How your business can rapidly build its customer base
Starting out as a new business owner is both exciting and daunting.
No matter how brilliant your product may be, you will need to find innovative ways to rise above your competition.
A key part of that is generating a base of loyal customers to ensure your new business is a long-term success.
When it comes to marketing a new business, there are plenty of ways to attract new customers.
We’ve created a step-by-step marketing guideline for new businesses on a budget based on the two most successful marketing approaches.
Also included are some pull marketing tools to use in your first few months.
Using one of these frameworks and a few of these pull techniques, your company is sure to find the customers it needs to survive and thrive.
Choosing the right marketing framework
Many new business owners make the mistake of diving into marketing their business without following a tried and tested framework. Here are the two most popular marketing models that can be used to help you plan your customer acquisition in a clear and comprehensive way.
The marketing funnel
The marketing funnel is a classic framework. The funnel represents the journey of converting leads into customers. The concept is that the marketing team gets as many leads as possible, then takes them through a marketing journey that narrows down the potential buyers at each individual stage.
Customers are first made aware of the brand, then they show interest, consider the purchase, and finally commit to purchasing the product. Inevitably, you will lose potential customers at each stage of the process. However, by focusing on each stage individually, you may be able to hold on to more purchasers.
On the flip side, some have suggested that the funnel is an outdated model, because it assumes the purchasing process is linear and focuses on ‘pushing’ the product at the customer. In the digital age, we see more and more customers entering halfway through the funnel rather than following the linear journey from awareness to purchase as set out by the company.
McKinsey’s consumer decision journey
The alternative is a newer framework that is modelled for the digital marketplace. McKinsey’s consumer decision journey is more cyclical, allowing for consumers to enter and leave the journey at any point.
In this model, consumers go through four phases in a loop: initial consideration, active evaluation (or research), closure (or purchase), and post-purchase.
This model allows for consumer-driven marketing, or ‘pull’ marketing, usually in the form of word-of-mouth or online reviews. This model encourages marketers to learn how to influence consumers, usually digitally, to engage with your brand.
Starting your pull marketing strategies
Whether you select one of the models discussed above or create your own version, make sure you have a clear idea of your customer’s journey from prospect to purchase.
Once you understand how your customer is likely to discover, consider and ultimately decide to purchase your product, you will have a better idea of how to help them choose your product over other products each step of the way.
Most modern consumers interact with products online; in fact, 55% of consumers have purchased a product from a social media platform. These are some modern ‘pull’ strategies that marketers use to keep their customers interested, engaged, and on track to make a purchase in the digital world.
Use your launch as content marketing
Content marketing is the creation of online content that promotes your brand. This can be in the form of articles, blogs, videos or social media posts. This content makes your brand more visible online and increases awareness of your product.
Frequent posts are essential in this day and age, as most consumers have a short attention span and will need constant content to feel engaged with a brand.
Launching a new business lends itself well to content marketing, as you will always have something to tell your audience about. Start the journey early by announcing when your business will be launching and keep viewers up to date on the whole process of getting your business ready to go. This sort of behind the scenes content can also lend authenticity to your brand as well as building excitement before you even start trading.
Get your SEO in shape
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is pretty much necessary in today’s digital marketing landscape. Using specific tactics, SEO specialists can optimise your online content to appeal to Google’s algorithm.
This strategy means that more and more of your target audience will be able to find your company online when they make relevant Google searches.
It’s an essential tool to implement in any marketing strategy, considering the fact that 94% of web traffic comes from organic search.
As a new business, take all the opportunities you can to be added to directories, apps, review sites, and more. Many of these will update their users when a new business they might be interested in launches or is added to the site, and this can be an easy way to get free traffic.
For instance, Google Maps notifies users when new restaurants open that are similar to places they’ve eaten at before, so get your listings up early to ride this wave of free publicity.
Try, improve, repeat
Finding new customers as a fresh business can be difficult. With a well-constructed marketing framework to follow, you will be able to plan your prospective customers’ journeys from awareness to purchase as soon as you launch.
Try implementing pull techniques to appeal to a more modern audience. In today’s digitised marketplace, it’s essential that you place your marketing energy on pulling rather than pushing.
Opening a business gives you a great opportunity to create content and engage with your audience even before you’re ready to sell to them. Focus on attracting your target market using content marketing and SEO early.
Create a cyclical journey that helps customers stay engaged with your brand long after they discover it and make their first purchase—and hopefully it will become the first of many.