Brad and Sybil, owners of the Stork and Cradle Shop, believe that in order to grows their business they have to advertise or do direct mailings. Yet there is no guarantee that the thousands of dollars you just spent placing ads in newspapers or for the five thousand piece mailing will generate a profitable response. Unless you have a time-tested way to advertise that
produces reliable results, you could be wasting limited and valuable resources. Yet many small businesses make the mistake of spending the majority of their time and resources here. While this can be effective method it works best for larger companies who have enough capital to consistently, and over a long period of time buy their customers response. However a small business with limited capital would be better off pursuing more creative marketing technique’s to help ensure their success. The Stork and Cradle Shop will have to fly in a different direction this time.
The Stork and Cradle is in the business of selling infant clothes and accessories to mother’s ages 25 to 35. While this may be true it’s not really the business they are in from a business owner or a marketing perspective. They are in the business of selling a product, service, and/or an idea. They like so many small businesses must find out what their niche market is and who their customer is. We must also find out were we are on the product life cycle and what we must do to add excitement to that cycle. This will give them a better idea on how to effectively advertise and grow their business on limited funds.
Retailing is based on a lot of fixed cost like Rent, initial inventory, phone, phone ad, heat, and labor. So the first step is to increase the unit of Sale. What this means is that they want to make the new and current customer purchase more than they normally would at each visit without scarifying profit margin. They must do this in a manner that will have positive implications so to increase customer satisfaction. The more satisfied a customer is the more likely they are to tell their friends. I call this internal advertising. Internal Advertising is design to towards the most powerful advertising of all-word of mouth.
An example of this would be to buy an ink jet printer, scanner, and Transfer paper, heat press for a total cost of 1,500. This will allow you to custom imprint mom precious baby’s pictures on your existing line of cloths, pillows or almost anything. The uniqueness of this will advertise it’s self. By making a few phone calls I was able to quickly identify a company called magic touch. They are the ones that make the transfer paper.I called them and ask them if they had any data on the effectiveness of their product and who their main customers are. They said their main customers are Screen printers and office supply stores. They also said their transfer last forever and if it ever fades you can iron it and the colors comes back to brand new condition. This would be a creative marketing technique and would help out the product a lot.
Another idea would be to increase the frequency of a sale. If a customer buys once a month then offer them a reason to buy twice a month. Talk to the customer or survey them to find out what will make them come in and buy more often. Customer data is very important and must be used. Upon ringing up a customer find out their name and address. This is not an uncommon practice. This information will help you to find out who your repeat customers are. You can send them information on specials that you may want to offer or new merchandise you may be carrying.
Most small business owners I have talked to say word of mouth or referrals is where most of their new customers come from. If referrals are important we must spend time and capital to develop some kind or referral program. An easy way to do this is to offer your existing clients a premium or discount of some sort for each new customer they bring you. What you are actually doing is turning your satisfied customer into a powerful, persuasive sales force and paying them only when they produce a result or in other words, bring you a new customer.
You must find out what your customers want and what they are willing to come in more often for. Customer Satisfaction is the key to success so insert a customer satisfaction card in every order. This survey is designed to get your customers to tell you what they really think. Keep questions limited to one page and that will increase the likely hood of it being returned. Include you fax number, return stamped envelope or whatever it takes to make it more likely that you’ll get it back. Don’t forget follow up on the comments you receive. If you have to change procedure then do it without hesitation.Limit the choices to key words like outstanding and needs improvement.
The Objective of the survey is to:
To identify the key service components customers expect.
To measure the level of satisfaction.
To identify the reasons for dissatisfaction with the store’s products.
To identify opportunities to enhance the level of service offered to customers.
Established benchmark of Customer Satisfaction against which to measure progress.
Identified strengths and weaknesses of the organization from the customer’s perspective.
1bSummery of Present Situation
2) Marketing 101/Course of Action
3) The Importance of Survey’s