There are still many companies that do not pay enough attention to the marketing function in proportion to the impact that careful execution of strategic marketing can have on any business. The fact is that many [smaller to medium sized] businesses do not seem to grasp [in terms of the amount of attention they give to marketing] how crucial marketing is to the success of a business.
In terms of smaller businesses and startups there are a lot of people who have wonderful ideas of creating a business. While their vision and business idea might actually be a good one, if they fail to market themselves effectively, they will find themselves struggling to get customers to buy their goods or services. Do not make the same mistake that some business owners have made. Before you even open up the doors to your business, you should have a marketing strategy in your head that you can apply to your business to get more customers and increase traffic to the website that you have for your business. The honest truth is that a well-marketed product which is average quality will sell more than a better-quality version which has not been promoted effectively and lacks the brand behind it to create the traction.
What Kind Of Marketing Strategy Should Be Used?
You should always use marketing strategies that work best for your business [we call this the message to market segment match]. It does not hurt to try both traditional and non-traditional marketing methods to get a feel for which of these options works in your favor. There are several methods of marketing that you can try and the method that you employ in your organization will depend on the category of the market that you operate in as well as the main marketing channels used in addition to identified target market segments. These, of course, are identified as the company goes through the marketing strategy development process. Some of these marketing methods include the following:
Social Media Marketing
You probably have several social media accounts already. If you are already familiar with social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, use them to your advantage. Create accounts on these and other social media sites specifically for your business. Keep things business-related and start working on getting likes, followers and increasing engagement and visibility.
Become friends with other small business owners and work on spreading your business by also sharing information about their business, basically doing a favor for a favor, which works out well for everyone. This is a mutually beneficial process which allows you to both expand. Figure out the age range of the audience you want to target and begin getting their attention with quirky, cool, catchy messages and updates, high-quality pictures, and other useful content. Social media is free to use and will allow you to talk directly to your customers without them having to e-mail or call you. Post frequently and don’t be afraid to be ‘wrong’, as long as you are aware of your PR presence. This can all lead to increased website traffic which you can visualize through website tracking software.
It might seem a bit outdated, but it still works out well for some businesses who have created the perfect plan. Try purchasing a bit of advertisement space in a local newspaper or magazine. People who read the newspaper or magazine might see your advertisement and decide to visit your website or give you a call to find out about the services you are offering. It all contributed to the buzz and awareness you are building up longer-term.
If you are trying to reach an older demographic, print marketing might turn out to more successful and provide a stronger ROI than you would think. If it does not work out well, at least you can say that you once tried it. Before you have qualified it you do not know.
Flyers and Local Marketing
If you run a small, local business, you might really have an interest in marketing to the people within the community. Your marketing strategy should include doing local things that will grab attention of people living within the area. Handing out promotional flyers is one option.
You can offer something, such as a discount coupon, that people can cut directly off of the flyer and use with your business. You can also create business cards and hand them out to people. There are loads of other promotional products worth trying, including pens, shirts, and bags. Just get involved and make things happen. Be kind, polite, helpful and visible.
In summary, elevating the status of marketing in any business [and taking some of the focus away from operations] and paying more attention to communicating the core value proposition of the business to its target market will deliver benefits to the organization in terms of [more] satisfied and repeat customers, new customers all leading to increased revenue generation.