In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, a solid digital marketing strategy has to become a marketing team’s bread and butter. Your business’s success depends on the right type of strategy. In turn, the right type of strategy can lead to higher sales, new customers, and long-term growth.
In the digital era, connecting with your customers is easy, but connecting with them on a meaningful level is much easier said than done. In 2015, digital marketing experts estimated consumers were exposed to anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. Since then, technology and social media have only increased a consumer’s constant exposure to brand messages. In order to reach their customers, make connections, and drive sales growth, marketers must be able to harness powerful marketing strategies that cut through this online noise.
Here are four ways marketing can make an impact on your sales this year:
Get to Know Your Target Customer
Don’t make the mistake of marketing your product or service before you’ve defined your target customer. Marketing isn’t just a matter of placing ads; it’s a method of attracting new business. However, attracting new business is difficult to do when you haven’t established who in fact you’re attempting to attract. It’s necessary to understand exactly the type of customer you want to target with your marketing before you can effectively reach them.
Your target customer is the person you’ve identified as most likely to purchase your products; they’re who you have in mind as you create new marketing materials. Define your customer by getting to know everything you possibly can about him or her. Be sure to find an appropriate mix of demographic and lifestyle data points. How old is your target customer? What does he/she do in their spare time? Does your target customer have children? If so, how many? These are all questions to research to determine your target customer. Augment your information with product, user, and campaign insight to best understand your customers and their preferred sales channels.
If you can’t visualize this person clearly and distinctly, then you need to research your target customer or client until you can. You need to develop your target market as specifically as possible if you’re going to effectively market your product or service.
Find and Define Your USP, Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition, or USP, identifies the main aspect of your business that you’re bringing to the marketplace. It’s what differentiates your brand from your competitor’s brand. USPs often motivate customers to purchase your products and services in lieu of your competitor’s. Your USP plays to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or product uniquely valuable to your customers. What do you have that no other brands in your marketplace have to offer? Whether it be your low prices, superior quality, or cutting-edge designs, a USP should focus your marketing strategy and influence messaging, branding, copywriting, and other marketing decisions.
Once you’ve recognized your brand’s USP, be sure to integrate it into all of your business processes, especially in regard to marketing. Your USP is much more than just an attractive slogan. You should be able to talk the talk and walk the walk, meaning your USP isn’t just a flashy way to communicate your offerings. Though a slogan is one way your USP can be communicated, a USP should embody in other areas of your business. From the supply chain, to customer service, to your return policy, your USP should be the driving force throughout.
Most importantly, a USP is a promise you make to your customers. If your USP promises stellar customer service, be sure to deliver upon that commitment. Anything less than that will leave a poor impression with your customers, and rather than attracting new sales, you’ll lose them.
Drive Efficient Back-End Processes
In order to move customers through each step of the sales funnel and encourage customers to make a purchase in a timely manner, marketing teams must excel in the productivity of their internal processes. Think of it this way: The longer it takes your marketing team to envision, create, and launch a new campaign, the more time it takes to reach your consumer base and generate sales from that campaign.
Many of your major marketing tactics, like content creation, social media, and copywriting, take an immense level of effort. If they’re not done well, you can waste a lot of time and money. However, the progression of automation technologies has made these activities much easier to accomplish in shorter time periods. When possible, automate your marketing functions so you can free up time for other responsibilities. Incorporating automation tools in your marketing processes help you to work faster and smarter.
Automation tools can be to accomplish many of the more menial aspects of marketing. When marketers can spend less time on these tasks, they can direct more time toward responsibilities like responding to customer inquiries, brainstorming new campaign material, and engaging with customers on social media, all of which encourage customers to make a sale more quickly.
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Don’t Forget About Your Loyal Customers
Driving sales doesn’t mean just attracting new customers, but it also means you must retain your previous customers too. In fact, the Harvard Business Review reports that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Customer retention is crucial for a company’s long-term viability; without it, you’ll be spending a disproportionate amount of energy (and money) on winning new customers. In a time where consumers have more choices and options than ever, retaining customers is not as simple as it used to be. However, doing so will prove to be a fruitful endeavor for marketing and sales initiatives.
Be sure to support your customers, even after they’ve made a purchase. Let them know you’re equally invested in their thoughts and opinions in the post-purchase phase, whether it be by reaching out for product feedback, encouraging them to leave an online review, or implementing a lifetime warranty. On the same token, don’t forget to show gratitude for your loyal customers. Rewarding those who regularly engage with your brand is a great way to show your customers how much you value their loyalty. Offering coupons and sponsoring giveaway campaigns are great ways to show your appreciation and also encourage repeat business.
In today’s digital marketplace, finding business success means marketing, sales, and service departments all need to work together to better understand customers and how to best help them throughout every step of the sales funnel. When you’re creating your marketing strategies to drive sales results, be sure to connect with your customers and deliver the qualities they’re actually looking for when making a purchase. Your bottom line will thank you for it!
Author: Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If she’s not writing her latest blog post in my kitchen, you’ll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.