There is little question that consumers and most businesses are more selective in spending decision these days. Nearly any publication you read will offer some "scare" statistic about consumer confidence being down, housing markets eroding, and fears of recession growing. In this environment it is easy to lapse into a depressed melancholy about future business opportunity and justify doing less to get less.
However there are always winners and losers in every economic cycle. The winners seek to find the opportunities presented by the cycle and adjust marketing tactics and business behaviors to the environment. It may be time to revisit and refresh some old ideas and to consider some new approaches. Below is a 10 question quiz with a simple YES or NO for you to answer regarding the marketing of your decorative concrete engraving business.
- I maintain an organized and continuously update list of e-mail addresses of prior customers, prospects, and referral sources and diligently e-mail photos of my most recent jobs to all contacts.
- I conclude every job with a personal walk through with my customer where I provide a care and maintenance tips handout and request referrals of someone they know who could use my services?
- In the last 12 months I have volunteered to engrave an emblem or design in a high profile civic project supported by the majority of my community and have issued a press release to the local paper and business magazines about my effort.
- I have developed and sent a mailing to all Real Estate Brokers in my community reminding them of my service while emphasizing that external landscaping enhancement increases curb appeal and is considered one of the higher ranking improvements a property owner may undertake to increase perceived value and asking price for their home.
- I have participated in no less than one Home Improvement Show at my local civic center in the last year.
- I have surveyed the pricing of my competitors in the last 12 months and adjusted my pricing accordingly if appropriate.
- I have asked each prospect where they found out about my service and then increased my attention/investment in the media/referral sources that has generated the largest DOLLAR VOLUME to my business.
- I have targeted neighborhoods where I have done work and generated a direct mail promotion into the neighborhoods where I have work that is visible.
- I have updated my brochures and web site with fresh pictures of my most recent work in the last 3 months. I have also then mailed the new brochures or e-mailed links of my new web site to all my prior customers and referral sources as an update and reminder.
- I am now devoting 1 hour each week to calling prior prospects who have not purchased (old estimates) and prior customers.
If you have not answered YES to 7 of the 10 questions above, it may be time to refresh your marketing plan.