Many businesses rely on the same marketing strategies year after year, and though those strategies work, being fearful of new ideas can cause your brand to stagnate and create opportunities for competitors to steal market share. That’s why you should always be on the lookout for new ways to reach your customers, for new types of customers and new strategies for long-term business profitability. If you want to make a splash, try the following 10 new marketing tips for the New Year.
First and foremost, make a commitment to try new marketing strategies this year. This isn’t to say you should abandon what works or that you should blow up your marketing budget; however, make a dedicated decision to put effort into learning and implementing at least one new marketing tool or strategy you’ve never tried.
2. Find a new type of customer
Chances are you have a pretty good feel for what your customers want, but you might still be missing out on potentially lucrative niches for your products if you haven’t considered how others might use them. For example, the iPad’s target customer base might be professional thirtysomethings, but that didn’t stop Apple from marketing it to schools as a learning tool.
3. Take advantage of social media
So you’re on Facebook and Twitter. So what. Revamp your brand presence on the most popular social media platforms by taking advantage of all their features. Do you know how to send your YouTube subscribers messages with channel bulletins or export your LinkedIn connections to your email marketing software?
4. Live in your customers’ worlds
Attend the same events as your customers, mingle with them and get to know them. Don’t go to try to make an immediate sale; instead, go to learn more about what drives your customers. Doing so will undoubtedly lend insight into how you can better serve them, spur product ideas and establish a loyal customer base. Be sure to hand your business card to everyone you meet – after you get to know them.
5. Renew your print marketing efforts
The digital world will try to convince you that all business is done on a digital level. Not so. In fact, print marketing can be much more powerful in the absence of distractions and competition. Try vinyl banners, a direct-mail postcard marketing campaign, flyers or stickers to jump start print-generated revenue.
6. Go guerrilla
Take to the streets and reach customers where they live, work and play. Be creative, fun and unexpected, and you can make a huge impact on your customers with a minimal investment. Start slow by printing clever stickers to affix in public places.
7. Research … then take risk
A lot of small business owners I know blindly try new marketing mediums without ever researching how well they perform for their industries. Research marketing tools, then make decisions based on their established performance. You might also discover marketing tools your industry doesn’t use, so you can tap into them without competition. Don’t be afraid to take risks… just make sure they’re educated risks first.
You can’t do it all, but when you outsource to qualified providers you can accomplish more and make more money in less time. There are many outsourcing guides available; the best advice I can offer is to make sure you select your providers wisely. When you have a great provider, you can achieve great things with little risk.
9. Test, track, tweak
Test your marketing campaigns on small segments to determine which will perform better. Perform A/B tests to the same end. Track campaign performance – overall return on investment – and make tweaks until they outperform your norm. Doing so will allow you to launch future campaigns with next-to-zero risk, since you can predict profits.
10. Have fun
Have fun with your new marketing ideas. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm or to try something no one else has ever done before. After all, the biggest prizes go to the innovators.