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MARKETING: How to Convince Your Customers to Buy From You and Not From Your Competitors
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How to Convince Your Customers to Buy From You and Not From Your Competitors

By Aaron Low

BT 201703 Marketing 01As a business, your key objective is to make consistent profits and stay ahead of your competitors by ensuring that customers continue to buy your products. However, that is often easier said than done. Many companies close for a very simple reason - they cannot retain their existing customers or fail to attract new customers while their competitors are doing exactly the reverse. How then is it possible to continue to convince customers to buy from you and not your competitors? Below, we highlight a few ways that will help you get started.

Offer them a clear reason to buy your product

Offering customers a clear reason to buy seems obvious, but it is not often done correctly. Marketing your products to customers requires you to come up with a unique selling proposition for each product to your target group of customers. Put in simple terms, a USP states clearly why one should buy a product. It translates product features into benefits that the product can offer to the customer which differentiates it from its competitors. Benefits stated should be easy to understand and concrete rather than being vague because customers tend to ignore abstract and vague expressions. It is essential that benefits appear persuasive and "stick in people's mind." If possible, try to use supporting statistics and/or details when describing benefits.

One thing always troubles marketers: to focus on price or quality? Most research clearly shows that the latter is more important than the former. Top quality products are able to sell themselves. Consider luxury labels like Gucci, Rolex and Cartier. Despite their high prices, they remain ever popular precisely because their products are excellent in quality. That said, it is important that pricing is done appropriately. If your product is more catered for the mass market, then you must focus on cheap prices to drive sales. Ultimately, though, ensure that you attempt to solve a problem or meet customers' needs and/or wants. By combining price and quality, the overall perceived value of a product determines your ability to sell.

020Quality is a pivotal factor in convincing customers to buy your products

Build trust and loyalty among your customers

Like in any relationship, trust is equally important between a company and its customers. Global brand names like Coca Cola, McDonald's and Nestle have thrived because customers trust their products and the brand. In fact, so important is building this trust with customers that a field known as customer relationship management (CRM) is increasingly popular among organisations as they attempt to improve business relationships with customers. For a start, perhaps you could offer free samples of a new product especially if the product requires time to prove its effectiveness and generate further word-of-mouth sales leads. Another way to show confidence with the quality of your product or service and to build trust among your customers is to offer a money-back guarantee on your product.

021Build trust in your customers to retain them and convince them to purchase repeatedly

Also, if your customers have been very supportive of your product, retain them by instilling loyalty. Standard loyalty programmes include offering membership to reward your loyal customers after some minimum spending. The key to creating good customer loyalty programs is to know why customers use them and what gets customers to keep using them.

022Membership programmes like the above by Delta Airlines are great in instilling customer loyalty

Advertise your products

Successful global brands were not made overnight. Nike is successful because of its prominent branding strategy. Its signature 'swoosh' logo is so powerful that it has helped the company to accumulate a significant amount of brand equity. Traditional media like newspaper and outdoor billboard advertisements can be used, but for enhanced outreach in today's digital age, ensure that you have some form of online/digital advertising too. Social media platforms like Facebook offer the opportunity to reach a wide audience. Certainly, a strong presence on social media with ample engagement with your followers will bode well in convincing new customers to try your products.

On social media many customers are very open about their experience with a product or service. This means that positive reviews can be posted if customer satisfaction with a product or service exceeds expectations; on the contrary, a poor product can deal serious damage to a company's reputation. And this has knock-on effects when friends of these customers read reviews. Positive feedback can encourage these new would-be customers to eventually purchase the product/service while poor reviews are a strong deterrent.

023Advertising on social media has the potential to reach a wide audience and encourage new purchases.

Finally, with whatever form of media, be it traditional or new, especially when advertising a new product for the first time, ensure that the benefits are sufficiently conveyed into images and words. Use words which are clear and easy to understand and choose quality images which convey the benefit clearly. More importantly, ensure that whatever information stated is accurate. Hidden or inaccurate information can cause customers to quickly lose trust in a company's products. Where possible, try to play on customers' emotions in a subtle manner - it is often the emotional value of an ad that sells the product.

To conclude, convincing customers to buy one's products and not from competitors is a never-ending task in marketing, especially in an industry where competition is tough. Other than considering competitors' actions and developing strategies, certainly a wise marketing strategy would be to ensure that at least the above guidelines are followed.

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