The word ‘Marketing’ can cover more areas and topics than you can count, from brand identity and logo creation; to websites and social media; and newsletters to events. When faced with such an overwhelming number of potential items to tackle, some of you may be tempted to throw up your hands and say, ‘Forget it!’ While many business owners are great at managing and running their business, a fair amount lack the ability to implement and manage a good marketing plan on top of everything else. However if you just take it a little at a time, you’ll eventually have all of the pieces you need to make sure you’re staying visible to your customers! Marketing can be broken down into three main categories: Nurture Marketing, Foundational Marketing, and Lead Generation. In this article we will discuss the first of these.
Nurture Marketing refers to the practice of sending multiple promotional pieces and marketing communications over time to your customers, prospects (not leads) and affiliates. Think of your customers or prospects as plants in your company’s garden of opportunity... Your time and resources in the form of marketing communications are the water for your garden. Too little communication, your customers will wilt and forget you. Too much communication, they'll drown and tune you out. Give your customers and leads modest but regular attention and watch them bloom. The simple fact is, nurture marketing works by keeping your name in front of decision makers thus increasing the awareness of your offerings, and increasing the chances that they will remember you when a need arises. Regular communication (every 3-6 weeks) is the key to nurture based marketing. It is important that your customers and prospects know what your company has to offer, so they don't look elsewhere for something that you may be able to provide.
Some examples of the elements and tools under the Nurture Marketing umbrella include:
- Printed newsletters
- E-Mails with a targeted message
- Success Stories
- Industry Articles / White Papers with a cover letter
- Press Releases
- Invitations to special events, i.e.: Sage Summit, Training Classes, Seminars / User Conferences, Holiday Gatherings, etc.
- TeleNurturing - to follow up, set an appointment, or invite them to lunch
- Holiday Mailings
Challenge: This month, begin thinking of and implementing ways you can consistently communicate with your customers and prospects.