Top 10 Chicago Business Marketing Tips For 2012

Is your agency helping your company understand your marketing goals? Here are 10 marketing tips to help you grow you and your agency grow your business.

10: Inventory Your Marketing

Before you can consider changes to your marketing, you need to inventory what your current marketing methods. Write down everything: billboards, print advertising, social media, radio ads, referrals, coupons and whatever else you do.

9: Measure Your Marketing

Using the inventory developed in step 10, can you measure your marketing? If you spend $1000 a month for a billboard, is that paying off for you in new business? Which marketing method is working the best in your business? Unless you measure and evaluate your marketing, it will be extremely difficult to know if your business is successful.

8: Analyze The Marketing Of Your Competitors

Did you know that your competitors can help your business? Simply choose three significant competitors and analyze their marketing. Ask yourself: what is different about their marketing? How is their brand and message different from mine? If you struggle to tell the difference, then you will need to work on your unique selling proposition.

7: Analyze The Marketing Of Your Favorite Companies

Make a list of companies you have done business with again and again. What makes you keep buying from them? Is the excellent service you receive? The reliability of the products? Everything you experience as a customer is part of that company’s brand. Remember that reputations are built with every interaction with a company. If you find something special about one of your favourite companies, think of ways you could apply that principle or technique to your business.

6: Contribute To Your Community

If you are in the business of selling high value services such as consulting, accounting or legal advice, referrals are essential to your business. By contributing to your community strategically, you will be well placed to secure more referrals. What does this look like? Consider joining the board or committee of a charity. For example, if you are an accountant you can offer to chair the finance committee. Once you are actively participating in a well-known charity, you can use that fact in your marketing materials.

5: Read Two Business Magazines or Newspapers

There are millions of businesses around the world constantly trying different marketing techniques to connect with their customers. It’s easy to get stuck with the marketing methods that have served your business well, but it is essential that you keep an open mind on marketing. Where can you look for new ideas? Simply buy a few major business magazines like Fortune, Forbes or the Economist. Look for articles that profile successful businesses and business people – there are marketing lessons to be found if you read carefully.

4: Conduct A Marketing Experiment

Refreshing your marketing by trying new techniques is one excellent way to refresh your marketing. Since it is difficult to predict in advance whether a technique will be successful, limit the size of your experiment. Set a budget and a time limit for your marketing experiment.

3: Tell A Story (“Imported From Detroit”)

Telling a compelling story about your company can be one of the most effective marketing approaches you can take. For inspiration, consider Chrysler’s 2011 advertisement, “Imported from Detroit.”  With more than 14 million views on YouTube and many more on television, the ad has been seen by many people. How did that campaign work out? According to the Wall Street Journal, Chrysler’s sales posted a 26% gain in 2011, selling over 1.3 million trucks and cars in the U.S. You don’t need a TV commercial, let alone a Super Bowl ad, to tell your story but you do need to tell your story.

2: Hire A Marketing Agency

While you can make progress on your own, you may not have the time and expertise to execute a marketing strategy on your own. That’s one of reasons to hire a marketing agency. It’s also one of the best ways to get new marketing ideas and find out which ones have been used in your market.

Listen to your customers

Great service = Happy Customers

1: Ask Your Customers

Asking your customers about their needs and experiences is one of the best marketing techniques available, if used properly. If you have built up a customer database and have permission to email your customers, consider sending a short 3-5 question survey. By learning the exact words that your customers use to describe their experiences, you can customize your marketing to better speak to their needs.

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