You may have heard from your grandfather about the days when starting a business was relatively less risky due to low competition. However, with the rise of the internet and social media, competition has increased exponentially across all industries. In fact, the technology has brought global competitors to your doorstep. As customers have a plethora of choices, failure to keep up with their demand will put you out of business in no time. The dynamic nature of today’s global economy also makes your business vulnerable regardless of its financial situation or strength.
Here are five key points that will help you establish a productive marketing strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
1. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
The best way to stay ahead of your competitors is to know where they stand. You will need to carry out a thorough analysis of your competitors. Make it a point to study their products and services, social media campaigns, content marketing strategies, and overall marketing approach.
Take a look at how and where they position their products. Are the social media campaigns targeted to a specific platform such as Facebook or Instagram? Do sales experience seasonal changes? Find out how they interact with social media followers. How often do they reply to comments and reviews? A careful analysis of all these factors will help you find out what is their Unique Selling Point (USP). However, refrain yourself from copying your customers as it will only backfire causing more harm than good to your brand reputation.
2. Understand what your target consumers need
We live in the digital era, where the demands and necessities of the customers keep changing continuously. Less than a month ago, your customers may have been looking for the cheapest products, but today, they might be looking for the latest arrivals. However, without having a well-planned strategy in place, you won’t know what their present requirements are.
It will also enable you to stay ahead of consumer trends. Consumers love brands that can anticipate these changes and provide them with exactly what they need. You will need to collect and analyze consumer data, such as which products or services are in demand, industry data, and market trends regularly. You can align your marketing strategy accordingly.
Just make sure to offer value to your customers. Offering value usually goes well beyond just providing high-quality products or services. Understanding your target audience’s problems, buying patterns, and expectations of your brand will help refine your marketing strategy.
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3. Target new customers
Retaining your customer will help you build a loyal consumer base. However, if you want to grow your business, you’ll need to attract new customers. In this rapidly changing economy, you may wake up one day only to find that your so-called loyal consumer base is busy shopping elsewhere. There is no guarantee that they will keep coming back for more forever. A steady flow of customers will keep your business healthy.
Where can you find new customers? Chances are, they hang out in the same sphere, whether online or offline, where your present consumers hang out. Make sure your brand is reaching them properly. Word-of-mouth publicity coming from your existing customers will be icing on the cake. Another way to attract new customers is to form a strategic alliance with businesses that can refer customers to you. Just make sure they are not your direct competitors. Offering referral benefits such as discounts or cash back to your existing customers is also a good strategy. To turn all this hard work into sales, you must follow them up relentlessly.
4. Build responsive customer support
Outstanding customer service not only helps retain existing customers but also attract new ones. While pre-sale support helps you acquire new customers, post-purchase customer care helps build long-term relationships and loyalty. However, the entire idea of providing excellent customer support is pretty subjective in today’s world. Whether it is ready to cook meals or instant noodles, we are living in the world instant gratification.
Everyone wants everything so instantly that they will pay big bucks to avoid the wait. Naturally, consumers demand swift responses from your end when it comes to customer support. Almost 73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide excellent customer service. Whether your consumers are communicating via website, email, live chat, SMS, phone, or social media, you need to respond quickly.
However, you must provide them with in-depth and satisfactory answers. So, don't compromise quality for quantity. Find out how much customer traffic you can handle and use your resources diligently. If your business can handle just phone tweets and emails, it’s perfectly alright. Use only these two communications channels to keep your customers well-informed.
5. Continually improve your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy must be self-evolving and flexible. As the customers' preferences and economic circumstances change, so should your marketing strategy. Like it or not, change is the only constant. However, new market conditions are emerging so rapidly that even a five-year-long strategy is less likely to produce the desired results. It doesn’t mean you should abandon long-term planning completely. You can divide your long-term marketing strategy into small flexible segments and masterfully implement them in practice.
With each passing day, the competition among the existing businesses is intensifying at a rapid pace. In order to survive in such a complex business environment, your organization needs to improve its marketing strategy constantly. Hopefully, the above tips will prove useful in this regard. What strategies and technologies do you use to stay ahead of your competition? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.