in the product willingly.
6. Does it Allow for Growth?
Expansion…you will have to think about this at some point or the other! This does not mean you should stop catering to your older customers and focus only on bringing in new ones. Remember that your first customers have brought you this far, so you need to cherish your relationship with them forever. On the other hand, marketing campaigns should also target potential customers and generate that much-needed response from the masses, turning them into loyal customers.
The Different Forms of Relationships in Business
Based on your unique business, building various kinds of relationships can be beneficial for you.
1. Business-to-Business (B2B)
These relationships can scale your business even further. With a clear strategy, you can merge or collaborate with other businesses to increase clientele, revenues, and profits, while also reducing costs. The ultimate result is a growing customer base and increasing sales, in turn leading to a happier you.
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
This is a one-to-one relationship where a business provides a product or a service to a customer. It is a major contributor to your income, and the marketing techniques we have just discussed can help you succeed in forming it.
3. Community Relationships
Let’s say you are a baker, selling beautifully crafted cupcakes. Having no community links may just force you to throw every batch into the bin. You need to step outside and meet people who can spread the word or go to the neighborhood park or community center to come face-to-face with some key individuals of the community. Pairing this effort with a powerful story that has a mission and goal will result in great benefits for your business as your consumers will be intrigued and will visit your bakery to find out more.
Carrying out a thorough analysis of the kind of relationships you need for your particular business and devising marketing strategies to build those relationships can play a massive role in scaling your business. As a woman entrepreneur who is managing her very own business, you have much to be proud of. Stand tall, take charge of your business, indulge in effective marketing efforts to build a strong network, and there will be no holding you back.