Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005
Do you want to attract new customers while building greater loyalty among your current customers? Include your customers in your marketing and promotions. By creating greater awareness of your customers (and their businesses) you may help to build their businesses and increase their demand for your products and services. Whether or not using customers in your marketing causes them to buy more from you, your willingness to showcase them will cause them to feel more attachment to you and will encourage them to remain customers for a long time to come. Here are a few ways you can make this work for you.
Ask your customers to share their success stories and get their permission to use them. How have they benefitted from their association with you? Have them share their stories on audio or video or in print and use them in your marketing. In their ads, Sterling Bank in Houston has their small business customers tell how they grew their businesses with the help of their Sterling bankers. It sends a great message about the bank, and increases awareness of the featured businesses.
Tell your customers' stories in your newsletter. If you publish a print or online newsletter, include profiles of your customers and tell how you worked with them to help them succeed. Or, use the stories in your print ads. A photo of a happy customer accompanied by the story of what you did for them is very persuasive.
Audio and video recordings of customer stories can be incorporated into your television and radio advertising. Hearing customers in their own words is a powerful way to communicate the benefits of doing business with you, and your customers will appreciate the visibility they get when they are featured in your ads. You can also use streaming audio and video files at your web site.
Feature links to your customers' web sites from yours. It doesn't cost anything to add a few links, and customers will appreciate the extra visibility. It may also help improve the search engine rankings, not only for your customers’ web sites, but for yours as well.
Make connections between customers. Do you have customers who could benefit from knowing other customers? Perhaps you could make referrals to bring them together. Or, host a networking event where they can get to know each other.
Include customers in your publicity. The media like to have multiple sources for stories, perhaps to back up what you are saying or to provide another point of view. In one case, I was able to get a client included in a story and she was able to get one of her clients into the story, too! Your clients will not only appreciate that you got them publicity, they will be impressed with your media "pull."
Promoting your customers as well as yourself is a great win-win for your business. Look for opportunities to create a greater bond between yourself and your customers by including them in your marketing and promotions.
About the Author
Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free marketing tips, articles and more at (http://www.IdeaLady.com/).