BY STEPHANIE CARNESIt’s a problem that sounds too good to be true: what do you when you have too much business? That’s the situation some operators in our industry find themselves in right now. The combination of renewed desire for leisure travel, an increase in business travel, reduced competition in the luxury ground transportation space, obstacles in replacing vehicles sold during the pandemic, and difficulties in recruiting top-notch chauffeurs has put these companies in what was a previously unthinkable position: turning down business.
On the sales side, raising rates is a common strategy for dealing with too much business. As for marketing, many business owners have taken the opportunity to reduce their marketing spend. After all, why spend money to attract more customers if you are struggling to serve the ones you already have? Marketing strategy during times of surplus is different from the lean times, but it is still essential both for today and for the future when excess business may not be a problem.
Usually, the loyal clients you have now are more valuable than the new ones you have to attract, so use this time to market to them. Your current customers are the ones who helped get you to where you are today, and they are your best source for repeat business and referrals. Make sure to prioritize their needs and continue to provide them with excellent service. Implement a customer loyalty program or offer exclusive promotions to show your appreciation for your business.
Email marketing is a relatively inexpensive way to nurture client relationships. Monthly newsletters can keep your company on customers’ minds, especially if you have cut back on advertising. Provide value in your newsletters—what kinds of information benefit them? Include stories on local events and information for travelers. A personal note from you is always a nice touch.
Email marketing platforms come with powerful tools that can personalize your marketing. You can tailor your messaging and promotions to each individual customer based on their interests, behaviors, and past purchases. Use customer data and analytics to segment your audience and create personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with each group. This can help you build deeper relationships with your customers and increase their loyalty to your brand because they are receiving what they need from you.
“If you haven’t changed anything about your branding in five years or more ... now is a good time for an update.”If you are not currently using post-trip surveys, now is a great time to start. They can help you better meet the needs and expectations of your customers, which can lead to higher satisfaction and retention rates. Gather feedback from your customers, and then use this information to make meaningful improvements to your products or services.
Staying top-of-mind with your customers is essential for retention. Regular communications can help keep your brand in front of your clients and remind them of the value you provide. In addition to email marketing, use social media to regularly communicate with your customers and keep them engaged with your brand. Share helpful content, updates on new vehicles or services, or introduce them to your team. This can help you build strong relationships with your clients and keep them coming back over the long term.
What if you aren’t happy with your current client base? Now is a good time to market to a segment that you think would be a better fit and replace some difficult clients.
Even if you’ve cut back on lead generation and advertising, maintaining a level of brand awareness is a long-term strategy. You want your clients to think of you first for their transportation needs, both now and in less busy times. If you are no longer promoting your company, people may get distracted by an actively advertising competitor or assume you are no longer in business.
Social media and email marketing are beneficial for brand awareness in addition to customer retention, but there are other options to consider as well.
“Regular communications can help keep your brand in front of your clients and remind them of the value you provide.”Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness. If you can create and share valuable, relevant, and consistent content, you can attract and retain a clearly defined audience. By consistently creating high-quality content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and engage with your target audience. Use blog posts, infographics, videos, and other types of content to promote your brand and establish your company.
Don’t give up your hard-won search engine optimization (SEO) gains just because you aren’t actively seeking new clients! By optimizing your website to rank higher on search engines like Google, you increase your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages for relevant keywords. This can help drive more organic traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and attract potential customers.
Update Logos and Branding
If you haven’t changed anything about your branding in five years or more and you have some room in your marketing budget, now is a good time for an update or refresh. This can be tough to do when all of your marketing efforts are focused on sales, but if you act now, you can see some real benefits from updated branding.
Updating logos and branding can help businesses improve their brand recognition. A well-designed logo and branding can make a strong impression on customers and make the company more memorable—and help it stand out from the competition.
A new logo and branding can change customers’ perceptions of your business. If a company’s current branding looks outdated or doesn’t align with its values, customers may perceive the business as old-fashioned or untrustworthy. By updating logos and branding, you can change your image and create a more positive perception among your customers.
Updating logos and branding can also help businesses expand their market reach. If your company is targeting a new audience, you may want to update its branding to appeal to that audience.
On a practical level, today’s logos are designed to be used in all types of environments, from the tiniest profile photo to the largest vehicle wrap or billboard. Older logos tend to be too detailed to work well digitally, or they may not be created in the correct formats needed today’s digital environment.
If business is booming and you are taking some time off from advertising, enjoy it! But consider repurposing your budget to set yourself up for future success. If you’re not sure where to start, consult a marketing agency to discuss your options. [CD0323]
Stephanie Carnes is the Spotlight Director for the LMC Groups. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.