According to Wikipedia, Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.
Entrepreneurs draw up business strategies and plans for their business ventures to make various marketing, pricing, financial, and other projections. Of all these facets of management of a small business, marketing is the most crucial, given the inherent instability of start-ups. So here are some marketing tips for small businesses.
Setting out the marketing plan
The marketing plan should be the core area of consideration when developing the business plan. This is because marketing defines the relationship between the business and the outside world. The marketing plan involves the following aspects:
- Conducting thorough market research. Market research unearths all the crucial information that may be useful to the business in its determination and devotion to meet the desires of its customers.
- Segmentation and targeting. It is important to segment the market into manageable units that target specific groups of potential customers.
- Unique selling points. Surviving in the cutthroat world of business requires businesses to formulate policies that will leverage on its comparative advantage if it exists. This includes a detailed outline of the product or service offered by the business and the unique value it offers.
- Choosing the right pricing strategy. Pricing is a very important aspect of marketing a small business. Before choosing the right pricing strategy, consider the perceived value of the good or service, the cost of production and the level of competition.
- Promotional plans. Promotions in form of bonuses, free gifts or services create a loyal clientele for the business.
- Distribution strategy (including online). Offline and online distributing strategies should be very efficient to ensure that customers are satisfied.
- Customer service strategy. Customer service is an area that everyone says they excel in. But the truth is that many companies do not provide good customer service. Ensure that your customer service levels exceed expectations.
Using the Internet
Gone are the days when computers and the internet would make us feel like old Jurassic fossils. Currently, almost everyone has access to the internet and perhaps that is why the proliferation of internet platforms has hit the ground running in recent times. There is a myriad of options for online marketing such as article marketing, social media marketing and video marketing and even a website strategy that is valuable for every business.
Social media marketing requires the business owner to understand the audience in question and have some knowledge on the customer base. It is also important to realize that content is king, but consistent content is best in social media. It is also important to find the right mix for your business and to be ready for criticism from the social network.
Branding and positioning
Proper branding and positioning is the key to successful marketing strategy and consequently higher returns on investment for a small business. It involves being clear on what the business stand for, establishing a good corporate identity and making sure all of your marketing materials- website, photos, flyers- have the same look and feel.
It is also worth to note that ideally, the business name should describe your business, define the unique customer benefits, and reflect the business’ business personality. Being careful about launching new brand names is crucial, just like packaging and crafting a good business story.
Identifying workable marketing tactics
We all hate the monotony of doing one thing so many times in a small interval of time. For this reason, a marketing professional must employ unique marketing tactics that will draw people to the business concerned like moths to flames. One needs to be creative and consistent. Branding everything in the business also goes a long way in marketing the business.
Serving the community
The success of any business overly depends on the surrounding community. That is why community social responsibility is considered as a way to paying the community or the society. A small business getting involved in community social responsibility is a clear indication of better things to come. This encourages the business to grow slowly but surely.
Ensuring that each product or service goes through the full product and service life cycle.
Typically, a product or a service goes through the introduction, growth, maturity and the decline phases. This gives the buyers confidence since they have seen the product grow systematically.
In a nutshell, marketing is not easy. It requires total commitment and devotion. The afore-mentioned ideas are just a tip of the iceberg, and some may not work for all businesses but are worth consideration.