7 Small Business Marketing Tips
Small businesses don’t have the same resources to execute projects as larger-scale firms. As a small business owner, you may be the founder and CEO who has also taken up the responsibility of a marketer.
Let’s talk about some small business marketing tips for bringing the ideal customer to your small business. Many businesses, big and small, use this; it can work for you as well.
Conduct Market Research
Although you may not have enough financial resources available, however, conducting market research is very important. It will help you in developing your market strategy. The vital information you collect will help you to:
- know how your customers think
- their buying patterns
- their location
Also, market research will help you to:
- undertake an initial sales forecast
- monitor market trends
- keep an eye on your competition
Whether you have recently started your small business or it has existed for years, you must find effective marketing strategies.
Know Your Personas & Target Markets
Trying to sell your product or service to everyone can be costly and ineffective. Know your target market and build your buyer personas. To form a customer persona, you can create a representative model of your prototypical consumer. It never hurts learning more about your customers. The more you know them, the better you can craft your message and marketing strategy.
In defining your target market:
- narrow down your target audience
- choose the correct marketing channels
- define a buyer persona for messaging.
Grouping or segmenting potential customers are done based on some characteristics; this will help you to focus your marketing efforts. Generally, you can segmentation based on such factors as:
- geography – location
- demographics – age, gender, education level, income, occupation
- behavior – loyalty, attitude, readiness to buy, usage rates
- lifestyle – social class, personality, personal values.
Your target market should need your product or service and should have the ability to pay for your offer.
Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP makes your business to stand out from the crowd; it is the unique reason customers should patronize you and not your competitors. Define:
- what your business does differently
- convey that to your potential customers
Your USP may be to:
- have a new or unique offering
- providing exceptional service
Commonly, your USP reflects your special knowledge or skills. You can start developing your USP by providing answers to the following questions:
- What do you love most about your products and services?
- What special skills or knowledge do you have?
- What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitors?
- How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services?
- Which aspects do you generally highlight when you describe your business to strangers?
Choose Your Marketing Avenues
Consider your target audience when choosing your marketing avenues. Available options include:
- business website
- social media
- brochure and flyers
- networking events
- print advertising
- word of mouth
- cold calling and letter drop.
Set Your Goals and Budget
Marketing goals help to define your goals through marketing activities. Your goals should be SMART:
Allocate a budget for your marketing activities. Spend between three and five per cent of your actual or expected annual turnover on marketing. For a new business, you may need to allocate more funds initially to build your profile.
Nurture Your Loyal Customers
Customers are essential for your business success. Look after your customers and provide exceptional customer service that will keep them coming back; it will set you apart from your competitors. How to build customer loyalty:
- communicate regularly through your social media, blogs or e-news
- provide after-sales follow up
- deliver on your promises
- go the ‘extra mile,’ give benefits that exceed their initial expectations
- use feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve your services
- listen to your customers
- train your staff in customer service and basic sales processes
Monitor and Review Your Marketing Activities
Regularly monitor and review your marketing activities; it helps to determine if your desired outcome are achieved – such as increased sales. Initially, examine your marketing plan every three months to ensure the activities are supporting your strategy. But once you become more established, review your marketing plans each time you introduce a new product or service, a new competitor enters the market, or an issue arises that affects your industry.
Monitoring activities may include:
- reviewing your sales figures regularly (monthly)
- monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign
Always access and review your marketing analytic tools to determine the effectiveness of your social media or website campaigns.
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