Growing Your Business Through Marketing Innovations
In running a business, especially a small business, growth is one of the major concerns. However, growth isn’t always easy to achieve. It entails a lot of strategizing and implementing; a considerable level of creativity and effort has to be employed all of the time.
It has always been a point as well for every entrepreneur to avoid stagnation. Any business that’s stuck will eventually fail. This could be due to the customers’ lack of interest in your products which could also be a result of their bad familiarity in your marketing schemes or simply a result of the changing needs of the dynamic market. Of course, you can’t expect your customers and clients to have static needs or interests.
Neil Churchill and Virginia Lewis of Harvard Business Review have a technical term for stagnation in business: ossification. This is characterized by a lack of innovative decision making and the avoidance of risks.
The key therefore to growing your business is innovation. This does not only cover innovation in terms of the products and services but innovation in sales marketing strategies, most especially. In fact, Michael Gerber, in his E-myth books, considers this as the primary step in every marketing methodology that aims for a much better ROI.
Seth Godin: 5 Ways to Grow Your Market
Here are five innovative ways borrowed from marketing uber-guru, Seth Godin, about how to grow your market:
- Invent a New Market Segment. This is achieved by positioning your products or services at the “logical extreme” of some aspect of your product category. Godin illustrates this in an example. If a certain expensive product in your market comes with free service, you can actually interchange what your customers pay for. Instead of charging them of the product, you can charge them for subscribing for the service. That suits well for businesses that sell gadgets like computers, phones or tablets.
- Exchange Your Sales Funnel for a Sales Network. Instead of utilizing the traditional lead generation marketing strategies, you have to focus on keeping and pleasing your present customers and clients. This is the social era. By doing the aforementioned, you are actually increasing the probability that your customers and clients will share their good experiences with your products or services to their friends or colleagues. And to reinforce your goal, you can run contests or special offers (especially in social media marketing platforms) as this will create awareness around your target market about your products and services. An example would be PrintPlace.com’s giveaway of free custom printed business cards and postcards to local businesses and to the readers of Be Your Best Mom.
- Market to the Trailing or the Leading Edge. Growing your business can also be achieved by specifically marketing to either two types of customers – the clueless or informed. The first type of customers basically doesn’t know what they want. Therefore, they can be persuaded to want whatever you are selling. The informed type can be persuaded by presenting facts about your products and services. By doing either of the above, the margins of your market will then be extended. “It’s only on the fringes of your market where there’s either sufficient ignorance or sufficient knowledge for your offering to command a premium price.”
- Create a Story That Shows How You are Different. Before what works best is mass marketing. This is a marketing design wherein a product that appeals to the majority is introduced to the market. But the same strategy is no longer effective today. Today’s consumers value credibility above everything else. This doesn’t necessarily imply that only the big brands sell because as a matter of fact, frugal consumer behaviors show that alternative brands are more preferred now. So there has to be a shift in a business’ marketing strategy. Now, businesses have to market the business itself (how it has been relevant, etc.). An example would be what Nestle did on its centennial celebration. It showcased how their products become part of the lives of people through short films.
- Sell the Story Rather Than the Product. As mentioned previously, we are in the social era. What matters most is what your story or the people say about your brand or products. This is what captures the attention of consumers the most. The story is what you should then be marketing for. As the story gets sold, so are your products. Actually, not only your products but your brand as well. And it’s the story that makes consumers recall your product. Godin set the story of bottled water as an example.He said that the reason why people pay so much for bottled water is because of the story that says bottled water is healthier than tap water. But the truth is, tap water and bottled water, as far a science is concerned, are both made up of the same two atoms of hydrogen and a single atom of oxygen.