The North American International Auto Show ended this past Sunday drawing hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts who wanted to see the latest and greatest the automotive world has to offer.
While automotive companies are large businesses with even larger marketing budgets, the customer engagement techniques they utilized on the show’s floor are relevant to small businesses.
“The single most important element in effective marketing is the story — people love to hear stories,” says David Varady, chief marketing officer of EEI Global, a marketing firm that designs trade show displays for companies such as BMW and Mini Cooper. “If you can engage customers with the story of your brand, success will come much easier.”
According to Entrepreneur.com, the first lesson a small business should learn from the Detroit auto show is to “make existing customers feel valued.â€
“The hospitality mindset is big in Europe and is gaining traction here,” says Varady. “Existing customers are considered guests and they are treated as such. The result is that they often become brand ambassadors.”
Previous customers can often be the best advertisement for your brand, company or service. Recognizing their importance and rewarding existing customers is an approach that can and should be used every day in business.
Read More: Entrepreneur