No matter what industry you’re in, it’s likely that the successful marketing strategies you used just a few years ago aren’t generating the results you want in today’s ever-changing business setting.

Here are five ways you can ensure that your marketing efforts keep you moving in the right direction.

1. Know your niche.
Begin by understanding your business niche. What do you do best? Who needs what you do? Who uses your products/services?  How do you best reach these prospects? The more you understand about your business and who you are specifically marketing to, the easier it will be to reach those individuals. The same can be said for knowing who is not your ideal audience.  For obvious reasons, this will save you time, money and energy in your marketing efforts.

2. Market to customer needs.
Always assume your prospects will buy only what they need. How can you convince them of that need? Emphasize the features of your product or service that reduce costs and solve problems for the customer. Sometimes you can reposition or reformat your messaging to better suit the customer’s needs. Just because your product or service is the same, doesn’t mean your messages have to be. Be creative!

3. Understand what works for you.
We often fall into the rut of thinking that we already know what the customer wants or thinks. Many marketers make decisions based on their gut instincts, but with the wealth of data available to them, this doesn’t need to be the case. Ask, survey and request feedback from your customers.

4. Create a great customer experience.
Today’s most successful marketers create remarkable experiences for customers. There are numerous points of interaction between a customer and brand that should be taken into consideration. These interactions are growing richer and richer and marketing is often responsible for creating and managing these experiences. Strive to successfully deliver positive experiences and these in turn will have a positive impact on your business. For example, one of the highest forms of praise is a positive online review of your product or service. Satisfied customers are also more likely to refer you to friends and family when they’re happy with their buying experience.

5. Never stop learning and trying new things.
Does anyone even remember how we marketed before the Internet? As technology and access to information change, companies must be nimbler than ever when it comes to marketing trends and technology. Savvy marketers are actively blogging and tweeting the latest data and information, using online platforms like LinkedIn to boost their recognition, and analyzing customer data using CRM software. Your marketing strategy should not be limited to one tactic or approach. Consider incorporating social media, content marketing, customer data, mobile marketing and event marketing with promotional products into your mix. Stay up on the latest trends by reading blogs and white papers and attending educational webinars.

The Vernon Company is recognized as one of the largest and most successful promotional product firms in North America. Founded in 1902 by F.L. Vernon, we serve more than 40,000 customers from our Newton, Iowa corporate headquarters.

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