We’re here with practical marketing information for your business.

A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Setting up a customer care programme - checklist

From demonstrating that you understand your customers to handling complaints promptly and effectively, learn how to set up a customer care programme.

  • Learn as much as possible about what your customers want - encourage them to provide feedback and make it easy for them to do so.
  • Demonstrate that you understand your customers - for example, by keeping records of their purchases on your CRM system and only offering them products which suit their needs.
  • Design systems which suit your customers, such as easy online ordering and fast delivery. Give them options such as next day delivery - there will be an extra cost, but they may be happy to pay it.
  • Set clear service standards and train employees to meet them.
  • Keep your promises and exceed expectations - provide advance warning of any problems or changes.
  • Ensure all employees understand their role in satisfying customers - consider offering incentives for good customer care performance.
  • Regularly contact customers - personalise emails and letters, provide information useful to them and express your appreciation for their business.
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a named contact or account manager - answer phone calls and reply to emails promptly.
  • Delegate authority to customer-facing employees to allow them to make decisions and resolve problems.
  • Handle complaints promptly and effectively.
  • Keep records of all customer contacts, and use them to improve your understanding of individual customers and their requirements.
  • Ensure that all customer-facing employees have easy access to customer and product information.
  • Analyse the profitability of different customers or market segments - provide superior care to your most profitable customers.
  • Consider offering valued customers extras - for example, first choice on special offers, loyalty bonuses, a service helpline or entertainment.

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