Zero Cost Marketing You Can Do Today!
If I hear one more business owner cry about losing business or how bad the economy is, I'm going to lose my mind!
I'm spending money. And if the line's I'm standing in are any indication, so is everyone else. So if we're all spending money, why are businesses laying off employees and complaining that we're in a recession?
Maybe it's WHERE we spend our dough.
And if we (the consumer) are not spending our dollars with your business, there's only one person to blame.
It's absolutely one hundred percent your fault if your business is failing right now.
Because you are not TALKING to your customer.
Tonight, I dropped $ 10.00 at Taco Bell because I wanted quick and painless food. Now Taco Bell is a big company that spends millions in advertising dollars, and I go there about once every ten days. I was in line with six other cars at the drive through, waiting for FAST (it did not happen), waiting for EASY (it was) and waiting for CONVENIENCE.
Notice I did not mention quality or price. See, I would have gone to another Mexican restaurant had they chosen to talk to me.
As I sat in line, I wondered why Taco Bell did not give me a card at the drive through that invited me to participate in a survey for a Free Soft Taco Supreme telling them about my experience.
Then, once I'd completed the survey and downloaded my free coupon, Taco Bell would have my e-mail address and contact information to send me promotions and coupons any time they chose. Chances are, I would use them too. Taco Bell could enter into my decision making matrix, and actually influence where I spend my dollars on a given night, if they made the right offer (something FREE) with a deadline (BY FRIDAY.)
Any company could do it.
I'm in the market for a new car right now. I'm considering used, but I just bought my ex-wife a KIA SPORTAGE five months ago. I've yet to hear from the salesman. Where's my THANK YOU CARD? Where's the follow up mailings to see how I'm doing?
The car dealer, (which I hear is in trouble of closing) could send me a postcard offering a free car wash or oil change, and get me back into their store and while I'm there, ask me some questions. "How is the car?" "Do you like it?" "Do you know anyone who might be in the market for a car?"
No one is talking to me, and I'm spending money.
And I know if I'm being ignored, so are millions of other customers out there.
I bet the businesses that are suffering the most in this economy are the ones who will not listen to their customers. They take the first sale, and then wonder why no one keeps coming back?
I get some interesting newsletters from other marketing companies. But no one is making me laugh. In fact, all I get are the baton down the hatches warnings about how bad 2009 is going to be.
Have any of these experts been to a store laTely?
People are spending money at Target. They are shopping at WAL MART and ALBERTSONS. I go to the Chinese Fast food joint near my home at least once per week, and I have to wait in line at lunch.
So I'm wondering which reality people are living in?
We have a baseline.
The realtors on television are talking about how bad home sales are, how house prices are depressed and still falling. Yes, house prices are down from their HIGH, but are still at least 2 and tim times what they were in 2002! And no realtors are talking to me to find out if I need to SELL or want to BUY or just trying to stay in touch with me to remain in my decision making matrix.
So Business Owners who start screaming about the economy and lack of customer loyalty need look no further than the mirror.
There's the problem.
If you do not have business right now, it's your fault. Because if you've been in business for the past two years, you've had enough customers to build a small house list of at least 200 people. Maybe even 2000.
Those are people who felt comfortable enough to buy from you once. You did something right.
If you failed to build a house list of e-mail and mailing addresses, your business may be one of the thousands to close this year.
You are not remarkable.
But had you collected those e-mail addresses or mailing addresses, you could put together a quick promotion. Offer something free when you make a purchase. Or invite them to a special event. Or just stay in touch with them each week to make them laugh (because if you make people laugh, they will remember you).
Now I know I have not made you laugh, but I'm kind of mad. Because I sat in the drive through and still got lousy service, lousy food, and would have gladly given my food money to ANY other business who could have stayed in touch with me and made me an offer I could not refuse.