Marketing Strategy For Small Business can be a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its resources on the optimal opportunities with the goals of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.”
Over the last decade, the idea of marketing and goals of increasing sales have been centralized towards one particular channel of internet and social media marketing. According to many industry experts and analysts, the idea of earning livelihood by providing services or goods incomplete without having an impressive online appearance in 21st century.
Going for a fancy marketing company, spending thousands of dollars on internet marketing, billboards, digital marketing and print media sounds good when you are a mortar business trying to become an industry leader.
But if you are a start-up looking to be a new challenger or industry follower things might not be as easy as it looks.
Here are a few successful small business marketing strategies for small businesses and start-up.
Unique Brand Identification
With hundreds of brands chasing one potential customer, only a unique brand identity can stand a business out of competition and help customers pick you for the services they need. Have a look at the logo of A-Style. The logo of A-Style became a giant marketing success in apparel industry. The message here is not to create a dirty logo intentionally, but to realize the importance of uniqueness in your brand identity.
In today’s business world, if you don’t have an impressive online appearance, then you are missing out on great business opportunities. Before you start your business’s marketing campaign, make sure to have a responsive, rich on graphics, and sophisticated website. A website not only helps businesses in generating more revenue, but it also is a great medium of brand awareness. With a professional website you can also develop a relationship with your existing and potential customers.
There are many marketing concepts for small business marketing to consider and plan for, but here is our list of Top 10 Marketing Concepts For Small Business Marketing.
Consistency is the number one marketing concept for small business marketing only because it is left out of marketing concepts for so many businesses. I have worked with a long list of clients, big and small, that are extremely inconsistent in all areas of their marketing. Consistency helps lower the cost of marketing and increase the effectiveness of branding.
Once small business owners decide to be consistent with their marketing, planning is the next major concept to engage. Planning is the most vital part of small business marketing or any level of marketing, for that matter, and so many owners, marketing managers, and even CMOs plan poorly. Put the time into planning your marketing strategy, budget, and other concepts presented here to ensure success.
Strategy immediately follows planning because your strategy is the foundation for the rest of your marketing activities. In the process of planning, you must develop your strategy: who you will target, how you will target them, and how will you keep them as a customer.
Target market is also another key concept for small business marketing. Defining exactly who you are targeting allows small business owners to focus on specific customers and reduce marketing waste. A well-defined target market will make every other marketing concept so much easier to implement successfully.
Although it is listed at number 5, budgeting is important throughout the entire process. Creating a marketing budget is usually the hardest and most inaccurate part of small business marketing. Most small businesses owners lack a great deal of experience in marketing, so their budgets usually end up skewed. The most important part of this marketing concept is to actually establish a marketing budget. From there, you can worry about how to distribute your available funds.
The marketing mix is usually defined as product, pricing, place, and promotion. As a small business owner, you must specifically decide on your products (or services), the appropriate pricing, where and how you will distribute your products, and how will you let everyone know about you and your products.
In today’s market, a business of any size must have a website. I hate when I see businesses that have a one page website with out-dated information.
Customers, be it businesses or consumers, will search the web over 60% of the time before making any purchasing decisions. This marketing concept contains a slew of additional components, but you must at least develop a small web presence of some kind and keep it updated.
Many small businesses owners also neglect this concept. Small business marketing must focus on this marketing concept just as much as large corporations do.
Branding consists of the pictures, logo, design scheme, layout, make up, and image of your products and even your company. Branding is how your customers perceive (please place a lot of emphasis on that word!) your products and company. Make sure to pay special attention to what kind of brand you are building through each step of your planning and implementation.
Promotion and Advertising
Promotion and advertising is a very complex marketing concept, but must be considered for any type of business and its products and services. Once you engage the previous 8 marketing concepts, you must finally let your target market know about you and your products. Proper promotion and advertising will result in effective brand recognition, and, ultimately, increased sales.
Now, let’s talk about a question to ask yourself as you are developing a winning marketing strategy and plan.
Do you really understand your market and your competition?
I’ve known web designers who designed a website entirely off the “cool factor.” When Flash first hit the scene, everyone wanted to integrate flash into the site. These web designers were primarily graphic designers who were building web sites. But the really successful webmasters looked past all the cool stuff and animation, to the real functionality of the site. In that field, there has always been an argument of aesthetics vs. functionality.
It takes a very wise and talented webmaster to find a good marriage of the two. Think about your own business – are you gaga over a really cool product or service to the point that you’re blind to what the market really needs and wants? No matter how “cool” you think your product or service is, if people don’t want it or think they need it, you won’t sell it. It’s that simple.
So, try to remove yourself from personal attachments and do some market research. A profitable market is like a river full of starving fish. Just cast your line with some good bait and watch what happens.
Here are some questions to help you stay on track:
Is there a segment of your market that is not being served well?
Is this segment large enough to make a reasonable amount of income?
What percentage of this market do you need to gain to see profits?
Who are your major competitors? Is the market flooded with competition?
How well is your competitor serving the market? What are his weaknesses?
How can you capitalize on the mistakes he is making or where he is falling short?
How can you uniquely serve this market?
Do you feel your market will be receptive to your unique offering?
I recommend that you spend some time with a notebook and pen and really get these questions answered – in writing! It may take you a while to come up with the answers, but you’ll be glad you spent the time in the long run.
Don’t skip over this step.