Setting your business apart means offering high-quality products or services and a superior experiences for your customers and clients. But, as any business owner or manager well knows, it takes more than quality to stand out in a competitive market. Like it or not, customers don’t make decisions with perfect knowledge, and even the best businesses can get lost in the shuffle if they don’t invest in marketing and advertising.
Businesses can’t afford to skip out on marketing and advertising. But neither can they afford to overpay for those things. Your profits are just as reliant on low operating costs as they are on high revenue, and overspending is a quick way to get your business into financial hot water.
Advertising that keeps on giving
One great way to keep your company on customers’ minds is to have them carry your business with them wherever they go. And getting them to do this is surprisingly easy.
The trick? Put your logo on things like hats, T-shirts, pens, notebooks, keychains, and just about anything that would be useful and appealing to customers. A business card is great for letting customers know how to reach you, but why not put all of that same information on custom pens that your customers will actually use? The relatively low cost of producing pens, apparel, and other goods with your company’s logo can be efficient when compared to the length of time that such goods can be in circulation. You can let customers grab pens from the receptionist’s desk, run contests and giveaways for the T-shirts and hats, and even, in some cases, sell this branded gear at a profit (this is especially easy for bars, restaurants, and other hip lifestyle businesses). Your next customer just might be someone who borrowed a branded pen or spotted a branded T-shirt of yours out in the wild!
Trial and error
The most efficient way to advertise is to focus on the most effective techniques. But what are the most effective techniques? That’s hard to say without more information — but you can find out.
Marking experts do a lot of testing and trial-and-error to find the right solutions. Track data points like sales, customer calls, and coupon use and map trends as you examine your different marketing strategies. Use A/B testing whenever you can: For instance, you could print two different coupons to see which is more appealing, or print the same coupon in two different colors and in two different newspapers or magazines to see which periodical sends more customers your way. Use your results to guide your next wave of spending, or experiment further to learn even more about the optimal marketing strategy that you’re seeking. The more you know, the more wisely you’ll be able to spend your money.
Outsource to the experts
You can do a lot of marketing on your own. It doesn’t take someone with a degree in marketing to place an order for custom pens. But it’s also true that marketing and advertising involve some specialized skills, and that many folks out there are better-equipped than you to make the most of your marketing budget.
With that in mind, you may want to consider hiring outside experts and outsourcing your marketing needs. Particularly in more complex areas such as digital marketing and SEO, having outside pros weigh in can help you make the right calls and avoid costly mistakes. Plus, outsourcing these tasks gives you more time to focus on the things that you do best. In the long run, spending the money on outsourcing may make your business more successful and ensure a brighter financial future for it – and for you, too.