Mediocre companies are caught in a perpetual quicksand of sorts, struggling to squeeze every dollar from the same target market they have sold the same products to using the same marketing approach for years or even decades. What sets visionary marketers apart is an understanding of the need to balance today’s performance with a robust strategy for the future. The model shifts from a marketing sprint to a marathon, replete with a strategic plan, creative approaches to making the right things happen and a commitment to investing the necessary resources for long-term success even though short-term profitability might diminish. This replaces an anxiety-ridden future with a forward-looking plan for evolutionary action. Marketing’s purpose becomes two-fold: to foster immediate responses and to plant seeds for tomorrow’s sales.
First you must identify the factors that will impact your company’s long-term marketing approach. You might not have a perfect understanding of every competitive, economic, legal, sociological or technological force that looms on the horizon, but at least you will be alert to the possibilities. Armed with information on the longevity and profit potential of your present market’s life cycle as well as budding market opportunities, you can begin positioning your business for tomorrow today.
From a front-line marketing perspective there are many ways to foster future business opportunities regardless of your business size or budget.
Provide platinum-standard customer service. Your goal is always to exceed your customers’ expectations, but if you fall short, admit it. Many loyal repeat customers result from perfectly corrected errors.
Cultivate your elite customers. Your best customers—those who are easy to work with, really like you and have a positive history with your company—are a goldmine of quality referrals. Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones by inviting these special clients and their guests to preview your innovations.
Create top-of-mind awareness. Not everyone needs your product or service today, but many will at some point. Capitalize on your vision about emerging needs and wants and new technologies and capabilities to get your product or service in front of tomorrow’s customers now.
It takes time for the seeds you plant today to germinate into future business. Essential to all of this is the need to communicate effectively with your target audience. Consult with us to learn how our technology and expertise can support these efforts and help position your company to harvest the myriad of opportunities that lie ahead.