First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Email is not dead. Email is a strong tool to use when both searching for new customers, communicating with your existing clientele and importantly making sales. The business owners resources are finite. Enterprises need to use tools which are time efficient while delivering genuine results.

And what makes Email Marketing so successful? Well, it’s a phenomenon which Mass Marketing created for itself. In a marketplace with so much noise, customers are learning to block it out. Now, consumers scroll pass all the advertisement on Social Media. They fast-forward the ads on the television. People use Bluetooth to connect their phone to their car so they don’t have to listen to a radio advertisement. What your customers are really looking for is a personal connection with their brand. That is where Email Marketing comes in.

If you are not convinced then here are a few stats on Email Marketing in 2018. In 2017, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase via an email campaign. Staggeringly, the expected ROI for $1 invested in Email Marketing is $45. 

Take a look at our Email Marketing Tips:

 

Grow your Email Marketing List

It is no surprise that the driving force behind any great Email Marketing strategy is an ever-increasing Email Marketing List. Growing your email marketing list is a process which will take its time, but the results will be worth the initial hard work.

 

Make it as Easy as Humanly Possible to Register

I’m sure you have heard that little marketing term floating around called Omni-Channel Retail. Basically, Omni-Channel is a technique which focuses on delivery the retail experience in a way which is as easy for the end customer as possible. So how does a company achieve that? Well, they give their customers options. Growing your email marketing list should be no different. Give your customer as many options, in as many ways to give you their email for promotional purposes. Create a landing page asking for their detail in exchange for an offer or discount. If they purchase something through an online store, ask for their email and have an option to register and receive material from your brand. You can even ask for your customer’s email in-store. Possibly after they have received a service from you, ask for their email.

 

Let your Customers know what to expect from your Email Marketing

Letting your audience know what to expect is a selling point when trying to register more customers for your email marketing list. If it’s new posts, information, company news, discounts, exclusive access to new products, infographics, coupons! Then let them know!

 

Be Aggressive with your Branding

Branding is your identity! Use it consistently and correctly each and every time. The execution of your branding is paramount and doesn’t cost you a dime. Read all about our suggestions for Branding through our blog. Email Marketing tools such as Mail Chimp allow you to save templates to use again in the future. This can be a time-efficient way to get your branding perfect the first time and then mass produce in future.

 

Use the Goldilocks and the Three Bears rule

Not too much, not too little, but just right! Don’t overdo your Email Marketing, and don’t make promises that you fulfill. Don’t start off sending an Email to your audience every day only for this to slowly eventuate to nothing. Start how you wish to continue. Don’t walk before you can run. Start slow and build speed not the other way around.

 

Monitor your Results and Take Action

Perhaps most importantly. Email Marketing can give you insights into your customers. Monitor how each campaign performed and make subtle changes to replicate a great result each time.

 

Often Small Businesses have many factors working against them. Not only are you competing with big businesses who dominate the market, with their big budgets and devil may care attitude. But you are also competing with other Small Businesses for your share of the pie. So what can you do differently? Perhaps you have heard the term Guerrilla Marketing, perhaps not? If you are willing and are feeling creative, this modern phenomenon could be a marketing tactic to include in your strategy. If executed correctly, Guerrilla Marketing can generate visibility without needing to spend all your coins. 

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Guerrilla Marketing

This is an advertising concept designed for businesses to promote their products/ services in an unconventional way. Guerrilla Marketing is appealing to Small Businesses as it often does not require a huge budget to back it up. Instead, it just requires high energy and imagination. Often a kind of publicity stunt to increase brand visibility, Guerrilla Marketing goes against the grain of traditional marketing with the focus of grabbing the audience’s attention at a memorable level. And this is why Guerrilla Marketing is so appealing to marketers, it is different, it is loud, it is in your face if done correctly.

 

Considerations

The first question you need to ask before you invest your time into Guerrilla Marketing is, is it actually suited to my business model? There is no illusion that the major trade-off for this marketing tactic is a high time investment. So before you begin to plan, ask yourself if you can see your business benefiting from this creative outlet? Again, as mentioned in How to be an Expert in Small Business Marketing, the first stage of any marketing strategy is knowing your business inside and out. Know your product or service, know your customers and know your direction. It is also important to consider that the results of Guerrilla Marketing can be difficult for you to measure and therefore determine the success of the tactic. This is due to the unpredictable nature of Guerrilla strategies compared to for example digital marketing.

 

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

 

But here’s why you should do it anyway!

Guerrilla Marketing is special and if you believe that it is suitable for your business, you should definitely implement it!  Take a look at the following Guerrilla Marketing Ideas:

 

Different

Guerrilla Marketing is definitely a distinctive point of difference from your competition. If you are inspired and imaginative then Guerrilla Marketing can give you an edge in the marketplace and even help you break into the industry.

 

Non ‘Traditional’ Marketing

People can become suspicious of some forms of Traditional Marketing. Your audience begins to zone out when they start to hear a sales pitch and if you are a Small Business this is not the reaction that you are looking for. Guerrilla Marketing is looking to engage with the audience and promote your brand without directly selling.

 

Liberty

Guerrilla Marketing gives your brand a platform for creative liberty. Traditional Marketing you can be restricted by a time frame, an ad dimension, a restrictive medium. With Guerrilla Marketing your only limit is your own imagination. Take the time to brainstorm and really think about how to showcase your brand in all its true colors.

 

Potential to go VIRAL

Yes, we hear you, go big or go home. Of course, the biggest question mark hanging over Guerrilla Marketing is the potential for your Marketing tactic to go beyond your local environment and even go viral! Getting brand exposure through the power of the internet would be the penultimate for any Guerrilla Marketing campaign. Although, this would not be normal circumstances and would require a great deal of planning, timing, and luck. Stranger things have happened. Viral Marketing would circulate your brand message faster than perhaps advertisement that you pay for in the traditional sense. And this is perhaps one of the biggest allures of the phenomenon.

 

 

Brand Image is not something which you can just whip up with a few late nighters, a couple bottles of wine and a long weekend. Brand Image is something that you build with time, consistency and unwavering direction towards a common goal. And it is not just something that you yourself as the business owner implement. It is executed every single day, by your staff, on your website, by your choices. Every time an employee puts on their uniform they are representing your brand. And every time that you send an email to your database, you are conveying your brand. All these tiny, seemingly meaningless actions are sculpting your brand image. And if the picture is good, this will be your best brand marketing tool ever.

As mentioned above, Brand Image is not a quick fix flash in the pan. It is an amalgamation of all the encounters and experiences that your customers and target audience are having with your brand at this present time. Positive experiences will drive your customers to repurchase, recommend to your audience and become your best advocators. This is something that you will actively work towards every day for the longevity of your brand. Brand Image is a subtle blend of strength and strategy. Implement a consistent brand strategy while flexing those marketing muscles will see you underway.

The truth is, a lot of businesses (possibly your competitors) do not think about creating a brand image until there is a problem with the one they are creating. The appeal of creating a good brand image is that it makes a lasting impression.

 

Worth its Weight in Bitcoin

 

Where?

Brand Image starts in-house.

Call it superficial but the way that your employees talk, dress and interact with your customers says a lot about your brand. Think of a bad customer services experience you have had. Did it make you feel disappointed? Did it back you up and make you avoid the business altogether? It is important when starting a new employee to give them an induction where you talk about the brand, the way they are expected to behave when representing the brand and the consequences if these requests are not met. Remember the old saying the customer is always right? Well, my boss would always tell me, often between clenched teeth, the customer is always the customer. Presentation is not dead. People enjoy those little experiences.

 

Brand Image starts with consistency.

I’m sure you can spot the golden arches from a mile away, I’m sure you could recognise those white apple headphones anywhere. These Brands did not build their image overnight. But they sure did build them through time with consistency. If you do not put effort into maintaining a consistent brand image, then your brand will not be recognisable.

 

Why?

Brand Image shows you are put together.

Imagine walking into Tiffany and Co and all the staff is just wearing whatever they wanted. One girl is wearing some cat pajamas and the door staff has a beer hat on with a straw in their mouth. What does that look like to you? Chaos. A polished brand can show that you didn’t just start your business yesterday on a whim. It shows you are thoughtful, that you have had success, that you are organised which will reflect on your products/ services to follow. Even just starting with a personalised email address and website URL. A business card which is up to date.

 

Brand Image builds credibility.

If you continuously blend your brand image with your brand strategy, whether it be the freshest produce is the most efficient service, that will reflect for your customers. The more often that you can deliver your product/ service in correlation with your brand promise, the easier it will be for your customers to remember who you are and what you stand for.

 

How?

Brand personas help you understand where to direct your brand image.

If you do not know how to build your ideal brand persona, read our blog. Once you have identified your key audiences, you can begin to understand your ideal customer. Your brand persona should appeal to your ideal customer, it should relate to them. It can be helpful to create a style guide highlight your tone of voice, imagery, and personality to ensure this is executed consistently.

 

Brand image is solidified with content.

Content is the fuel that drives marketing activities. To elevate your brand profile, you’ll need to deliver a steady stream of content. Content does not always mean blogs and podcasts. Content can simply be what you do and do not choose to post. Your website, your infographics.

When we think of AI, we think of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator running around with bazookas in his hands and half his face ripped off. Revealing his exposed metal skull and wires like veins leaking sparks, as if fresh blood. We think of robot men from movies programmed to serve mankind, but instead learning emotions and human feelings. We think of software outsmarting humans in a bid to take over the world. But we are not in the land of make-believe or a Hollywood movie set, we are very much heading into the future. And the future of Marketing is Artificial Intelligence (AI), perhaps just not in the way highlighted above.

AI and machine learning is transforming the landscape with self-driving cars, smarter prosthetics and digital assistance (think of Alexa). The stuff which was now reserved for Sci-Fi movies is now our reality. AI is different because unlike a human, there is less margin for error, it can work continuously without the need for a break or rest and it is always learning! But what exactly does this mean for Marketing? It means your brand is ready 24/7.

 

Back to Basics

To understand where we are going, first, we must understand where we have been. Artificial Intelligence is a way of programming machines to learn and be capable of solving problems as a human would. In the not too distant past, programmers would manually code software systems to provide an output when given a specific input.

A good example is to think of Facebook, remember in 2008 when you got your first account? You would have to manually tag all your friends who attended your birthday party into that group photo. Now, in 2018 with the introduction of AI, Facebook recognises faces and suggest you tag your friends.

You see, AI is already blending the lines between human interaction and technology in ways you may not even realise.

 

The Brain Power behind New Experiences

AI is beyond just data analysis and generation. Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionise how customers interact with brands on a day to day basis.

AI and machine learning will push the boundaries of what is possible. The divide of what is marketing, art, design, music will blend together making for a truly creative experience for the audience.

An example of consumer engagement with brands, leveraged through the use of AI is Chatbots. A chatbot sits on your website and acts as an interactive messaging system with visitors of your site. The chatbot will crawl your site and pick up keywords and phrases to help converse with your customer, without the need for human interaction! Your chatbot can take the conversation to a minimum of 60% before anyone even needs to step in. Chatbots can also learn the language of your brand to interact with your consumers in your tone of voice.

AI and machine learning are going to completely revolutionise how your customers can experience your brand. New forms of creativity will provide new ways for your brand to tell its story.

 

Reinventing Products

Something that you will be seeing plenty of in the marketplace is brands reinventing their products and enhancing their functionality with AI. Products and services that may have been a little ahead of their time will once again see the spotlight with the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence. As customers in the modern digital landscape demand more and more personalised experiences from their brands, AI will stand up and create this technology to meet this demand.

Marketing campaigns and customer interactions will become a core focus for brands—from planning to creative messaging to media targeting to the retail experience. Integrating machine learning and AI into the buyer’s journey means proper representation and the opportunity for your brand to be present 24/7.

To approach this from a different angle, consumer expectations of their brands will increase. This will pose a difficult challenge for some brands as they choose to compete in the marketplace. Businesses who are proactive rather than reactive will retain their customers and ignite a journey which has never been seen in this landscape before.

 

An Introduction to Marketing and AI

So what does this all mean for marketers? The further integration of technology into the physical world creates new consumer interactions that are even more simple and instantaneous. Businesses who were once operating with limited resources can now use the helping hands of AI to operate in places where they previously had no expertise. AI will start a chained reaction of both higher expectations and the opportunity for more personalized marketing.

There is no question that there will be marketing and advertising solutions and resolutions that have not even been thought of yet. And this is the most exciting prospect of the digital landscape.