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Different types of strategic marketing tools include Web site design, social media and customer loyalty programs. The company’s Web site is valuable for attracting and retaining consumers, so it should be designed strategically to the demands of its target market. Consumers also expect companies to be active on social media Web sites, so they can engage easily in two-way communications to a more targeted crowd. Customer loyalty programs help businesses retain consumers and can often lower its marketing costs, since it is usually cheaper to retain consumers than attract new ones. Referral systems are usually used as a type of strategic marketing tools for business-to-business transactions, since businesses are rewarded for promoting another.
Web site design is often an overlooked but necessary addition to a business's portfolio of strategic marketing tools. Even if the business does not engage in e-commerce, consumers often search online to find local businesses. If the business has an unattractive or hard to navigate Web site, it may lose a potential customer — whether it has a physical location or is only online. The design of the Web site should reflect the personality of the business as well as be informative, easy to navigate, and updated regularly.
Having a social media presence is becoming expected of businesses of all sizes and should be included as one of company's strategic marketing tools. Consumers follow or become a fan of the business in order to be informed when new products are released, a new promotion is offered, or new developments are made. Businesses can use social media Web sites to offer two-way communication with consumers, so that they can receive feedback on their products or services and find out if there are shifting trends or new demands from their market. They can also conduct marketing campaigns for those who are following them by offering friends or fans a special discount code or promotional item.
Customer loyalty programs are valuable strategic marketing tools since they encourage repeated business. These programs often reward customers by giving them points based on the amount spent on their products. The points customers earn can be turned in for discounts, products or even cash back. Customers are more likely to stay with this company to earn points for rewards. One of the most popular customer loyalty programs is run by airlines. Most airlines are associated with a credit card that customers can use to earn miles for every dollar they spend.
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