4 Arrows to Implement into Your Marketing Quiver for 2021
As I reflect on the small security business landscape of 2020, I think one of the greatest lessons learned was that of being agile enough to pivot while staying relevant. It was motivating and inspiring to see small security businesses literally shuffle entire business plans and create ways to continue business during a global pandemic.
It is vital to take this tenacity and the following four “arrows” and fuse them together into your 2021 marketing plan, aiming for the “new customer bulls’ eye,” while elevating the overall customer experience for established clients.
Adoption of Automation Software
This software allows small businesses to stay competitive by automating processes like accounting, email marketing, and auditing and compliance.
“The adoption of automation software is critical to every business,” says Maddie Sacco, marketing manager, Podium, an ESA member. “It saves you valuable time, resources and manpower, empowering you to focus on doing what you do best.”
Sacco suggests starting by automating post service review requests.
“[This enables small businesses] to develop a stellar online reputation that attracts new leads and keeps customers coming back,” Sacco explains. “After that, automating messaging to follow up with customers and check in will help you increase customer loyalty and maintain those crucial customer relationships you create.”
Collect and Use Big Data
Small businesses should harness the power of big data by collecting it from every action performed on an Internet-connected network as each generates a digital footprint for later retrieval and analysis.
President of ESA’s preferred partner, Braveheart Sales Performance, Gretchen Gordon offers some useful advice, from a sales team perspective, on what data to start collecting and analyzing.
“Data surrounding closing ratios and lead sources of closed business would be the two I recommend,” she says. “Right behind closing data and lead source data, I would suggest collecting some qualifying scorecard data about prospects, which means identify the collection of elements that project a higher likelihood of success in closing business. Then, apply those variables to all opportunities.”
Collecting, analyzing and using data created from closing ratios, lead sources of closed business and qualifying scorecard data about prospects can improve your marketing efforts, prospecting and dramatically improve efficiency in selling.
“[This] results in more sales more quickly,” says Gordon.
Positive Consumer Reviews are Powerful
Potential clients/customers are relying on consumer reviews to make purchasing decisions. Positive reviews give potential buyers a sense of confidence before spending their money on a product or service, and the exact opposite is true of bad reviews – consumers steer clear of these businesses.
Brian Plant, founder/CEO, Ignite Marketing Group, an ESA member, offers some tips on what small businesses can do to generate positive reviews and how to encourage satisfied customers/clients to take time to leave a review in the first place:
- Claim Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List and Home Advisor, which are common properties for the security industry, and ensure each is set up with all your business information.
- Include a direct link to your Google My Business review page in the email signature of everyone at your company as well as your billing or job management software.
- Upon completion of a job or after successfully closing a service ticket, immediately ask for a review because your business [and their experience] is top of mind with your customer.
- Include recent testimonials on your social media pages with a link to your Google My Business page, inviting happy customers to leave a review.
- Hire a marketing assistant or outsource these tasks to a marketing company that, ideally, specializes in the security industry.
Deploy Technology-driven Customer Service
Knowing your customers/clients and creating an ideal experience for them is essential for happy customers, referrals and repeat business opportunities. One way to do this? Embrace the digital environment to keep customers engaged with you and your company, and top of mind for future purchases and referrals.
“A simple practice you can incorporate to elevate your overall customer experience is texting,” explains Sacco. “Nearly two-thirds of consumers think texting makes working with a local business more convenient. Customers are almost twice as likely to prefer texting over other business communication channels.”
Sacco advises that texting can be extremely helpful: send a text if you are running a few minutes late for a previously scheduled appointment or allow customers to text you with questions and respond in a timely manner. For example, adopt the best practice of answering all customer texts within three to five minutes of receiving them.
“Messaging links you and your customers in a personal, helpful and engaging way, and significantly increases convenience on both sides,” she says.
Any type of “business hunting,” from identifying and obtaining a new customer to scoping out a huge sale, is a unique experience. Finding ways to connect with people during that process adds emotion, which helps solidify business relationships, ultimately fostering brand loyalty.