1. Develop a memorable theme line/slogan. Don’t change it very often. (i.e. “You’re in good hands with Allstate”; “Be all that you can be”; “Breakfast of champions”)
  2. Develop a “meme” for your business. A “meme” can be defined as the simplest possible way to communicate an idea. It’s an instantly recognizable transmission of an idea; simple and clear with no explanation necessary. It’s more than a logo. (i.e. Jolly Green Giant; Michelin Man, Marlboro Cowboy, Lean Cuisine, Energizer Bunny)
  3. Make a list of benefits/why people should buy from you. Remember, people don’t buy products and services. They buy the intangible benefits that occur as a result of the product or service. (i.e. dog friendly business; serving home made oatmeal cookies at your store, knowing customers by name)
  4. Make sure you have the time to commit to your marketing plan. If not, appoint someone else to be in charge of it
  5. Set your hours of operation for the on-demand generation. People need access to you when it is convenient for them (email, voice mail, pager, cell phone, fax machine). Let everyone know when you are open/your hours of operation.
  6. Greet telephone callers with a smile and train everyone in your organization about phone etiquette. Make the caller feel important.
  7. Make sure that you and your employees are neat, as well as your place of business.
  8. Guard your reputation. You work hard to gain credibility. This can easily be lost. Be predictable. Make customers happy. Provide good customer service.
  9. Have sweepstakes. This helps you develop a mailing list. Put the entry box in the rear of your store. Having multiple winners is better than just one. Use it to attract media attention. Have them come back in the store to receive their gift.
  10. Respond quickly and promptly to any customer questions or requests.
  11. Develop marketing partners with cross promotions and tie-ins. Put up signs for each other’s businesses in your respective stores. Enclose another’s circular in your mailing.
  12. Cultivate publicity contacts. Be nice to the media.
  13. Ask your customers to refer you to others. Thank them when they have referred you.
  14. Solicit testimonials and letters of recommendation.
  15. Take advantage of cooperative advertising dollars.
  16. Publish your own marketing materials. (newsletter, website articles, press releases, point of purchase materials, fliers, postcards, gift certificates, signs, direct mail letters)
  17. Hire commissioned salespeople.
  18. Get involved in the community. Join clubs and associations; network.
  19. Take advantage of contact time with your customers. Intensify the bond; show you care; develop a relationship; enlarge the purchase transaction.
  20. Compose an elevator speech. Memorize and rehearse it. It shouldn’t be over 30 seconds. It’s not an advertisement. Focus on consumer benefits.
  21. Compile a customer mailing list. Send off-season cards and thank you notes. Send personalized promotions.
  22. Give speeches for groups. Not a sales presentation for yourself or your business. Give information of value to the group.
  23. Put up signs on bulletin boards.
  24. Make Public Service Announcements. (I.e. if you are collecting no longer used eyeglasses or cell phones at your store, you can do a PSA.)
  25. Take advantage of free directory listings. Many of these online directories will link directly to your website.
  26. Use name tags when appropriate. Don’t just write your first name. Write your first name, last name, and something about yourself.
  27. Center your marketing on your competitive advantages. Feature benefits not used/offered by your competition. (i.e. We’ll come to you; We special order; We deliver)
  28. Make guarantees. Be creative. Go beyond the expected.
  29. Offer and promote gift certificates. It’s a great way to get new customers.
  30. Do staff sales training regularly. Make sure all employees are aware of your promotions/sales.
  31. Make free trial offers.
  32. Follow-up with your customers. Write them a personal note.
  33. Find a cause to support and promote that you support them.
  34. Offer free consultations and free seminars.
  35. Give free demonstrations.
  36. Write a column.
  37. Bake and give away goodies. (muffins, cookies, cakes, health food)
  38. Have an honest and sincere interest in people. You are there to develop a relationship with them, not just sell them a product or a service.
  39. Be patient in waiting for marketing results.
  40. Show energy and enthusiasm.
  41. Pay attention to details about your customers (i.e. style or color preference, family happenings, happy or sad occasions).
  42. Market to customers while on phone hold.
  43. Have a DVD playing, showing people using your product.
  44. Run classified ads and teaser ads. Use creative wording.
  45. Take advantage of free point-of-purchase materials from vendors.
  46. Send emails with hyperlinks to your website.
  47. Have a party and show off your offerings.
  48. Frame any publicity your business has received and hang it in your store or business.
  49. Use “shelf talkers”. These are small printed cards that are fastened to a retail shelf that supply important product benefit information.
  50. Take advantage of “in-house premiums”. (I.e. Purchase a pair of shoes and get a free pair of socks.)

Leave a Reply