If you’ve ever been called a “hidden gem,” from a marketing sense, this is not a compliment. In the role of business, you don’t want to be a hidden gem. You want to be “all the rage.”
This comes down to strategic marketing, and if your small business doesn’t have this plan, then please keep reading. Here are three tips you should consider incorporating into your plan today:
You need to be known
In Savannah, one of the best ways to be known is networking. If you’re not out and about meeting people and sharing your story then you’re missing out. This is a city where we love to network.
If you already do that well, consider giving out promo codes or samples to a target group of people you’re hoping to attract. Or, find ways to partner with other businesses that have the same types of customers that you do. You can promote one another’s content or consider holding an event together. Of course, the event should be geared to raise awareness of your business.
You need to do some market research
The key to great decisions, in my book, is data. We often make easy decisions based on anecdotal evidence, but you owe it to your business to do some real research. However, research can be expensive.
So, use government resources as tools to do your research. The U.S. Census Bureau has tons of reports that will help you determine where to spend your marketing dollar and where to focus your business efforts.
If you’ve gotten all the info you can from that, try conducting surveys, whether online, through social media, or via a list of people that you target.
Or you can gather a focus group of your ideal customers. Ask them some questions that will help you understand their wants and needs. Make it worth their while for sharing their information by offering them a sample of your product.
You need to compete
Find out who is your competition and look at price and product quality. Certainly, the easiest way to compete is to offer a higher quality at a better price.
However, if it’s not as simple as that, then you can compete with great customer service. There is nothing that builds better brand loyalty than providing an awesome customer service experience.
After that, you can compete by being innovative in your product offering. Whether that’s coming up with a new way to deliver your goods and services or offering a completely new service, this is a great way to compete.
So, take some time to get strategic about getting noticed. You don’t want your business to be a “hidden gem.” You want more customers to spend more in your business.
Michael Owens is president/CEO of the Tourism Leadership Council, a nonprofit trade organization that represents the tourism community. Contact Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 912-232-1223.