Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

Are Today’s Customers Harder to Reach?

The competition today is humongous!

In our history as a nation, for example in the 1800s, all selling was face-to-face. Store owners studied customer purchases to determine their likes and not so likes of goods and services. Sounds simple, because it was, then.

Now fast forward to the present. It is difficult to get a grasp on why and what a potential customer would buy. There is a loss of useful, outmoded communication channels seceded by the internet and all things technology.

Further, the competition today is humongous. Customers shopping at stores is low, B2B company industry shows are trying to make a comeback, trade publications are disappearing or bought out, and a small business is erratic with selling goods or closed for good.

The timing is right getting back to the basics.

When I put my thoughts together for this post, I realized how much has changed since the pandemic reached our shores in the first quarter of 2020. Companies, big and small, had a very difficult time on how to communicate with prospects and customers. Try this, do that, or even maybe this will work.

Hopefully, the time is right for a change. The pandemic may wind down as we approach the summer of 2021. Fresh cases of Covid-19 are at their low and in single digits of deaths in Illinois. People vaccinated twice are slightly over 50%.

Selling to people in the 1800s.

The biggest takeaway from the 19th Century was face-to-face selling. In the B2B industry, a person may sell a high-cost product or service. The salesperson usually receives a lot of objections. A good salesperson studies his customers and their company. He must know how to react to the objections.

With negotiations, both people must know as much as possible about each other. Each person wants to walk away as a winner.

So, what is different today? We have the technology to meet face-to-face. For example, any good salesperson would say, “I need to set the table on why my product or service is better.” A small ticket price salesperson must also set a table to get a sale. It is not what you know or who you know, it is what you know about the person you are selling to. What does he know about you?

Look at what other companies are doing.

To become a useful tool, you must transform data into information that can help drive strategic direct marketing and selling programs, financial decisions, and product development. To minimize manual data collection and conserve resources, a company should focus on metrics for readily available data.

In today’s direct and digital marketing, data will capture information needed to drive decisions. The idea of having a good marketing automation tool to capture more data at a reasonable price is a worthwhile investment. The Pareto Principal comes into play when you collect data. Twenty percent of your customers usually provide eighty percent of your revenue. Buy a CRM or database and build one today.

Adding value-oriented work habits.

When you summarize feedback in charts, graphs, or simple to understand language, you’ll always know the score. You know if you’re winning or losing–and to what degree. 

Go get’em slugger!

Useful methods of setting a table for a sale.

  1. Printed Materials. If you have not printed marketing materials in sometime, there are many knowledgeable printers to help you with paper ideas, paper types, color, black and white, sizes, postal requirement and so forth. Look up a direct mail company who process mail for delivery is a logical choice.
  2. Contact List. Every business needs a customer and prospect list. The average list may lose 20% of contacts each year. You can count on over 20% based on the present pandemic. Before you do any mailing, search your current customers from accounting. Compare each list and update your mailing customer list. That is just a start. See #5.
  3. Direct Marketing Mail. Whether a large or small business direct mail can deliver. For example, get creative with printed materials. Get creative with the envelope or other size package, so when it reaches the person’s hand and eyes, they have creative printed material, such as a call-to-action.
  4. Communication Channels. Besides mail you should add additional communication channels such as email, landing pages, your website, telephone, zoom, video such as You Tube and other digital marketing techniques. Your choices are many, but it all depends on what your contacts prefer.
  5. Data Management. Personalization assumes that you know something about the people to whom you are mailing, emailing, or sending to a landing page and so on. It is an effective way to keep customers spending their money on your products and services.

Summary

Yes, there are more. However, without having a good contact list, your results are not always what they could be. The key point in any of the communication channels is personalization. You need to collect customer data, such as what channel (email, mail, etc) is the best revenue channel.

A database, such as a CRM, will disclose more about your customers and prospects. Think about using segments in your CRM. Start simple. For example, what buyers are in the top 20% of revenue. They may have different copy than the other 80%.

Here is a collection of articles and posts for each of the five tactical tools from the list above.

mdoc@direct2customers.com

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

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Why do I Share Content?

Why do I Share Content?

Why Not?

In larger companies, such as ACE Hardware or State Farm Insurance, you will most likely find a human resources title, such as marketing manager, to accomplish the marketing planning goals set by upper management.

In small business, maybe 2, 15, 50 or 500 employees or an owner of one, another person anointed with organization leadership, is the marketing manager. This person knows his customers at a higher level than anyone with the title of marketing manager in big business. HE or SHE knows a happy customer is a great customer. The more they know about their customers is critical for success.

We all need feedback.

Owning a small business, I always needed to receive feedback from my marketing tips. Such as in my blog, website, newsletters, email, or discussions with customers and prospects. I have three principles of marketing/sales that always work.

  1. Learn by reading.
  2. Learn by doing.
  3. Find a solution for a problem.

The Marketing Doc name was a label from an eye doctor while I was gathering information from him to build a marketing and advertising program for his small practice, in 1994. “I can’t treat a patient until I find the problem. Your questions helped me think about the future of my practice. You must be a Marketing Doctor.”

In the beginning of my business in 1984, I created a series of questions and started building my first small business manual marketing workbook, CustomMark. These were exploring questions to learn more about prospects looking for marketing and selling help. I changed the name and added new content two other times since the early nineties, but the latest, Custom-Made Marketing, is the sixth edition.

The answers to questions tell me a story of their usage of marketing, advertising, and sales. I look at marketing as everything you do to get more customers strategically. For example, getting a database or CRM to build a customer-centric strategy. Segment your customers and prospects, develop customer profiles, and consider training your employees who sell using tactics of solution selling.

Learn by reading, learn by doing, and learn how to become a solution provider for your prospect and customers.

I see smaller traffic to my new blog, on Direct2customers.com, Blog-MarketingDoc. I had over 10.000 readers on marketingdoc.net blog, but still trying to surpass it on this blog. So, I’ll share two blog posts on October 2020. Just click on the Two Blog Posts button under this content.

I hope you find them interesting and meaningful to your business. If not, please let me know. If you have a question or an idea to discuss, you can reach me via email, Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800.251. 3608.

When you join our marketing community, you’ll have a variety of content to read, plus it is free to join.

“I always write content that helps people work better and reach their goals.”

 MarketingDoc

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
Why do I Share Content?

How to Get Customer and Audience Feedback…

You need to create the right attention

For many, feedback is detrimental-a negative, unplanned disturbance. It’s that dreadful, high-pitched squeal from the public-address system that sometime occurs when the speaker at the podium first opens his or her mouth to say, “Good morning.” Good, no more.

Make some good moves with the music

In business, there’s another form of feedback. This is the response you get from customers and prospects from a campaign, a press release, a post or how customers use your product or service. The answers tell you how well your company is doing or where improvements you can make.

  1. Naturally, the very best feedback you can get is a sale–cash in your bank account. Then ask yourself what precipitated a purchase.
  2. The next best feedback is to have a customer or prospect–really talk to you and tell you what they feel good or bad.
  3. In the world of the most preeminent companies, those that invite feedback–and use it to improve–continue to outperform those who do the same thing over and over.

 

So, get creative, get bold.

Not only do these companies seek honest evaluations about their performances, but they also present the data to the sales and marketing teams, customer service, and the product development team. The more a person knows then uses the information to make future campaigns successful.

Before you think of mailing a survey, there probably are many questionnaires and surveys floating around that responses can be slim. So, get creative, get bold. Start with the number one tool to get your customer information.

Pick up the phone, or get in your car, motorcycle, truck, or what gets you from point A to point B and lead your team, to talk to customers, one to one, and listen, listen, listen, and then you can react to the feedback! 

Canned questions are fine, but use them as thought starters. Let customers talk to you and tell you, in their own words, what they see, hear about your company and their impression.

Look at what other companies are doing.

To become a useful tool, you must transform data into information that can help drive strategic direct marketing and selling programs, financial decisions, and product development. To minimize manual data collection and conserve resources, a company should focus on metrics for readily available data.

In today’s direct and digital marketing, data will capture information needed to drive decisions. The idea of having a good marketing automation tool to capture more data at a reasonable price is a worthwhile investment. The Pareto Principal comes into play when you collect data. Twenty percent of your customers usually provide eighty percent of your revenue. Buy a CRM or database and build one today.

Adding value-oriented work habits.

When you summarize feedback as charts, graphs, or simple to understand language, you’ll always know the score. You know if you’re winning or losing–and to what degree. 

Go get’em slugger!

Please share with others–except your competition!

Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.

Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.

Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

Learning by reading and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you will find in your Direct2Customer Community. Join us today by clicking on the button.

This is what I do and what I love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions?

Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 J. Mike Deuerling
How to Survive and Succeed in A New Small Business…

How to Survive and Succeed in A New Small Business…

...or To Correctly Reorganize One

Making either decision is difficult. Nobody wants to fail. If you decide not to give up the ghost, and give it a shot, keep it simple. Look closely at your company’s operations and strategies. Determine what you need to improve.

What do you know about your customers and prospects? Customers are hard to get or to keep. Marketing and sales must perform and to meet their goals.

There are a variety of practical steps to take with marketing and advertising your company’s products and services to your prospects and customers.

First, let me talk about what a company needs.

(Top of right column) ->

What your company needs.

You need a business marketing strategy on how you plan to sell your products and services to prospects. When you sell and get a few customers, you will need a strategic marketing plan in place to boost your customer totals and revenue.
For a small business, I highly recommend a direct marketing strategy. Direct marketing means just that–sending a message directly to a prospect or customer who more than likely will make a purchase.

Next, you will need a list of contacts that have a propensity to buy and tell them why your product is the right choice for them. You will need a copywriter that knows persuadable copywriting.

Last you need creative marketing and advertising offers that your products were made for them. Direct marketing goals include a prospect to buy directly from a campaign, lead generation activities, and/or supporting your field selling activity.

The Heart of Business Success- 

Prospects and customers. 

As the sales trickle in, a customer-centric marketing strategy outline should be on your whiteboard, or at the minimum, in your head. If the customer-centric marketing strategy eludes you, here’s a smart start. 

For a new, or to reorganize a small business, a customer- centric marketing strategy means you have a goal to fulfill all the needs and wants each customer expects, with a passion to succeed, provide an extra step of service, and do it all with a smile. 

Stop and think for a bit about the block quote above. Then place a customer in your shoes. How would you react?

How do you decide to purchase a product or service comparable in pricing and some resemblance of similarity? Was it price sensitive? Did it come in assorted colors? How was the service? After your purchase, what did you think about the customer service?  

Another way to look at customer-centric marketing is-everything marketing starts and ends with your customer… cater to them, listen to them, and react to them. The results are amazing.  

When you email  a purchaser, ask them what they  think about your service or product. Their  answers will probably show you are already doing customer-centric marketing. The best marketing strategy that pinpoints the many reasons to keep and gain new customers.  

Summary 

However, many people, who work in a small business management capacity, who read the preceding sentence will comment, “I know my customers and know what they want. I need more customers because I want to grow.” 

 Do they? Do you? 

Your time is better suited to listen to, talk to, and better understand your customers. This can increase your marketing results, customer acquisition and customer retention. 

Here are 17 short sentences that can help you learn more about customers. Plus, there is no rule saying you will not be able to use it with prospects. 

 

1. Keep it simple. 

2. Use automation such as a CRM.  

3. Learn and use analytics every single day. 

 

4. Halloween is every day. Customers get treats and offers to build on their relationships. 

 

5. Customer-centric marketing strategies remind us to learn more about customers.  

6. Prospects are potential customers which require  stronger messages of attention. 

 

7. Develop customer profiles pays you repeatedly.

 

8. Think of direct and customer-centric promotional  strategies as a well-oiled machine. 

 

9. Your response rate will hit double digits. 

10. Have you heard the phrase “Direct-to-Customers Marketing?”  Remember you heard it here first. 

 

11. Do you follow a customer’s journey? Make sure it’s  connected to your data and analytics. 

 

12. Thinking creatively can help you get more customer information. 

 

13. Direct-2-customers  marketing  can increase the likelihood of a two-way communication with each customer. 

 

14. Increasing customer conversations (your customer service) can increase data collecting  for additional personalization. 

 

15. Better customer data leads to future relevant communication. 

 

16. Customer acquisition is easier when you “buy in to a long tail.” 

 

17. Create a great opening line for networking and your direct marketing toolset to increase customer connections. 

 

   Please share with others – except your competition!

   Sharing time with you is genuinely appreciated. Please join our Direct2Customers Marketing Community today!

  Learning and doing, marketing, and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at your Direct2Customer Community. 

  It’s what I do. It’s what I love to do. 

  Thanks again for reading. Questions?  Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608 

         

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

but you must mine your lists and categorize each to get the shiny gold you want!

Today’s customers, prospects, sales leads and so-called contact list of maybes can be reached using a ton of tactical marketing channels daily. 

The glaring question most people search an answer for “Which marketing channel is the best one for us to use?” The best answer may be all of them. What channels do your customers respond to? All your contacts in your databases control the marketing communication they use in their company. 

Trying to look for gold in a stream by your house or office is probably crazy. Sending a message using a marketing channel your contact does not respond to, email for example, is like waiting for a sunrise on a stormy, cloudy day. Time wasted is lost. 

Fortunately, today’s databases can process a host of data, using a variety of options to reach the right customer using their preferred channels of communication.  In addition, there are a variety of niche segments to consider, so an open mind may be your best option. 

Here is a list to help you get started and to assure your team is headed in the right direction.   

IDEA: Put a value on your corporate database so it is not viewed as an expense.   

  1. Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. You want your data to give you a summary of your customers’ buying patterns. Knowing customer data will help you customize offers for use in any marketing channel. If you’re looking for an increase in answers, you may find gold in these channels.
  2. Select new list purchases that fit the profiles of existing customer data. Use your Website landing pages in conjunction with an email newsletter you send regularly. 
  3. Maximize personalization in your customer channel selection communication and more than one offer. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name, title and add additional data from their last purchase date. You may want to add a discount or another offering that will pique their interest.
  4. Provide ongoing interaction with customers, especially the ones receiving your email newsletter. Out of sight is out of mind. Your goal is to stay in touch with your customers to learn their preferred communication channels. Be careful. Too much too soon could shut down the lead spigot.
  5. If there is no preferred communication channel, start the conversation using direct marketing mail. Make an offer of value on a landing page on your website. You want to gather some additional data, creating an awareness that triggers consideration and beginning to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds and at what time of the year. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Make sure to collect the results and add it to your data. Some large companies with a diverse customer base use a special customer event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.
  7. Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing mail is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results are not satisfactory, go back and learn what went wrong.
  8. Collected customer data will help to determine offers to share with others in your lists. If a customer makes a request about your marketing enter it into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important, listen to customer suggestions for future deals!
  9. Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Check your customer data and customer service data for ideas such as having a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  10. Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct marketing mail. Add an offer to increase the rate of surveys. If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status. If you have a sales team, train them to ask questions and learn what you want to know 

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. Quality customer database results are valuable business tools that in turn is a quality asset for your business. When you communicate us.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate comments and ideas for future articles.

Marketingdoc      Mdoc@direct2customers.com 800-251-3608

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