10 Essential Questions to Ask Your Target Market

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Article by guest author, Donna Gunter. This article will be published in

two parts.

“My target market is everybody.” Is this statement true for your business?

If so, how is that working for you? My guess would be that it’s not working

at all. I shudder when a client tells me that their target market is everyone.

When you target everyone, it’s too hard to focus on anyone and you attract

no one.

One of the most terrifying decisions an online business owner makes is the

decision to refine and define their target market. Why? Generally because

they’re scared of excluding people. However, the more focused you are in your

marketing efforts and the better you understand and can define your target

market, the easier your marketing becomes. Really! And, what’s even more

astonishing is that you’ll soon begin to hear, “Well, I know you only work with

<xyz market> and have seen how successful they have been in working with you,

but I’m <abc market>. Will you work with me, too, and help me succeed?”

What’s the easiest way to uncover the characteristics of your target market?

Conduct informational interviews with those who belong to that target market.

Despite the fact that most informational interviews are used by people seeking a

job in a particular market, you can apply this concept to help you create a full

description of your target market. If you have no idea who that might be,

interview some of your favorite clients or friends/colleagues that you think

would make an ideal client for you. Go through your contact database Read more


When Is The Best Time For A Small Business To Market?

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The best time to market is today. And everyday hereafter. Marketing should be a year-round process. Even seasonal businesses must consistently reach out to customers or risk having to rebuild their sales every year.

Many business owners who are struggling today might have built highly successful companies if only they’d put marketing programs in place. In the first few years of business, owners are focused on doing the ‘thing’ that is the business (i.e., doctors want to be doctors) instead of marketing and other activities to grow the business. According to Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth, 80% of new businesses fail in the first 5 years. 80% of those left will fail in the next 5 years. But to try to bring in customers without prospect databases, marketing tools or materials, often with little or no name recognition in the marketplace is almost impossible.

If this story seems a bit too familiar, it’s time to take charge of your company’s marketing and become proactive. Whether you are just starting your business or have been in business for many years, consider putting into place a system to capture prospect’s contact information and a system to stay in touch with everyone who’s shown interest or purchased from you. Making an investment of time and money into establishing a marketing and client retention system now will pay benefits for years to come.

There are many software programs available to facilitate this aspect of marketing. Not all of them will be best for your business. Take some time to evaluate which one will work best for you or consult with a marketing pro. In the meantime, even keeping paper records (i.e., sign up forms at the counter of the restaurant) will get you started. Then, when you have decided on an automated approach, it’ll just be a matter of data entry to get caught up.

Client acquisition and retention doesn’t have to be hard. It just has to be done.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

Georgann McCrosson


More on Lead Nurturing

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The definition of ‘nurture’ is to foster, help develop or grow. Lead nurturing is not about following up in a few months to see if a prospect is ready to buy. It is about developing long-term, trust-filled relationships. Provide your prospects with consistent, meaningful communication, regardless of their timing to buy.

Be sure your potential clients have answers to the following questions:

  • How will your service or product help them?
  • Why should they buy from you instead of a competitor?
  • Does your solution really work? Can you prove it?

What other questions might your prospects have? Take some time to find out. Once they have the answers they will be much more likely to buy from you when they’re ready.

Too often our emphasis is on lead generation. But, getting tons of leads does not necessarily mean getting tons of sales. When it comes to leads, more is not better unless you are prepared to nurture the people who raised their hand, asking for more information.

Start a lead nurturing program as soon as possible. It matters less what you do than the fact that you do it. As part of your program decide how often you will contact your potential clients and stick to it. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, they will become comfortable with hearing from you. And your reliability will be noticed. If you are reliable before the sale, they’ll know it’s more likely they can rely on you after the sale.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

Georgann McCrosson


Nurturing Leads

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No matter what communication medium you utilize, it’s rare that a single approach will be effective in sparking interest in the majority of your audience.

Once you’ve sparked some interest in the prospect with your message, the next step is getting them to let you know it, to raise their hand, identify themselves and progress to the next step.

Unfortunately, that can take several attempts as well. Being busy and distracted, requiring motivation, education, awareness, etc., contribute to your prospect’s attention span. A single contact – even among people who have already expressed an interest in your service – is rarely enough to carry them to the next level of interaction.

Most leads are long-term relationships. According to marketing research about 75% of proactively generated leads do not have an immediate need for your service. They have identified themselves as interested in hearing what you have to say, but they’re not ready yet to make an investment.

And, according to the Yankee Group, 40% to 80% of new business leads are lost or not followed up on due there being no process in place to maintain contact with a lead that is in the pipeline but not ready to buy.

Lead nurturing is an important, but frequently overlooked, part of the whole lead generation process for service providers. As a business professional, you can’t know exactly what message, in what format, will be the one to spur the desired action in your prospect.

Direct marketing, via mail, email or phone calls, is regarded in terms of “campaigns”. Unfortunately they are rarely long enough or intensive enough to extract all the value possible.

Ongoing communications with your target audience, long after the campaign is over, will boost your lead rates and improve the quality of the leads you generate.

Contact me at georgann@catchphrasemarketing.com, or call me at 888-494-8445, with any questions you may have about electronic marketing (email, newsletters, ezines) or to discuss how using these marketing methods can quickly improve your business’ profitability. I can show you how to do it, or I can do it all for you.

Also, you can go to www.catchphrasemarketing.com to get even more information on the benefits of using email marketing in your business


How High Gas Prices Can Improve Customer Retention

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Here in Southern California gasoline now costs $4.25+ a gallon. Diesel fuel is over $5.00. I haven’t made any quick trips to pick up any little somethings for the last month. How about you? The recent dramatic decline in driving is making national news. Here’s an idea to earn undying customer loyalty:

Does your business offer pick up and/or delivery service? Do you offer in-home or in-office service? If you don’t, could you? Many people would quite likely use the service. If they knew about it. Make it easier for your clients to get what you’ve got.

Email is the fastest and cheapest way of telling your clients when you begin offering a new service or product, or if you are discontinuing one. A quick note to everyone on your list can be done in as much time as it takes to write it. No printing, no 2-day delivery time, no postage. It’s simply done. And you can move on to the next big thing.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

Also, you can go to www.catchphrasemarketing.com to get even more information on the benefits of using email marketing in your business


Client Retention

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Customer loyalty is the holy grail of business. It is the ultimate achievement, the ultimate compliment. We want the people who do business with us to always come back for more of what we sell and offer, and to never go to a competitor.

Unfortunately the business owner’s dream of undying customer loyalty is too often unreasonable. When was the last time your client heard ‘thank you’ for their purchase after they left your business? When was the last time you personally told them about a new product or service you’re offering?

If you’re like the vast majority of business owners, the answer is “never” to the above questions. You are too busy running your business to make personal contact outside routine operations.

Email marketing (aka ezine or newsletter) is a cost-effective, time-efficient way to stay in touch with your clients and with people who have contacted you requesting information about your product or service. There are no brochures to print, no envelopes to stuff, and no postage to affix. It runs on autopilot.

You’re probably too busy to learn a whole new technology. The good news is that email marketing can be done by a company that specializes in email marketing. Having this type of marketing done for you does not turn over the keys to the kingdom, or to the vault. Reports and statistics will be provided to you on the specific aspects of each mailing’s performance.

Contact me at georgann@catchphrasemarketing.com, or call me at 888-494-8445, with any questions you may have about electronic marketing (email, newsletters, ezines) or to discuss how using these marketing methods can quickly improve your business’ profitability. I can show you how to do it, or I can do it all for you.

Also, you can go to www.catchphrasemarketing.com to get even more information on the benefits of using email marketing in your business


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