It is that time of year! I am starting to receive all sorts of promotional marketing materials from companies who want me to, “Order early for special discounts.” With budgets being tight, how can a small business owner get the most out of the company marketing budget? Here is the simplest strategy for maximizing client impact with efficient cash layout.
I am sure you have heard the saying that you get 80% of your business from 20% of your clients. A small business owner can use that to their advantage in developing an efficient promotional marketing plan using these simple 4 steps.
1. Define the demographics of your top tier clients. Are they are the top because they provide the biggest income to your business, consistent repeat business, responsiveness to surveys, social media or favors they do for you or the most referrals? What are the natural categories you could use to classify and sort them, in terms of their levels of importance?
2. Pretend you are grading on a Bell Curve. Label your clients A, B, C & D. Who are your star players?
3. Determine how often you want to have contact with them. The easiest way to illustrate this point is to show an example. It would look like this, you would start with monthly contact with “A” clients only. Once a quarter you conact your A & B clients. Semi-Annually you contact “A & B & C” clients and once a year you contact “A, B, C & D” clients. In this example, A’s would get contacted a total of 12 times, B’s would be contacted 4 times, C’s would be contacted 2 times and D’s would be contacted once.
4. In this manner, your promotional marketing dollars would be spent the most efficiently. Your A clients would get nicer product gifts, B now quite as nice (but A’s would be included), C’s would be your typical magnet calendar (along with A’s and B’s) and so on.
This marketing strategy can also be adapted outside of promotional gifts in an even simpler way. A’s may get a personal lunch date every month, B’s (and A’s) get a telephone touch every Month and C’s (plus A’s and B’s) get an email blast once a month.
The application of this strategy is endless and can provide peace of mind that, as a business owner, you are taking care of the people who take care of you. In this day and age of computer technology, one of the easiest ways of distinguishing yourself from you competition can be going back to the basics of a handwritten thank you card, a personal phone touch or a “drop by” in person. It is too easy to think that text, email and social media are good mediums for a “personal touch” with clients. “Personal touch” implies person to person touch (contact by voice or person).
Your phone may ring soon since I have to take my own advice and I look forward to personally connecting again.
To your continued success, James