Finding new customers can be a challenge when you’re a new startup or a small business. Nobody knows your name, your budget is tight, and you’re competing with gigantic corporations that have well and truly sunk their claws into consumers and won’t be letting go any time soon. Not to mention that your ideal customers are likely busy, tired, and generally suffering from choice overload.
Essentially, you have a mountain to climb – and while it will be tough, it’s by no means impossible. Countless businesses make it – despite the odds – and so can you! You just need to work hard and make sure you’re on point with your marketing efforts and you’re driving engagement.
In this mini-guide, High Click Media offers tried-and-tested insight on how new businesses can reliably find, draw in, and engage with modern-day consumers on a limited budget.
Understanding the Modern-Day Consumer
Before you craft a new marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself how well you understand your ideal customers – or any customers, for that matter. In order for your marketing endeavors to gain any traction, you have to play to the audience – understand your customers’ mindset and then communicate your message to match.
As the Visual Capitalist notes, modern consumers – Millennials and Generation Z, in particular – are significantly different from their predecessors. Here’s how:
- Less Discretionary Income: Thanks to increasing education, food, healthcare, and housing prices, modern-day consumers have less money to spend. Extra work – and consequently, tiredness and burnout – is common.
- Delayed Life Goals: More and more, these younger generations are delaying major life goals like marriage, purchasing a house, and having children. This tendency makes them less likely to take risks or indulge in whimsical purchases.
- Greater Diversity: The racial makeup of consumers is changing considerably. You should expect to be doing business with a seriously diverse crowd.
- Reeling from the Latest Disaster: Last but not least, everyone – small businesses, in particular – is still struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
- More Choices: If Walmart doesn’t have it, Amazon will. Consumers need you less than you need them – and they know it.
In short, modern consumers are, for the most part, a busy, harried lot. They have less money than they’d like, so convincing them to part with what they have will be tough. They also have fewer needs and higher expectations overall.
How to Attract and Engage with Customers
The picture isn’t pretty. But, like Benjamin Franklin said, out of adversity, comes opportunity. Business owners can turn these circumstances to their advantage by utilizing more targeted, savvier marketing.
Respect Their Time
When you’re busy – like, working two jobs – and stressed out, you don’t have time to listen to a marketing monologue. In fact, even being subjected to such a monologue can leave a bad taste in your mouth and likely turn you off to the brand. Keep this in mind when communicating with customers. Come up with a clear, to-the-point message and then try to refine it to 15 words or less – just like an elevator pitch. Practice it until you can get your message across meaningfully, clearly, and impactfully.
Treat Them with Kindness
Kindness is a new business trend, and for good reason. Life can be challenging for modern-day consumers, and kindness is a soothing balm for the soul. Consumers remember businesses that treat them with genuine kindness, speak well of them, and keep coming back. Show kindness to your customers by offering meaningful advice, prioritizing customer service, resolving their problems, and keeping things simple.
Customers’ time is at a premium. If you make it easy for customers to do business with you, they’re going to appreciate it. Some ways to make doing business with you more convenient for customers include posting regular updates on social media, offering digital services, accepting multiple payment options, and providing greater flexibility with your products and services.
Institute a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are an effective way to both attract new customers and retain existing ones. If customers receive discounts and deals that few others are receiving, they’re going to feel recognized, special, and privileged – and this will make them want to keep coming back!
Speak Their Language
The modern-day consumer has solid values and cares about authenticity, transparency, sustainability, and other ethical concerns. When you include these values in your marketing message, it’s more meaningful and attractive to customers.
It’s not enough to talk the talk – your brand will have to walk the talk, too. Ethics is incredibly important in modern-day marketing, according to Hubspot, and customers can tell when brands are faking it. If you manage to be authentic, however, you’ll have an easier time winning customers’ trust.
Remember to Personalize
It’s flattering when someone remembers you, including your choices and preferences. When it’s a business doing the remembering, that’s even better! Build up a profile for each of your customers – it’s easy with technology – and personalize your products and services through recommendations, suggestions, and generally being welcoming.
Ask for Feedback
Gathering feedback collected from customers and using it to make improvements is what separates great businesses from good ones. Sometimes we don’t see our shortcomings – or our greatest potential, for that matter – until other people point them out. Feedback can not only take your business to new heights, but also has the added benefit of making your customers feel valued.
Get People to Vouch for You
Customers are more likely to trust their friends and family over the words they read in an advertisement. Get your customers to vouch for you, in any number of ways, to build on your brand in the market. Some ways to do this include starting a referral program, featuring customer testimonials on your site, and offering incentives for customers to review your business.
Having solid branding is essential. It creates a bigger impression on customers and makes it easier for them to remember you. Getting a DBA (doing business as) name is an effective marketing strategy. DBAs allow you to sell your products under a different, more memorable moniker – or even branch out into a new niche. Furthermore, it’s handy when you want to market your services under a new domain but your desired domain isn’t available.
Emphasize the Human Touch
Last but not least is the human touch. Names and branding are obviously important – but people remember other people and how they make them feel better than anything else. Some ways to emphasize the human touch are offering face-to-face meetings, training your sales team well, and making it easy for your customers to get in touch with a human being on the phone.
Being successful in business, like everything else in life, revolves around your ability to build and maintain relationships with people. Prove yourself a worthwhile business partner and your customers will be happy, remain loyal, and keep coming back.
If you’re in the early phases of your new startup or small business and you’d like some help getting started with digital marketing, give us a call today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line at email@example.com to see how we can help elevate your brand!
About The Author:
Alyssa Strickland created millennial-parents.com for all the new parents on the block. She believes the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever, and Alyssa hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she’s learned through experience and from other young parents in three key areas: Education, Relationships, and Community.