Unfortunately there’s no quick fix when it comes to building your brand, building your follower base and building relationships. These things take time and effort over weeks, months and years. That’s probably not what you want to hear but the fact remains that although platforms like social media is mostly free to do, the real investment comes with your time (and patience!). Long term marketing strategies are essential for the survival of any business in the world today. With competition at its highest and marketing messages hitting the consumer from all angles, on a variety of mediums, night and day, how do you get your message across and more importantly, how do you get your message heard?
Well you have to get creative! Start thinking outside the box and consider alternative ways to communicate with your target market.
Build Your Brand
Increasing brand recognition is a key component in your long term marketing strategy. Starting with your logo you should assess the following: has it stood the test of time? Your logo should be more than a stunning image; it should be a powerful representation of your business, its products and services, reflecting your company’s ethos and culture. This repeated use of your logo on your brochures, emails, headed paper; newsletters, website and any other form of marketing material you may use will help increase brand recognition. For example, you wouldn’t use a glass logo to try and represent your solid oak living room furniture business! Keep in keeping with your theme.
A prospective customer needs to see a message 5-7 times before they will feel secure in using the information, according to the Chartered Institute of Marketing. So understanding your marketing campaigns will have a snowball effect on your target market will help explain why you don’t see instant results. Repetition and consistency of your message are vital in building a long term campaign and it is this sustained effort that will help increase your exposure and build brand loyalty.
Great signage on company buildings or vehicles will get you noticed as will posters, feather flags and exhibition stands which can be used externally or internally where there are high levels of traffic.
Promotional items can be mailed to your customer base or used as incentives or can be given away at conferences and exhibitions. Events like these offer networking opportunities, the perfect chance to promote your products or services. Businesses today can’t afford to miss networking opportunities and attendance on a regular basis should form part of your long term plan.
Put Them First
Your customers are at the heart of your business and their happiness should always be the most important consideration in any decision you make. Your customer service needs to be top notch: good service reinforces trust whilst poor service will drive customers to your competitors!