The New Year is almost here, and if you want to vamp up your sales in 2011 you'll need to update your marketing strategy. Here are five ways you can refresh your pitch and land more customers in 2011.
1. Tweak your image Your brand image is an important mainstay in your marketing repertoire, but that doesn't mean it should be totally static. Tweak your image to meet the challenges of the times and you'll endear yourself to your customers. It could be time for an updated logo or tagline to tackle 2011's predicted troublesome economic trends. 2. Teach investment As a business, you understand that costs are actually investments with (hopefully) returns. As a nation, the general consumer is also adopting this mindset. Demonstrate to customers how you've adapted to prepare for the future and how you can help them tackle their own problems – without breaking the bank. Help customers think of each purchase as an investment, and show them the what, when and how of their return. 3. Go to your customers Online advances have made it easy to display your advertising to a well-targeted audience. The problem is you have to assume your audience will still find you there. Advertising on social networking sites is like putting up a billboard along the highway. You know the customers are there, but you don't know if they'll look at your ad. Not to mention the fact that not everyone travels by highway – or by social networks. If you want to make a splash in 2011, you have to go directly to your customers. Send direct-mail postcards that you know your customers will see. Call them on the phone or plan face-to-face meetings. The traditional means of marketing are not dead – maybe less expensive and easier with fewer competitors – so don't ignore the power of direct marketing. Don't worry, you can still advertise on Facebook. Just don't market exclusively on Facebook. 4. Listen Ask your customers how they would like to receive word about new products and services. Ask them what types of specials they would like to see in 2011. Ask them what you're missing in your product and service lineup that they would like to have. Ask your staff for creative ideas on how to better market to your target audience and to increase sales. Listen, evaluate and experiment to see if suggestions pay off. If your customers are united on any key point, try to implement it into your system. Your best customers will share similar traits, after all, and listening could be the key to doubling or even tripling your customer base. 5. Focus If you sit down for 10 minutes you could probably think of a few dozen ways to make money with your business. Such dilution detracts from specialization, or at the very least implementation. You have to focus on a single task, or a small set of tasks, at a time in order to achieve your goals. Don't try 10 new things at once – try one or two, focus on them until they're 100 percent right and then move on. In a year's time you'll accomplish much more – and earn more profits – with this approach than if you try to tackle everything at once.