When designing your marketing efforts, remember the principle of frequency: a client typically needs to hear your message several times before responding. The rule applies to your existing clients as well as to potential clients – if too much time passes between encounters, clients are easily distracted to other opportunities. Marketing efforts often look like bursts of activity rather than well-designed campaigns. In order to gain mindshare, your marketing and advertising efforts need to have a consistent look and feel and be repeated often on a regular, continuing, and ongoing basis. Marketing must be a continual, ongoing series of effort to keep clients engaged with your brand, to keep you top-of-mind.
Naturally, “repeated often” is different from being repetitious. Vary up aspects of your promotions to keep them fresh, but keep enough common elements to brand your efforts. You want clients to immediately recognize your logo and distinctive branding. With that said, however, use a variety of media to approach your market from differing angles: print, electronic, cross marketing with other retailers, speaking engagements and public relations efforts such as press releases.Plan your advertising as a campaign rather than as sporadic placements. A single ad has very little impact. Whatever your marketing effort, plan your marketing budget to reflect your commitment to repeated placement in your venues of choice to gain the necessary mindshare of the audience. A well-orchestrated marketing campaign can be adjusted as needed to fine-tune the impact, provided that some portion of your plan is devoted to the measurement of results. Remember that what cannot be measured cannot be managed.
Periodically, reach out and touch your clients. When they have a birthday, send a card. Anniversary? Send a card. Your company newsletter should find its way to their inbox or mailbox at least quarterly. Every now and then, call them up and have a lunch. Each contact does not have to be overtly commercial. It is more important to be authentic and to be present in their life.
Look to the content of your client communications. Based on your client files and your clients’ interests, are your communications relevant? If your clients have expressed an interest in safaris, are you sending them articles or specials on cruising? Don’t miss the mark on this important point. Use your CRM system to its fullest. Clients want materials that benefit them, and will quickly begin dismissing what they perceive to be no more than disconnected commercials.
Your clients will utilize your services when they perceive you as trustworthy and competent: qualities that are reflected in every client communication. Demonstrate you can produce the results you promise in your client communications by sharpening their appearance and fine-tuning the manner and the frequency with which you engage your clients.