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Small Business: Automating your marketing

May 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Administration

[WisP level=”not_logged_in”]Most entrepreneurs we speak to admit that they can have a fairly inconsistent approach to marketing. It gets done when they have time or when sales are down. This creates a feast or famine situation – you’re either doing well or scratching around for business.

So what can you do if you’re running a small business without a dedicated Marketing team? …


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[WisP level=”Business_Cookery_Resources”]
Most entrepreneurs we speak to admit that they can have a fairly inconsistent approach to marketing. It gets done when they have time or when sales are down. This creates a feast or famine situation – you’re either doing well or scratching around for business.

So what can you do if you’re running a small business without a dedicated Marketing team?

The answer is to systemise your marketing and even your sales process. This isn’t as complicated as you might think. I’m guessing that you have certain sales and marketing activities which aren’t really unique. For example someone visits your website and is interested in getting more information so they send an email to the address on your contact us page. Either you or your assistant has to reply to the email attaching some information and then remember to follow up with them to find out whether they are likely to hire you or buy your products. If they do decide to buy you’ll have to process the sale. If they don’t buy on that particular occasion someone has to remember to contact them again at a later date.

This could all be automated.

The bottom line is if you do any marketing activity more than once you can probably automate or part-automate it.

Many marketing software packages enable you to do the following:

  • Capture people’s contact details and add them to your opt-in database
  • Automatically send an email to them with the information they have requested
  • Follow up with them to see whether they have any questions
  • Email them with your latest offers
  • Send out a sequence of emails at set intervals telling them more about what you offer
  • Suggest and up-sell additional items when customers are using your shopping cart
  • Automatically subscribe and unsubscribe people
  • Schedule seasonal Marketing messages weeks or months in advance

In my own business I have used a package called 1shoppingcart to automate marketing activities and it’s so much more cost effective than trying to do all of these activities manually. It gives us more time to spend with clients.

In a people-focused business your customers and clients like to see who they’re dealing with. How about using video to share your presentations or to share tips with them? YouTube is filled with informercials and demonstrations from businesses.

Automating your marketing can take some time planning, but it really is worth it.[/WisP]

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