It’s the little things (that can make big a big difference to your business’s marketing)

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These days, many brands and businesses are focused on the BIG things! Wanting to make a BIG splash.

But focusing your energy and attention on the BIG things can often make you forget about the little things, and I strongly believe it’s those little things than can make the biggest impact, and create the longest, strongest memories.

I was given three reminders of this in a single day recently:

One:

scout-blog-branded-keyringsMy family recently moved house, and are dealing with a real estate agent that we haven’t had any experience with before.

The house came with a lot of keys.

A. Lot.

But more interestingly, the keys were provided on keyrings branded by the real estate agency, with the URL to our client portal.

A simple little thing, but VERY memorable!

Two:

scout-blog-little-things-coffeeAfter leaving the real estate agent, we picked up some take away coffees from a nearby cafe to help fuel us for our day of moving.

We ordered 3 coffees, though at the time only two of us were there with our toddler, and we were going to meet our third helper. Without asking, the staff put our coffees in a take away tray.

Okay, that is a pretty small thing, but personally I love not being asked whether I would like obvious conveniences, especially when I’m wrangling a toddler.

What was another small detail, but made a huge impression for me, was looking at the coffees on the tray once we were outside and noticing that all of the spouts were pointed toward the centre of the tray, so that they wouldn’t spill outward and onto our hands, or Master M.

Coincidence? I doubt it. That shows considerable care and attention in a tiny way.

Three:

scout-blog-little-things-ikea-nappiesLater that day I had to visit IKEA with toddler in tow, and needed to use the bathroom during our visit.

We used the parent’s bathroom with change table, and although I didn’t need to take them up on their offer, I was very impressed by this little sign that encourages people to ask for free nappies if required.

As a parent, this is a HUGE thing, as sometimes you just run out. And definitely worth the 30-odd cents per nappy.

Well as you can see, I had a great day, but what does this mean for your business?

Yes you still need to do the big things occasionally, but take some time to think about the little things that you and your team can do more regularly, that will be a valuable investment in your clients and potential clients, growing brand awareness and brand loyalty.

Here are some “little things” your business could give your clients that are bound to make a BIG impact:

Valuable communication

Share positive news

We often contact clients to warn them when something has – or is about to go wrong or down. And we’re often too busy to notice that sometimes things are just going well!

It doesn’t have to be in a smarmy “we’re so awesome” way, but is there something you can remind your clients of that makes them feel good about your service?

Website hosting providers send out emails to alert when regular maintenance is scheduled for servers and to warn when websites might be down.

In my experience these are few and far between, and the hosting providers that Scout deals with generally provider 99.9% uptime. So why not send a reminder of how long a server or website has been up for, without interruption?

Or how long the service has been provided for without error or issue?

Milestones

I LOVE milestones! But like positive news, they often go unnoticed, or lumped into a regular monthly or quarterly report. I find that milestones are better recognised when they are focused on individually.

A client of mine recently passed a significant number of followers on their LinkedIn company page. We knew it was coming, as they had been tracking well over the previous months, but rather than waiting until their end of month report to alert them, I sent them an email congratulating them as soon as we ticked over.

Yes this is focusing on quantity rather than quality (which I generally preach against), but they achieve awesome engagement regularly on their posts as well. So we had a little celebration of quantity AND quality!

This same client is in the commercial construction space, and regularly take and share photos of how their work is progressing. This is a fantastic way to record their progress, and share it with those who don’t see it everyday. If you are working on a significant or longterm visual project, with an absent client, could you send them the occasional photo to show them how their investment is progressing?

And this is one I’m working on at the moment; birthday cards for websites that I have built. We invest a lot of time and energy into getting new websites live, and while they then become incredibly valuable and functional employees, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we can take them for granted.

I keep a record of when sites are launched, and then send my client a card that lists a little of what they have achieved over the year; number of Sessions, Pageviews, Conversions etc. It’s a nice way to take stock, in a simple but fun way beyond their regular website reports.

Relevant and useful merchandise

Merchandise might not seem like an important detail, but when you get it right, it can be.

The reason I love the real estate agent branded keyring so much, is because it makes such frigging sense! Real estate agents sell and let houses; houses have keys; people put keys on keyrings, and carry them around nearly everywhere. That’s a constant, relevant reminder of your brand.

Merchandise that is irrelevant drives me bananas. And more than that, it is likely to be very soon tucked in a draw, thrown away, and forgotten.

So like all details, this one is very personal to your business, but here are a few ideas that might be useful to Scout’s target industry clients:

Merchandise ideas for the Construction industry

Even if you work in commercial construction, and your clients aren’t hands on with the build, you can still remind them of what you do.

There are a stack of construction-related merchandise items that can be branded with your details, including:

  • spirit levels
  • tool kits
  • building blocks (including soft stress-ball style blocks)

Merchandise ideas for the Property industry

phone-with-tile-optimizedAs mentioned above, keyrings are an obvious but very relevant and useful item.

You could take this one step further by giving clients a Tile, that can help them locate their keys (or anything) with their phone!

[headline]Merchandise ideas for the Technology industry[/headline]

There are a lot more technology-related merchandise items available these days.

Yes USB drives have been done to death, but like keyrings, if they are relevant to your clients, and in a memorable style, that relates to your business – especially if you are providing relevant information ON them – they are well worth considering.

Another of my favourite items these days are device chargers. The majority of us own at least one device, and they need charging regularly.

You could invest in branded chargers for your clients, or ones relevant to your industry, e.g. solar powered chargers for a solar energy business.

Or if you have a busy waiting area, can you make phone chargers available to your waiting clients? It’s a little thing that goes a long way.

And this could be relevant to any industry… is there an app that would be useful to your clients? Many paid apps only cost a few dollars, but if it is one that would be helpful for your clients, why not gift it to them?

Some of these types of merchandise items have a much higher cost per unit than the usual as well, but you need to weigh up the potential return on investment. If you offer a service that costs thousands or even millions of dollars, a $20-30 item is not much.

And think about how you are using them as well.

Are you giving them away to ever passer by, including those who don’t give a fig about your offering? Or giving them to real potential clients, demonstrating that you offer a high quality, and considered product or service?

Remembering details

This is really all about that little somethin’ somethin’… but sometimes it really is those little details that make all the difference.

My first job was as a waitress in a restaurant that was connected to a motel. We had a lot of regular guests that would stay with us as they travelled through the town for work.

After a couple of monthly visits, I got to know the drinking habits of a couple of these guests (they really were creatures of habit, which helped). I then started to prepare their usual drinks as soon I saw them enter the restaurant, so that we could serve them at the same time as they were seated at their table. A little thing, yes, but after a long day of travelling and working, it counts.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this as well, with my local cafes remembering my coffee order, and often preparing it as soon as they see me enter, even serving me ahead of other customers! (this is one that was great for me, and my loyalty, but can annoy other customers…)

This little detail has inspired me to add a “preferred beverage” field to our contact template in Scout’s CRM.

This way when I learn what a client or supplier’s preferred drink is, I can have it ready for a meeting, without asking them. Likewise if they ever mention their preference for beer or wine etc, I record this to make it easy to send a gift I know they will appreciate (just on this: I prefer red wine, shiraz mainly, and do not like chardonnay. At all).

These little details can also extend to remembering client and suppliers’ birthdays, details about their family etc, that show that you care about them, and appreciate that their “being” extends beyond your working relationship.

The developers I use are accustomed to receiving very short, functional emails from me, but I always take the time to send them a funny programming meme or message on their birthday (I also try to not bug them with work on those days, but sometimes it can’t be helped).

These are just a few ideas, but hopefully some that will spark some relevant opportunities to implement some regular “little things” to your marketing, that I am sure will have a big, and long term impact.

Do you have any other ideas?

I would love to hear them, so please share them in the comments!

Please note, I am not paid to endorse any of these ideas. I genuinely recommend them.

Feature image by Matthias Ripp on Flickr. View license here. It has been cropped to suit the format of this page’s and the homepage’s template.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter 28 July, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Great read!

    Really liked the phone chargers idea. It’s not a big investment, seems practical and sounds like something that surely won’t go unnoticed :)

    Small things can have a big impact but I would suggest to be careful and not overdo it. If you do too many things at once people could get used to it and take it for
    granted, not realizing you’re actually putting in extra work to make their experience better.

    Reply
    1. Top Scout 28 July, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Peter, and that’s a very good point. My follow up recommendation would be do select 1-2 little things that you can implement and do them consistently.

      Reply

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