Figures show economic growth is faster than expected. People have been talking about green shoots for a while now, but small and medium-sized businesses in particular remained pretty risk averse. That is starting to change.
The ONS data proves that the economy has been steadily picking up, and businesses are truly gaining confidence. We’ve seen this on the ground. Many of our clients have embarked on expansion plans and are increasing investment in marketing to drive growth.
There are many ways that business can use marketing to take advantage of economic growth – and without taking on a great deal of risk.
1. Define your proposition and refresh your brand
Have you lost sight of what differentiates you from your competitors? Is your logo, website or promotional material looking tired? Revitalising your brand will make you look more professional, increase the effectiveness of your marketing materials and give you an excellent reason to get back in touch with dormant customers.
This pays dividends: according to PA Consulting, ‘Effective branding has 2.86 times more impact than operational efficiency on bottom line profit’.
2. Increase your use of social media
Look at which social media platforms your customers are using and start making better use of the top one. According to the Social Media and Sales Quota Survey, 72.6% of salespeople using social media to sell outperformed those not on social media. And they exceeded their quotas 23% more often. So start posting to a good LinkedIn group, sharing interesting articles on Twitter or adding people to a Google+ circle. You will start driving traffic to your website, improve your ability to qualify leads, and boost awareness of your company.
3. Get more coverage in industry press
Potential customers are more likely to choose you if you’re seen as an expert in your field. Start boosting your profile by contributing articles or case studies to trade, local and national press. It will help you stay at the front of your customers’ minds and expose you to a wider market.
4. Achieve a first page search ranking for a new keyword every quarter
75% of people only look at the first page of search results. Are you getting a good share of available traffic or are your competitors beating you on Google? Make your website work harder by appearing on the first page for key search terms.
5. Communicate with your staff better
Poor communication wastes money through reduced productivity, operational mistakes, high staff turnover, missed opportunities and poor customer service. Help your employees feel more invested in the company through tactics such as noticeboards, internal newsletters and staff meetings.
6. Find out what your customers really think
80% of a company’s future revenue comes from 20% of its existing customers, according to Gartner. When was the last time you canvassed your customers? Whether you do it informally or through a short survey, the information you get from this exercise can make a big difference to sales and marketing. Maybe there are new benefits you can push. Maybe you can identify opportunities to cross- or up-sell. The results of this exercise are often very surprising indeed.
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