Bank of Scotland HQ in Edinburgh
There’s no doubt that, once you cross the border from England into Scotland there’s an almost imperceptible difference. You can see it in the architecture, the scenery, the weather and the accents. This is a proudly independent land which guards its heritage jealously and guards it well. Any business marketing in Scotland would be well advised to consider the target market and think about the way in which marketing could be tailored to take account of these differences.
But, in reality, does this advice differ from the norms of good practice as they apply to marketing in general? There’s a real risk that the differences in doing business north of the border can be overstated. In fact, there’s almost certainly more that unites than divides in terms of the two markets. While you need to avoid obvious howlers like referring to areas in Scotland as “English” (and at least one company has been incautious enough to commit this devastating Faux pas), it’s really best to stick to the rules of marketing best practice as you would when approaching any market sector. “Know your customers” is a basic marketing concept that’s as important in Scotland as it would be anywhere else.
Your Scottish customers will be looking for much the same things from your company as would your customers elsewhere in the world:
- Excellent service and customer focus is still the bottom line requirement.
- Keep in touch with your existing customers, ensuring that they’re happy with the service you provide.
- Get to know the competition, and the products, services and prices that they’re offering in order to enable you to stay one step ahead.
- Try to encourage new customers by offering free trials or tasters.
- Reward existing customers with loyalty discounts.
- Use the Web wisely. Like any market sector with a large rural population, internet marketing, on-line ordering and home delivery services are likely to be increasingly important to your customers in Scotland.
- Consider how you can market creatively, using internet marketing tools like coupons or vouchers to segment your market and sharpen your pricing policy.
These basic steps are still the best way to ensure that you maintain and grow your market share. In short, keep your customers happy and give them no reason to go anywhere else.