At Your Service: Customer-Centric Marketing for Small Businesses

At Your Service: Customer-Centric Marketing for Small Businesses

Nobody likes repetitive TV & radio ads, annoying sales calls or unsolicited spam emails. So why do companies keep doing it? It must cost them a fortune and surely can’t be good for their image.

(I think it must either be generating enough response to make it worth it or they simply do it because “that’s what we’ve always done”. One way or another, they don’t seem to mind annoying the hell out of a lot of potential customers.)

Also, it seems to shape what people think marketing is – which is a personal pet peeve of mine and puts a lot of small business owners and freelancers off in the process.

Marketing doesn’t have to be annoying

Marketing doesn't have to be annoyingBut marketing your small business doesn’t need to be intrusive and a chore. What if I said there’s a way to promote & grow your business that makes people happy?

Actually, what if there’s a way both you & your customers can enjoy marketing – by simply concentrating all your small business’s marketing efforts on your customers’ needs?

Let me explain: Amongst the many things that small businesses are often better at than their larger counterparts, people appreciate the friendly service most. The personal touch combined with the feel-good factor of supporting a local business often beats price and convenience.

Surveys also say that people generally feel more valued by small businesses. In their eyes, they know their customers and their needs and are more committed; going out of their way to help them. Your marketing can do the same.

Focus on your customers

Don’t get me wrong, marketing will always be about selling; every business needs money to survive. But that doesn’t mean your marketing decisions need to be solely driven by profit.

People value businesses that understand and listen to them – and they can smell a hard sell from a mile away.

Making your marketing customer-centric shows you care and that your main goal is to help people – not to make money no matter what. It’s about anticipating their questions, making their life easier or helping them achieve their goals.

Author Napoleon Hill once said: “Give before you get.” And it hits the nail on the head when it comes to focusing your marketing on the customer. Be friendly, be a person and give your customers honest advice first, and make a sale second.

And this is not a novel concept – content marketing has been thriving on this idea for years. Blogs, podcasts, social media and email newsletters are perfect for small businesses to answer burning questions, reach out and engage with people and simply be helpful.

Reap the rewards

Rewards of customer-centric marketingMarketing your small business with your customers in mind is a nicer, gentler way to promote your products and services. It creates genuine value and is a way to grow your business with integrity and a more authentic voice.

Put an end to annoying marketing and choose to grow your small business organically with customer-centred campaigns. They help you nurture your customer base and your company rather than push for high growth with massive direct marketing campaigns.

Catering to your customer’s needs is a holistic approach to marketing, as for it to work it needs to include other areas of your business as well. Customer service, product development & product management need to work hand in hand with your marketing team to make it work.

And the rewards are absolutely worth it: Practicing a kind of marketing that is less about money and more about the customers is a win-win-win. It creates tailored solutions for your customers and sustainable growth for your small business. And it makes you feel way more comfortable with marketing your small business. Promise!

This is part 1 of a series of posts about customer-centric marketing. The next post will go into more detail of how marketing with a customer focus can look like & give you ideas how to implement it for your own small business. So look out for more!


WANT TO READ MORE?

To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
7 Steps to Understanding Your Customers
Why It’s Good to Have a Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
How to Do Marketing Your Way
What Is It Like to Be Your Customer?


 

Published byDenise Strohsahl

Denise Strohsahl is an Edinburgh-based marketing consultant, specialising in helping small, local businesses get more of their ideal clients.