You didn’t build your business by waiting on someone else to take the initiative, so why do it now?
Times are tough, especially for small businesses, but even large companies are feeling the impact of industry-wide slowdowns. And while things won’t change overnight, the good news is that they will.
Sure, some buying habits will change—they already have—but those are part of a trend that’s been building for years. And while the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have accelerated some of those changes, the fact remains that plenty of opportunities remain to grow and prosper in the post-COVID era.
Consider this: While overall spending dropped by 7.8% in the first quarter of 2020 as incomes fell, the savings rate rose to 13.1%, a 64% gain and the highest rate in 39 years. That’s a lot of money waiting to fuel what most people see as a huge pent-up demand for consumer goods and services.
The financial markets certainly see it that way; the stock market is already approaching pre-COVID levels and, barring another unforeseen disaster, is poised the reach new highs. That’s because the markets look to the future, not the past. And you should, too.
Don’t Wink in the Dark
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.
– Steuart Henderson Britt, professor of marketing, Northwestern University
We’re all suffering from “virus fatigue” in one form or another. But don’t use that as an excuse to let your advertising and marketing strategy suffer. Sure, it’s hard to spend money when it’s in short supply, but like the Wall Streeters know, money properly spent is an investment rather than an expense. Wisely allocated marketing dollars bring the promise of future gain.
Here are some budget-friendly ideas on how to drive customers back to your business as the country opens up.
Traditional gift certificates have given way to a huge new marketing strategy—gift cards. Customers no longer have to come into your business and wait for you fill out blank documents. And even though they’re much easier to buy, for some reason gift cards don’t carry the impersonal stigma old-fashioned gift certificates have despite often being last-minute, impulsive purchases.
Supermarkets and other high-volume businesses have racks with hundreds of gift cards for everything from food and services to durable goods. Other places have their own proprietary gift cards on display at their cash registers. Some even arrange to co-promote with neighboring businesses.
And unlike prepaid debit cards issued by financial institutions like Visa, these gift cards direct buyers to a specific business. Is yours one of them?
Repeat customers are your most profitable customers. They’ve already shown they like you and are probably singing your praises to their family and friends. Show them you value their business with a reward and loyalty program.
These cards can be tied into discounts, points programs, and targeted promotions. “Use your card and get….”
Combination card and key tags add an extra measure of convenience for gift, discount, and loyalty programs with an easy-to-use break-off tab that slips onto a key ring. That way, every time a shopper pulls out their keys they’re reminded of your business and its benefits and are offered a reason to add you to their shopping trip..
Their design allows them to be displayed in racks or at the point of sale.
Gift and Loyalty Cards Drive Data-Based Marketing
Gift and loyalty cards with magnetic strips carry valuable marketing data that’s easily integrated with your business software to drive highly targeted marketing. By knowing cardholders’ buying habits, you can analyze purchases and develop marketing strategies tailored to your customers’ preferences and your own business needs.
Yeah, it’s called junk mail, but a well-designed rigid plastic postcard stands out, making it more likely get attention. Plus, its sturdy design says it’s more important than the run-of-the-mill advertisements it’s with.
Direct mail is strictly a numbers game, and anything bumps up response, even by only a point or two, is proven to generate an impressive return on investment. By combining data gathered from customer purchases with stand-out direct mail pieces, you create a marketing synergy that’s even greater than its individual parts.
You’re Not in it Alone
Fine, you might say, but with business down, I don’t have much money left for advertising.
That where a promotional specialist like SSI Cards can help.
We offer low-cost, proven options for businesses to join the gift and reward card marketplace.
You can choose easy-to-order cards and mailers using our online templates or submit your own custom designs.
You can enlist our design and marketing experts to build and manage your direct marketing program, from providing targeted mail lists to tracking and analyzing your response data.
So whether you just need the basics or want a full-blown marketing campaign, visit our promotions page, SSICards.com/promotions for information on how SSI Cards can help you grow your business.
We’re here to help you build your own recovery program.