Marketing for a Sustainable Business

One of the major lessons I have learnt from Seth Godin is the 4 simple consumer actions to a sustainable business. Successful businesses have always addressed all of these steps well, which I will share below. Create marketing tactics based on these steps and you will start a proper business. Sometimes, marketing tactics in different steps have to be run concurrently, as consumers are constantly in different stages. Until the majority of consumers have shifted, then can you focus your marketing tactics on 1 particular action. A common problem for a lot of start-ups is simply not enough exposure and awareness yet, but shifting focus to gain customer loyalty too soon. So be aware of where most of your potential audience are at and plan accordingly.

  1. Customers must see your brand. If no one notices your brand’s existence, how do they even buy it? Even an enclosed catchment area like a shopping mall takes many months for all their regular shoppers to be aware of every shop there. Viral awareness campaigns will do well to bring attention to a new brand.
  2. Customers must decide to buy your brand. Once people are aware of your existence, why should they buy your product? Create sufficient reasons for them to try your product, perhaps with sampling and price promotions so as to penetrate the market. Lower the barriers to trial.
  3. Customers must repeat purchase. After buying your goods once, what would make them buy again? Without customer loyalty, your business is just a one hit wonder destined to fail. Good product design, experience and customer loyalty programs will encourage customers to repeat purchase to bring in a steady cashflow.
  4. Customers must tell others about your brand. Lastly, for the fastest growth, current customers must turn brand advocate. Recommendation from friends will be accepted a lot more easily than from a poster ad, since the personal recommendation sounds genuine and unbiased. Create rewards based around social networking to get consumers to spread the word and recommend.

Original Article at Seth Lui’s Blog

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