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Mick Man

How do you craft a Small Business Marketing Strategy?

 

The essence of small business marketing is a cycle, like a chain of interconnected mechanisms working with one another in clockwork fashion. It is comparable to the sales process: a consumer starts off researching about a service or product and proceeds to contact sales people or retail outlets (or websites) and finally reaches the checkout counter. This chain can grow to be very complex and intricate, but it flows from one phase to another. Marketing does not necessarily move from one facet to the next, but just as in the sales process, if one part fails to deliver, the entire cycle suffers.

 

Your marketing strategy cannot afford a weak link in its chain. Its strength is only proportional to the individual strengths of all its parts: from traditional marketing to branding to online marketing. The good news is that the impact of this marketing chain, when completed, is much greater than simply the sum of its parts.

 

Traditional Marketing

 

Since the beginning of capitalist industry, traditional marketing has been in play and has been constantly evolving. Today, traditional marketing encompasses print advertising in its myriad forms, advertising specialties such as freebies and giveaways, and everything else associated with them. You are not limited in your marketing efforts by the “traditional” moniker, however. Indeed, there are modern traditional marketing tactics that when used in conjunction with “old-school” methods (such as well-placed building signage) help bolster your advertising campaigns.

 

Using quick response (QR) codes is one of the still-emerging methods of modern traditional marketing tactics that help empower your campaign through leveraging the proliferation of smartphones and integration with online marketing. Don’t forget fundamentals such as building signage, vehicle signage that makes for great on-the-go marketing, and great advertising design.

 

Branding

 

Speaking of design, the concept of design pervades almost every aspect of your business: from your Melbourne logo design to how you design your ads. Designing for small business marketing is not just about aesthetics and subliminal communication, however. Design is an important aspect of branding, the grand effort to establish an easily identifiable entity that encompasses your entire business.

 

In fact, design is so much a part of branding that companies who succeeded in design in the past had enough influence to affect the very lives of their consumers. Consider the Coca-Cola brand. Coke’s familiar red and white colors are among its most memorable graphic design signatures. Now think of Santa Claus. St. Nicolas was originally green and brown, but when Coke hatched the scheme to dress him up in red and white, the color scheme stuck; much to Coca-Cola’s benefit.

 

The marketing lesson of the story is that everything you design – from logo design to overall graphic design of everything that comes out of your business – is part of your branding effort for better or worse.

 

Online Marketing

 

Since we were already on the topic of design, let us delve into one of the more modern design facets of marketing strategy: web design. Small business websites are a priority for any business that wants to succeed in our IT-driven age. Indeed, many startups and small to mid-sized businesses often establish themselves in an online market niche and rake in impressive profits through effective online marketing and ecommerce web design.

 

The primary considerations for a strong ecommerce website are that it should be easily visible to people who might be interested in what it has to offer, and it should be able to sell to these people. In more technical terms: 

 

1. Search engine visibility and niche authority

2. Inbound marketing elements

 

This entails search engine optimization (SEO) in terms of both on-page and off-page efforts, as well as a good working knowledge of what web design elements of small business websites turn potential consumers off or on. Your design is your visual sales pitch in a landscape where a single click of the mouse is what stands between a client lost and a sale made.

 

Polishing Advertising Prowess

 

So we briefly delved into traditional marketing and branding, as well as online advertising and the importance of an ecommerce website to a small business. These parts of the marketing chain, when used correctly, are powerful individually. When used in concert in a proper way, they make up a marketing strategy with both depth and breadth that can reach a wide range of target markets and thus drive business profits. This is the next link in the chain: polishing advertising prowess so you can efficiently use the other links individually and in unison.

 

Some marketing micromanagement concerns such as vehicle signage design and product photography may initially seem nominal. A great product photograph, however, can drive ecommerce sales in double digit percentages compared to a dull product photograph. The crux is simple: focus areas such as product photography require certain skills that as an entrepreneur concerned with business, you might not have or have time to acquire.

 

A simple solution is to hire a small business coach or outsource to service providers. Responsibilities such as SEO and logo design are some examples of marketing aspects often outsourced. As for hiring a small business coach, this is beneficial in a way that you obtain an experienced mentor that can show you the ropes to help boost your small business into greater territory and greener pastures, but it is also advantageous as it provides a competitive edge that you otherwise will need to work towards acquiring.

 

Completing the Marketing Chain

 

So how does your chain look? Does your chain include traditional marketing, branding considerations, online advertising, and marketing prowess training and development? As each business is different, each marketing strategy will likewise be varied from the next. What is important, however, is that the strategy is not only suited for its corresponding business, but is also strong and effective in all of its facets.

 

Remember the adage about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link? If your marketing strategy is well-rounded and sound, your quality products and services will justify any concerns with price – concerns that bargain hunters love to capitalize on. They want a bargain; give it to them through great small business marketing that works.

 

Effective small business marketing is made evident by how your consumers react and behave every time they enter your store or visit your website. It is reflected in their appreciation of your brand and business in particular, and not just the price tags you hang over your goods.

 

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