One thing our current situation has done is make the first principle of marketing clearer than ever: focus on your existing customers.
When small businesses think about marketing, they often think of it as a tool to attract new customers. But as we grapple with a pandemic and a turbulent economy, in many ways existing customers are much more valuable.
How can you use marketing to enhance your relationships with your current customers? What else can you offer them as an additional product or service? Can you speed up your processes or sell more with a bulk discount? Can you encourage them to plan ahead and commit to services in the longer term, when wallets might be less tight?
Analyze your current customers
If you haven’t spent time digging into the makeup of your core customer base, your repeat clients and higher spenders, take the time now to gather data. What do they buy and when? How much do they spend? Are they motivated by discounts? Do they willingly pay full price or a combination of both? Use what you learn to inform your COVID-19 marketing efforts to your existing customers.
Make them feel special
Check in personally with your customers and ask how they are holding up. See if there is anything you can do to support their business, and find a way to show how much you value them. This can include useable tips for other businesses also struggling through the impact of COVID-19, or just an update on what’s been useful for your business and an offer to share any strategies.
Stay top of mind
This can be an electronic or print newsletter, or a short email or call checking in. No need to be too promotional or push hard for a sale; aim to be clear, genuine and concise. Thank them for their continued support. Give an example of strategies you’ve seen working for other businesses. Share what is giving you inspiration during these challenging times. Share anything you or others are doing to support the community or individuals in need.
Connect on social media
Now is the time to use your social media presence to connect with your existing customers. Connect with them on LinkedIn and engage on their social channels. Ask for their opinions and questions on posts. At a time when so many people are cooped up at home, social media is an outlet not only for personal connections, but for businesses to continue to maintain relationships with local partners.
Take this opportunity to put a human face on your business however you can, and that starts with marketing to the people who know your business best – your existing customers. If you’re looking for more ways to reach out to existing customers, count on Allegra for helpful tips and ideas.