marketing

There’s an old saying in the marketing world: “I know I’m wasting half of my marketing dollars. The problem is I just don’t know which half.”

Today, that’s not really the case anymore. Technology has given us the ability to gather data, measure and determine what channels work for your business and what channels don’t. In doing so, we can plan and execute much more efficiently, eliminate channels that don’t pull and capitalize on the ones that do.

Small business marketing is evolving and changing faster than most of us could have ever imagined. In fact, for some of us it has been overwhelming to the point that it’s made us unsure about what to do… or what not to do.

We only have so much time and money available to apply to marketing efforts and we need them to be efficient and effective. So, where do we start?

Here are 3 things to think about when you’re planning your small business marketing efforts for 2020.

1. Start with your customer

If you don’t have a deep understanding of your customer then you might as well go to Vegas and play the tables in terms of generating revenue growth. What you say, where you say it, and when you say it will all come back to a few critical, customer-centered questions.

Why do your customers buy from you? What’s in it for them? What are their social media habits?

In marketing, only one opinion counts—your customers’. Your marketing message has to appear in the right media channels, at the right time, in ways that engage them and move them toward action.

2. Embrace CRM

Personalization will continue to be an important factor for marketing success in 2020.

People respond to one-to-one marketing efforts that are tailored specifically for them. And you can base personalization on your customers’ history with your business.

Relationship Marketing systems (typically referred to as Customer Relationship Management tools, or simply CRMs) help you identify your customers on an individual level, store data about them, and use it. You can let data drive how you communicate, what upsell opportunities you offer, customer loyalty options, and more. For example, you might bundle groups of similar customer types to send specific email offers or newsletters that will be relevant to them based on their profiles.

There are many platforms (some free) available to help. Hubspot and Salesforce are two of the better-known tools.

If you can’t afford an actual CRM or the idea of incorporating a whole new tool feels overwhelming, a spreadsheet that keeps track of customer information is better than nothing. Include names, email addresses, purchase history, and their most recent transaction.

3. Make social media work harder for you

If you’re marketing your small business, you’ve already set up company pages on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. (Or at least, we hope you have.) But do you know what to do with them?

If not, your social media marketing is likely inconsistent and possibly even irrelevant. What could make an actual difference for your company doesn’t really contribute to your marketing strategy.

Moving into 2020, marketers need to make sure they’re taking a strategic approach designed to provide relevant content to followers that builds reputation and brand preference. If you feel you’re too busy to tackle that, this may be the year to hire a social media manager or influencer.

Either way, start by going back to point 1 in this article—know your customers and feed them content they will be interested in on a consistent publication schedule. Once you’ve mastered that, take some time to learn about using analytics available for these platforms. Keep track of what followers are most interested in by continually measuring what gets read, responded to and acted upon. This will allow you to focus your information and continually improve engagement.

In 2020, customers are going to continue to become more sophisticated. This will create growth opportunities for small businesses that focus on customer preferences and take advantage of the available channels.

Are you ready?

If you’d like some help with powerful marketing tools like customer loyalty, a gift card program and strategic analytics, reach out to Talus Pay today. Our POS has all those things (and more) baked right in.

Daniel Carleton is the Director of Sales Operations of Talus Pay. He has more than 15 years of experience in the payment processing industry and is currently in charge of Talus Payment’s sales and business development. Since joining Talus in 2012, he has put together many elite sales teams all over the country, all of which have consistently exceeded sales targets.

Marketing stock photo by bleakstar/Shutterstock