regular customer at hairdresser

The job of a marketeer is to promote a business and to make sure as many people as possible know about it. This usually comes at a high cost – expensive ad campaigns, flashy billboards, posters, online advertising and so on. Getting your business out there is important. But for small businesses which depend mostly on walk-ins and local business, it can seem unnecessary and expensive for what they get in return.

Marketeers will always tell you to focus on getting more customers, new customers, by offering huge discounts to attract bargain hunters. But is this really good business?

Only an average of 8% of customers acquired through a deal will return to pay full price – and your existing customers are 150% more likely to buy than a new customer when they visit your store. In addition, your regular customers have higher average spend. So what does this mean? That you should listen to marketeers with a pinch of salt – because to focus on your existing customers instead of just chasing new ones is really good business.

Word-of-mouth marketing – the kind money can’t buy

Your existing customers have already chosen you at least once. That means in their eyes, you are already doing something right. Whether they chose you out of convenience or dedicated choice – once they have visited you once, chances that they will return are pretty good. Your job becomes to give them such a pleasant experience that they will want to come back – and tell their friends about you. This is called word-of-mouth marketing. The big brands pay millions for ad campaigns that people start talking about. But the best kind of marketing can’t be bought – an honest recommendation from a friend will beat any shiny poster.

In a bid to up your marketing efforts and grow your business, start with what you have. Do you have 15 customers you see week after week? Strike up a chat. Make them feel special. By giving them a positive reason to talk about you are creating your own, free marketing campaign. Yes, it reaches fewer people – but the people it does reach are so-called hot leads, because the recommendation they receive comes from someone they trust.

Who do you think is more likely to become a customer of yours – the guy who drives home hungrily and sees your half-price food offer, or the girl who has been dragged along by her best friend?

Getting this kind of marketing does take time, but should never be ignored – your reputation is everything.