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Staying Top of Mind

Quick! Name a soft drink. Chances are you thought of Coke or Pepsi. These beverage giants spend millions in advertising to stay top of mind (TOMA). How about you? If someone asked your customers to name a company in your product category, would your company come to mind?

Here are five ways to stay “TOMA” with your customers:

1. Find your unique selling proposition. What makes your company special? Price, product availability, location, quality, or speed? Articulate it clearly, consistently, and succinctly in all of your marketing communications. Keep saying it!

2. Be consistent in design. Everything from your Web site to your customer literature to your stationery should have a similar look and feel. Use templates if necessary.

3. Proactively send messages into the market. A one-time advertising blitz can get your message out quickly, but you build credibility and stay top of mind with regular, timely marketing communications.

4. Use multiple touch points. Direct mail is highly effective in reinforcing a personal bond between your company and your customer. Multiple media reinforce that message by touching prospects at different times and in different ways. Send a customized letter giving your best prospects the inside track on a new product. Follow up with email. Send a postcard or brochure when the product is available. Send a note of thanks when the client makes a purchase.

5. Timing is everything. Strategically plan repeated communications so customers perceive you as a provider of useful information rather than an intrusive pest. This requires both organization and dedication.

Never before have consumers had so many choices. Staying top of mind will lift you out of a noisy marketplace, increasing customer retention and response rates.

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