The decision to pursue small business marketing, whether for a successful small business or one that is struggling, is definitely a step in the right direction. Small business marketing a decade ago is significantly different from the way in which small business owners market their products and services today. Technology is now at the forefront of not just business operations and customer relationship management, but also marketing efforts. With increasing competition, small business owners can no longer rely totally on the traditional marketing tactics to reach target audiences. Word of mouth, direct mail and in-store posters might still be effective, but to truly stay ahead of the competition, small businesses must rethink the way in which small business marketing activities are carried out and the way in which results are measured.
What is small business marketing?
Understanding exactly what constitutes small business marketing is the first step towards ensuring that the business’ message is communicated to the right target group, at the right time and in the right places.
By definition, small business marketing refers to all the steps taken by the business owner to communicate the products and services the business has vailable to satisfy the needs of its target group. Although both large and small businesses carry out marketing related activities from time to time, the marketing activities of the small business are usually more direct and tailored to meet the needs of existing and prospective customers.
Small businesses engage in marketing activities for a number of reasons. Some do marketing to get new customers; others do it to persuade existing customers to buy additional products or to enhance the products they have already bought. Regardless of the reason, small business marketing is a necessity and a ritical component of doing business.
How to market a small business?
Small business marketing requires careful planning and research. Strategies used a decade ago may not be as effective today. Small businesses must work with vendors and other business associates for greater reach. Marketing efforts today must be well targeted and carefully monitored and executed in order to meet the desired objectives.
Having done the necessary research and carefully developed a winning strategy, the small business owner must objectively identify the areas that require improvement in the business. Unsatisfied customers will make their dissatisfaction known in ways that may prove harmful to the business and small business marketing strategies must take this into consideration.
Advertising a small business
Advertising a small business in 2011 requires skill and innovation. Small businesses are no longer required to spend significant amounts on advertising as they did years ago. Today a number of free social media tools for example are available to assist in small business marketing and advertising efforts.
The use of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can aid in propelling a small business’ advertising campaign tremendously. Social media provides a platform for small businesses to interact directly with their customers and vice versa. Do you own or operate a small business? How has small business marketing strategies helped your business along the way?