“This day and age we’re living in gives cause for apprehension with speed and new invention and things like fourth dimension …”
How much more fourth dimensional can we get than the virtualness of the internet! Its impact on virtually (there I go again) every business that’s been around for the past century has been and is – simply put – presumably inevitable. Nonetheless, whether on-line of off-line the sustainment and success of any business is only as solid as its clientele/customer base. As businesses adapt to whatever advances may come, business owners have to make sure that their clients understand and are prepared for those changes as those changes can very well affect their desire and need to purchase products and/or services.
As universal as the internet and its on-line clientele may be, ignoring, neglecting, the “world” of off-line clientele would be a big mistake. Not a slap on the wrist mistake, a potentially major loss of revenue mistake. E-marketer (yes, an on-line site) tells us that our 2014 worldwide real world ad spend was close to $656 billion contrasted to the digital virtual ad spend which was $137 billion. On-line is BIG: off-line is BIGGER.
Structuring off-line and/or on-line marketing techniques is crucial for your business(es) to grow and succeed. Joonomy has borrowed some noteworthy strategies and how-tos used by established, reputable, business enterprises to share with you. Use them as they apply to your business needs: they can be invaluable in helping you.
The Lifetime Customer Value (LCV)
The success of your business and it potential longevity bides its time on your understanding and appreciating the lifetime value of your customers. This particular “lifetime” relies on how much money each of your customers spends on your products/services over the course of their lifetime. In understanding the concept of LCV, you can – in business advertising lingo – go negative to pull potential customers away from competitors and draw them to you. That going “negative” implies that you would spend more on advertising a product, take a “now” loss by charging customers less for that product than your competitor(s) but at the same time you would be getting a likely loyal lifetime customer. And, over the lifetime of each customer you get and keep that having gone “negative” is replaced with profitability. Take advantage of this: most businesses focus on the immediacy of making a profit and not gauging the long-term probability of profit.
A little futuristic anecdote here: Jamie will have spent $10,000 into your business during her lifetime and she will have done so because she fell in love with an antique tablecloth you advertised for only $50 which your competitors were advertising for $150 (much closer to real value). Your advertising campaign budgeted it for $350 taking into account the likelihood that Jamie could very well become your lifetime valued customer which she did.
Take the time to consider what your profits will be over the lifetime of a customer compared to a one-time or occasional customer: you’ll see the value in your decision and the value of your lifetime customer. Mind you, going negative is the initial draw: you have to keep your customers happy and excited about buying your products. You can repeat the occasional going “negative” advertising on a new product or long-standing product, and you can and should run promotions during the year. Holiday times are great yet typical: run them off season too and make them eye-catching and desirable.
Going “negative” can do wonders for your business. Jeff Bezo, founder and CEO of Amazon, is among today’s icons in the world of ecommerce marketing. He is a master entrepreneur who takes full advantage of going negative when he believes it will further increase Amazon’s customer base: his doing so attracts new customers as well as his occasional customers with the often end result of full-time repeat customers. He will make his margins razor-thin at times to entice and magnetize customers to keep Amazon as their first stop-and-shop when they want to buy products: that’s where and how the pay-back comes in. Selling Amazon Prime memberships exemplifies the “going negative” principle. A customer purchases an annual membership for free 2-day shipping for eligible items otherwise standard 3-5 days shipping among numerous other benefits: Amazon loses money on this transaction but that is more than compensated for in the amount of transactions the customer will make with Amazon. I would venture an educated guess that Amazon’s LCV is enviably high.
Joonomy knows the significance of lifetime customer value. We also understand the budgetary restraints that new and smaller businesses live with in having to meet payroll and other on-going expenses that would inhibit their spending in order to draw customers. The monetary reality of LCV for new and smaller businesses takes several years: it is a time involved projection. Joonomy’s concern for you as a new or small business owner is to help you build your clientele as cost efficiently as possible: You bid freely on job postings that require your company’s services and/or products and Joonomy does not take ANY percentage of your earnings on your accepted bids.
Listen to Your Customers
Automation works for certain “things.” People are not “things” and your customers are people. Keep their “wait time” as short as possible: let them talk, listen to them and let them know through your conversation that they are a valued customer. Understand if they complain and make it right for them. Understand what they are looking for and give them optional choices if/when appropriate: it tells them you are listening and trying to perhaps save them some money. If they are definite about what they want do not try and dissuade them or sell them something else. Treat them with respect and talk to them with care. When you listen to them, they “hear” you.
Financial marketing to attract and keep new customers is an expense: one that when done well will bring you lifetime customer value. Holding onto your existing customers is a lesser expense: one that needs your considered attention. Both comprise the building blocks of your customer base: “If you build it,” they “will come.” And, they may very likely come with friends.
Introduce Yourself & Your Business at Conferences & Associations
Check local media sources, on-line and off-line, for upcoming conferences and association meetings. Keep your calendar open and yourself available to speak at them whenever possible. Contact respective events’ coordinators about speaking opportunities: chat them up, give them some background and your expertise and let them know you would like to participate as a speaker.
Speaking at an association may be an easier venue to participate in than a conference: either way, if the opportunity presents itself take it. Make your presentation interesting, informative, involve your audience, bring a little levity into your talk, and pose questions to give your audience the chance to participate with you. Your posture and dress say something about you: it’s the first thing people notice when you walk onto a stage or walk to a podium. What you say and how you present your address to your audience can and often will define you as an authority in your industry. Everything matters!
Speaking at associations, conferences can create business opportunities for you and bring new clients to you. Partnerships can be formed. PayPal is a perfect example: Peter Theil spoke at Stanford, Max Levchin heard/listened to his speech, approached him after, pitched his idea for PayPal and the outcome of their conversation speaks for itself.
Support a Cause – Be an Event Sponsor
Charities, not-for-profit organizations, have events throughout the year. It is a significant fundraising tool for charities, and a tool that you can work to your advantage. When done effectively and tastefully, they can help brand your business: give your business visibility, put your face to your business and give people a sense of your thoughtfulness and generosity in helping their cause(s). Whether the event is holding an auction, a raffle, a gift-prize or perhaps token gifts to everyone, that you are giving your time and a product or service to support them will stay with them; and, might very well get you new clients.
Involve Yourself with Networking Groups
Do some research into local and regional networking functions spotlighting your industry. If you find out they are scarce or not available in your general, start one. Be a pro-active networker: it will work for you, you will be helping someone else and that someone else can turn around and help you as well. There is in this context a proverb that I believe is quite applicable, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”
Networking opportunities provide forums to get together and meet affiliates in your respective industry, newcomers to the industry, establish relationships and business contacts and learn about new business ventures: any and all of which can help to further develop your customer base.
Joonomy will soon be offering you the opportunity to help you facilitate networking functions.
Lumpy Mail and Direct, the Old-Fashion Way: Why
Email has unquestionably put a major slice into “paper” mail we receive. It’s inexpensive and it’s oh so immediate. That’s the basic up-side: the basic down-side is we are inundated with spam because email is also “the way” of marketing messages without borders. And, within the spam-center many valid promotions get “dumped” and unread.
Sometimes something really and definitively good and time-saving can become disrupted: in this instance, email spam. You want your email marketing message(s) read not spammed. Get personal, go old-fashion, send a letter.
And then there is lumpy mail. Sounds cluttered, but it can be a worthwhile mailing strategy. It’s a curiosity getter. An invocation to open the letter: could be a free gift inside. It’s a potential selling point: you know what I mean. Most of us are more inclined to open a lumpy piece of mail rather than a flat one.
You can also go FedEx especially when you focus on monied prospects. That’s always goaded me into opening an otherwise garbage-slated piece of unwanted mail. It will very often entice the recipient and can frequently lead to great success.
Referrals are essential and a straight-forward way for you to help grow your business client-wise and for filling staff positions. Ask your clients/customers and staff members for referrals.
Business clients and/or individual customers likely have “other” connections that could very well be interested in your products and/ services. And, since you already have an established and trusted business relationship with them, you can be relatively comfortable with their referrals. Friendly networking –there’s that word again – among your clientele can be a good resource for referrals; and, with business-to-business referrals, incentives – when appropriate– can be used to your advantage.
When you have open staff positions, speak with your staff members they may very well know just the person you are looking for: showing that kind of trust with your staff is always remembered and appreciated by them. Who knows, their referral may know a potential client for you. Everything is a give and take process: a mutually beneficial one when done deftly and with consideration.
I conceived of and designed Joonomy for you: the entrepreneur, the business owner, freelancer, service provider and then some. Our platform is tailored to your needs. Use us; we are here to help you.
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