Beyond having a logo, small businesses often skip branding their business. Having specific colors, images, fonts or even a consistent voice often takes a back seat to the day to day activities.
When thinking of Coca-Cola or Nike, what pops into your mind? Is it the taste of the soda or the comfort of the shoes? Probably not…most likely, you visualize the color red with the white writing or the Nike swoosh.
Do you have a positive or negative perception of those companies? Good or bad…you do have a perception.
Branding isn’t a short-term solution to attracting new customer. It’s a way of cementing the perception of your company long term.
We can’t all be Nike, but we can become recognizable in our world of influence. The stronger your brand becomes, the more comfortable your customers become, and the more referrals you’ll receive.
Of course branding isn’t limited to a logo, colors, and fonts. The voice of your company should be consistent, from the letters, emails, and postcards you send out; to the way people answer the phone.
What do you do better than your competition?
Can you express that in a few short words that would read well, be said quickly when answering the phone?
If you can deliver on that promise, you’ll build loyalty with your customers and in today’s world, loyalty can make a huge difference to your bottom line.
More to the point, how often do you email your customers?
Be sure to send the right email to the right customers at the right time. There is a great deal of debate regarding how often customers should be emailed. Some insist that and email should go out daily and others, once or twice a year.
How’s that for narrowing it down!
I, like you, get emails from different businesses every day. Some I’ll read, some I’ll trash and in some cases, I’ll unsubscribe from a list simply because I’ve gotten too many emails.
How often you should email customers is unique to each business. Here at Pro Design Marketing, several factors are taken into consideration.
- The average time between purchases for your customers.
- The amount of information you have on each customer in order to customize and target him or her appropriately.
- Do we have something valuable to share with each customer?
If you’re a heating and cooling company, once a quarter or even twice a year may be just right. If you have customers who have maintenance done each September on their furnace, a mid-August reminder would be perfect. What about a filter sale in December? Those same customers may be interested in central air come June.
Depending on the number of services/products a heating and cooling business offers, once a quarter to every couple of months would be appropriate.
On the other hand, if you have a retail/grocery store, emailing your weekly specials, or a special email coupon, may be just the thing.
The point being, know you customers and their needs so that you can find that right balance. You want to be sure you’re the first company they think of when it’s time to make a purchase…but not because they’re irritated!
As a Marketing Director, I manage multiple accounts for a small business. On a day to day basis, I may be planning the next promotion, working with C-Level clients, creating standard operating policy procedures…and much more.
There have been occasions, when time constraints dictated that I go to an outside design company for an email banner or poster creation. It was very disheartening. Again, working for a small business, the budget was limited.
It’s been my experience, and I’m sure yours too…you get what you pay for.
In the case of my employer, that meant spending as much time editing the final product as the designer spent creating the product (if not more).
However, I often wondered what does a small business do if they don’t have a graphic designer on their payroll. They either make due with someone’s shoddy work, pay outrageous fees, or they simply don’t send out eye catching emails and print material.
It was a combination of my own frustration as well as looking up local Lebanon, Pennsylvania, businesses to find they have no website (thus losing my business to the competition), that persuaded me to start Pro Design Marketing (PDM).
Because PDM is a small business, without costly overhead, I can offer services such as email banner design work, template creation and much more, at much lower prices than the large marketing firms.