As McCauley Marketing Services knows from experience, all businesses have a certain degree of ebb and flow: one month you may be light on sales, while the next month you have almost more business than you know what to do with. Whether you’re an assisted living facility, a medical practice, or a medical supply manufacturer, when business is booming, it’s tempting to slow your marketing efforts because it feels like you have little need for it. But in actuality, those times of plenty are when you should increase your marketing efforts, because now you have momentum. In terms of a business, momentum simply means that you’re having an increasingly steady flow of new customers. Especially for a new business or a business that is in the process of renewing and redefining itself, it can take some time to start seeing your momentum build, but when you do, you’ve been given an opportunity to get an even higher return for your marketing dollars. Below are some tips on how to keep the ball rolling.
- Find the source of the momentum. If you don’t already keep a detailed log of how each customer (and even each potential customer who inquires but may not use your services yet) has heard about your business, start right now. This is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help your business grow, and it is the only way to know whether your marketing expenses are working. Without this information, many business continuously lose thousands on marketing ventures that provide little to no return. You can implement the question as part of the phone call when you speak with a new potential client, or in a retail environment like a laser center, you can make it part of the check-out process. A few pointers, however: first, make sure you keep the data in an easily analyzable format so that, when you do see building momentum, you can easily find out where it’s coming from; second, don’t rely on sending out surveys. Despite their best intentions, most people never get around to completing and submitting surveys, so it’s best to gather this data during an in-person or phone conversation.
- Nourish the source(s) of the momentum. Once you’ve analyzed your recent data and found out where most of your customers are coming from, you need to focus on making sure that source remains lucrative. For example, if you’ve seen a rise in referrals from a specific social group (perhaps a group of existing clients had a great experience and have been spreading the word throughout their subdivision), send a thank-you gift to the referral sources and perhaps offer a special discount to anyone else they refer. Or, if print advertising in a certain magazine has been profitable, purchase ads in that magazine more frequently or purchase more prominent, larger ads.
- Find ways to branch out from the source(s) of momentum. Anyone who’s played “six degrees of separation” knows that there are countless ways that each of us is connected to various communities. Using connections based on the best sources of your customers is a great way to gradually expand awareness and make your business a household name. For instance, if one or more families who have referred their friends to you are involved in their local PTA, find out whether the PTA will allow you to make a brief presentation in exchange for a donation from your business. Or, if your momentum source was a successful magazine, find other magazines that cater to a similar readership.
- Always stay on top of customer satisfaction. One mistake many businesses make is that when business is going well, they assume they’re doing everything right and ease up on their efforts to make sure each customer is happy. You could have all the new customers in the world, but if they have a negative experience and only use your services once, your business will eventually run dry. So no matter if your business is thriving or struggling, it’s important to consistently maintain your customer relationships by asking if there’s anything they think you can improve and by continuously communicating and nurturing your relationship with the customer. “Asking” is key as well—most people won’t voluntarily tell you what you could do better, so don’t assume they’re happy simply because they’re not complaining.
Managing your marketing and taking advantage of momentum may seem daunting for many business owners. While the above tips will help, it’s always best to work with a professional marketing team like McCauley Marketing Services when possible. With experience in a multitude of industries and markets, we can help you create and implement a marketing strategy to maximize your reach within your community and help your business grow to fit your vision. Contact us to get started, be sure to follow McCauley Marketing Services on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for daily marketing tips and insights.