Every business wants two things: more revenue and more customers. What must every business do to get more customers and more revenue? You’ve got to market to make it.

First, to fully understand, let’s look at the definition of marketing.

the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Let’s start with market research. What is research, how do you conduct research, and how can it help you get more customers and more revenue? Here are some options.

  • Seek out feedback from current customers. Call customers after they have purchased your product. Ask them how it is working, if it is what they expected and how you can make it better for them.

  • Customer Survey. You can do these in print form, on the phone or online. Ask customers no more than three to five questions about the product or their experience and give them space to enter their own comments. To increase participation, offer a giveaway of some kind to provide incentive.

  • Hold an informal focus group. Provide food and drinks and have an open discussion about a product service or idea for your business. You may want to ask an objective third party to facilitate the focus group so people feel comfortable speaking their minds. Record the session so you can play it back, and record your findings.

  • Have customers submit comments on your website. Add a section on your website where customers can submit ideas and feedback regarding their experience doing business with you.

  • Utilize social media. Pay close attention to the likes and comments you get on Facebook. These customers are often either your biggest fans or the most unhappy.

  • Google analytics. Every website should have Google Analytics on it. Evaluating how many people “bounced” versus how much time viewers spent on each page and which pages they visited can tell you a lot about your business and your customers. You should be evaluating your website analytics on a regular basis.

Now let’s look at promotion. Promoting and selling go hand in hand for good reason. To sell a lot of product or services, you must take massive action to promote yourself, your brand and your goods/services. Here are just a few ways to promote.

  • Brand development. Make sure your name, logo, tagline and graphic treatments tell your story…who you are, what you do and why you are the best choice. These should resonate with your customer base. Even color is an important element in branding.

  • Cut through the clutter. We are so inundated with advertising messages that it can be difficult to rise above the noise. Position yourself in a unique and creative way so that is it memorable for your clients. Be consistent in all touch points. Make yourself so visible that prospects recognize your business and remember it.

  • Be active on social media. Show images of your work, welcome and thank new clients, and run promotions and contests. Post several times each day.

  • Run Facebook ads. Facebook gives you the power to micro target your message to 100% qualified leads. We have seen huge results for our clients the same day we ran their ads. Conversion is king here.

  • Put your website to work. It is not enough to simply have a website. It must:

  1. Make a great first impression

  2. Educate prospects about who you are and what you do

  3. Motivate those prospects to act (call, request a consultation, make a purchase, etc.)

  4. Provide valuable, timely and relevant information every day

  5. Seek engagement from visitors

  6. Serve as a two way communication channel between you and your prospects/customers

  7. Capture leads

  8. SELL – your site should be a 24/7 sales tool

  9. Be mobile responsive – 51% of all usage is done on a mobile platform versus desktop or laptop at 42% (Internet Usage, Smart Insights)

  • Get Found. The phone book is a dinosaur. When people want to find something they Google it. If your customers cannot find you in Google, they are finding your competitors.

  1. More than 70% of all clicks are organic, not paid ads

  2. More than 75% of all users never look past page one of Google results

  3. Inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads. Inbound leads come from search.

  4. SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads average 1.7%.

  5. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of all organic clicks go to the top three positions.

  6. SEO is a long game. Be prepared to invest for a long period of time up front, and build it in to your monthly marketing budget for ongoing results.

There are many ways to conduct research, analyze, promote and advertise your business. The key is to be strategic. Don’t guess, and don’t just try something. Identify what your customers want and expect, the proper medium, the right message, a strong offer and proper support. Today, marketing is measurable, so there is little cost waste, which is great news for businesses, if you invest wisely. The bottom line is this…you have to market to make it!

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