Are your sales figures consistently below your forecasts? Do you feel there’s something else you should be doing to improve you company’s bottom line? Effective marketing strategies are at the heart of every successful business, but not all marketing techniques are created equal. In this article we review 5 marketing strategies that can help you boost your bottom line.
Target the right customers
“But I´m already doing that”, you may think. The truth is that targeting the right customers entails much more than researching the habits and behaviours of potential clients. Many businesses build their marketing campaigns around the objective of increasing their overall sales by promoting special deals and limited-time offers. However, this does not necessarily attract the right customers, especially if you want to attract customers that bring in high revenues. By focusing their marketing efforts on increasing sales, businesses may be inadvertently attracting too many low-value customers. The problem with this is that achieving loyalty and an ongoing increase in sales among this segment requires a significant financial investment, which in some cases may be higher than the ROI these clients generate.
This means that in order to target the right customers, businesses should devise marketing strategies that attract high-value clients instead.
When it comes to boosting conversions, it is important to differentiate between two types of communication styles. Descriptive communications focus on answering questions like what the product is, what it does, how it can be used, and which benefits it can bring. However, descriptive communications fail to answer “why” questions, such as “why should I buy your product?”, “why should I choose your company?”, “why do I need this product/service?”, and “why do I need to take action now?”. In fact, research has shown that approximately 50 per cent of business communications use this approach and fail to engage customers.
This is where persuasive messaging comes into play, as this communication style is effective when addressing these crucial questions during the buying-conversion cycle. Persuasive communications that answer “why questions” are a must for any business looking to enter into productive and relevant conversations with prospective customers.
Consumers around the world are showing an increased preference for video content. According to a report published by Cisco, by 2017 nearly 70 per cent of all internet traffic will involve videos. Incorporating videos into your overall marketing strategy can help you reach a wider audience (potentially more than 20 million consumers per week, according to research carried out by Youtube).
It is important to note that video marketing is not limited to the production of ads. Videos can and are being used to demonstrate the benefits of products and services, to introduce potential customers to the company’s mission and values, or to replace lengthy blog entries while delivering valuable information. For best results, it is recommended that video marketing is not only used on-page, but also across multiple channels and especially in social networks.
Just like video marketing, content marketing strategies are a relatively new set of tools whose popularity is set to keep growing. Using content marketing is a crucial step towards building long-lasting relationships with customers and building brand loyalty. Also effective increasing key metrics, such as sales lead quality and social engagement.
Content marketing (or the creation and delivery of free valuable content) has applications in both B2B and B2C settings, and according to The Content Marketing Institute, its use increased by 75 per cent during 2015 alone. The same report reveals that in the UK, the most popular content marketing techniques include promoted blog posts (whose popularity has increased by 30 per cent over the past 12 months), Youtube videos (13 per cent increase), photos and illustrations (12 per cent), videos (10 per cent), and infographics (10 per cent). Other popular forms of delivering content marketing include white papers, online presentations, case studies, and exclusive social media content.
“Shoppertainment” is particularly relevant to businesses engaged in retail operations. This concept involves going beyond simply offering products, and focusing on delivering memorable in-store experiences instead. This is a very powerful way of differentiating a company from its competitors, as it has been shown by businesses who have got “shoppertainment” right. IKEA, Home Depot, and Burberry London are just a few successful examples of how this strategy can boost your sales.
Some key principles to bear in mind when it comes to making “shoppertainment” work for your business are:
- Focusing on the experiential and interactive nature of retail
- Offering added value (for example by running free in-store workshops)
- Taking into account seasonal trends and updating the retail experience accordingly
- Investing in tech tools that allow customers to access the retail experience everywhere (apps, virtual makeover tools, etc.)
- Thinking of retail spaces as destinations and crafting a customer journey