As a company that has been established 13 years ago, we have had our highs and lows with marketing and advertising our products. The biggest challenge with marketing is finding the right type of marketing tool to use. No matter how well you know your target market, no matter how long you have been in the industry, it is almost impossible to get it right at the very first go.
You cannot manage something if you cannot measure it.
It is a trial and error situation especially at the start, the most vital part of this is to know how to measure the effectiveness of the marketing tool. ‘You cannot manage something if you cannot measure it’. The idea here is, if you do not have a way to gather feedback, measure and analyse the results, then you should not do it at all.
The products we offer to the market have changed from the beginning but our business nature has always been consistent. The one thing we value most is the people, the people that work for the company and the people we serve. That was the main goal I had right from the start and there was where I started my trial and error. We started with a humble word-of-mouth method, it is one of the oldest tools in marketing and it is still effective until this day and age. Satisfying one customer can translate into three prospective customers; this means that there was no room for error in product and service delivery. As we started from a small business, word-of-mouth was an organic way to gain exposure as the company. The way to measure this is to ask how people hear about us, and we sure received feedback that they were recommended by the people they know.
Earning the market’s trust
Andatech now specialises in alcohol and drug testing, and these products require the public’s trust. People need to not only know what our products do but also be able to trust that they have quality and accuracy. The way I earned the trust of the public was through the traditional word-of-mouth and the modern method of online reviews. There were a few campaigns created to achieve the same goal; we made online review platforms open for all product users to share their feedback, we took advantage of social media and offered free calibration services for their breathalysers if they post a photo of themselves using the devices with a caption and we also gave out samples to people to get their feedback on our new products. All of this aim to gain people’s trust and brand recognition.
Certifications and standards
There were other avenues used to gain trust, we were certified under the Australian Standards for the business and also for individual products, and our processes comply under ISO 9001. The trust was given through these certifications, the Australian Standard certifications supported us and show customers and other companies that we can be trusted, and passing audits for the ISO 9001 also meant that our staff members trust the company. This trust cycle is created and becomes almost unbreakable.
This method was the most effective for the nature of our business. The trust we created duplicated on its own through corporate clients, customers, major resellers and the friends and family of the people involved with our business, ultimately covering the whole market. When a client is satisfied with our product and service, their recommendation to others creates a connection that almost guarantees us another customer. For example, having our AlcoSense Verity breathalyser in RACV creates a presumption that it is a trusted product by RACV, endorsement is naturally done and customers would walk in to our store asking for the device recommended by RACV.
One does not fit all
However, this method may not be the same for another business, even if they are in the same industry. You can take advice from marketing consultants and get them to plan out what will be most suited for your business, but by the end of the day, the ‘trial’ component will always be there. Once the results show that the chosen marketing method is working effectively, keep it consistent throughout and make it your key method.