Marketing during the maturity stage of your business

When your business reaches the maturity stage, the product or service you created is generating stable profits. In some cases, that success may be slowing down a bit. The last thing you need is for your marketing efforts to remain stagnant as well.

To keep your established business strong and healthy, change your marketing approach to make sure it evolves alongside your audience. Failing to change your approach during this stage could mean losing even your most devoted customers.

Here’s what you can do to market your business strategically and avoid loss of revenue when your business has reached the maturity stage.

Determine how to win new customers

It’s smart to do everything in your power to keep the customers you have. Yet even during the maturity stage, you want to convert prospects into customers. You may be able to enter a new market or territory, or you could win over the competitor’s customers through enhanced service or value.

To reach new customers, you’ll need to use some of the marketing tactics you’ve used before. Those tactics should be informed by your understanding of what these audiences want and how they like to engage with a brand. You can’t assume that the old messaging and campaign approaches will work for prospects in different areas.

If you’re going after the competition’s customer base, it’s important to differentiate your offer from the competition’s, then focus on that in your marketing. Find a compelling reason that will convince the competition’s customers to switch brands.

All of this intelligence gathering may take considerable time. But it will be worth it when your marketing campaigns address the very things all of these potential customers want from a company.

Revitalize or relaunch a product or service

If your business is mature, it’s quite possible your products or services are as well. Perhaps it’s time for a makeover to keep your offering attractive and relevant to your current and potential customers. Explore how your product or service can be used in a new way and use that as the focal point for your marketing content.

Improvements might involve enhancing a product’s durability, reliability, or overall performance. For services, focus your marketing efforts on showing how you’ve improved the customer experience — such as through a better checkout system, new store decor or layout, or personalized shopping experiences.

Alternatively, you can add new features to address your audience’s needs, including greater safety, convenience, and even fun. Doing so shows that your brand remains at the forefront of trends, including a keen awareness of what impacts your audience. Plus, new value-added features help generate excitement and buzz through the shopping and purchase experiences.

Conduct more market research to guide any changes in direction or messaging

If you’re not sure what you should change, or if you feel stuck in your market position, it’s time to research external and internal environments. That may clarify the areas you may need to change to help you get moving again.

Study what’s happening with your audience, the competition, and factors like the economic and legal environments to create a clearer picture of how to change your strategy. Even auditing your internal environment can help uncover inefficiencies or areas that must change to ensure your marketing sends the right message.

Revisit your pricing strategy to see if an adjustment makes sense

As with all business cycles, consider how to improve your marketing mix. At this stage, you may want to consider whether price adjustments will keep customers coming back. Reducing prices may also draw in new customers who will migrate away from the competition when they see that you offer a better deal.

However, you may need to increase the price, especially if you make this change in conjunction with a product reintroduction. Raising the price is a way to distinguish your product from others on the market in terms of superior features, benefits, and quality. Marketing your product or service at a higher price point may also attract attention from a new audience segment that’s focused solely on high-end brands.

Marketing cycles

In addition to the above tactics, you should also consider the next steps in your business beyond the current maturity stage — that is, during the decline or exit stage. Perhaps the best option is an exit strategy, or maybe you should rebrand the company or pivot into a new niche.

It’s important to think about the next direction you want to take during the maturity stage because your marketing efforts should begin to reflect that decision. Starting to acknowledge that direction in your marketing can pave the way for that next stage, including attracting a buyer or acquisition candidate.

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for Inc.com, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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