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Small business marketing ideas

businessmeeting30396676.jpgEffective marketing of any business is a challenge. If you do not have a lot of marketing experience, you may not be able to understand the needs of your customers and properly reach them. Many people look upon small business marketing as advertising. They focus primarily on sending out ads and telling their customers about their company and products versus focusing on the needs of the customers. You do need to meet your sales goals, but you need to focus more on the client instead of always being concerned about the numbers.

Marketing is all about generating leads for the sales team. Your job is to gain exposure for your business and cause the customer to take action, which is to visit your website or contact your company in some way. After this point turning a lead into a sale is all up to your sales team who must have excellent customer service skills to convince potential customers why they cannot live without this product or service.

As you are developing a marketing strategy, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Why does the customer need our product? How will it benefit them in some way?

  2. Who is our target audience?

  3. Where is our target audience? Are they online, which websites are they using?

  4. How can we structure a marketing strategy that will cause them to take action?

You need to place yourself in the customer's shoes when you are developing a marketing plan. Think of some of the companies you have enjoyed working with, what was it that caused you to do something about their promotional work? Did you like the catchphrase they used? How about their website, was it easy to use? Perhaps it was their customer service skills. Figure out what motivates you as a buyer and it will be easier to come up with a marketing plan that will motivate your customers.

One way to market your small business effectively is to focus on your company image. How do your customers currently see your company? Have there been some bad reviews that have damaged your reputation? You must find a way to improve your company image which usually involves sending out press releases, negotiating with the company that published the review to have it removed along with a lot of SEO work that will help you boost positive information to the top of the search engine rankings. Despite what you want to believe, people really do base a lot of their opinions on those review websites and they will be checking them out before doing business with your company.

Brand identity is another big part of your marketing plan. How can you show customers that your product is related to your company? Ultimately you need to try and achieve the level of brand identity that you see with Nike and other top companies. When you see the logo, slogan, and products you immediately identify it with their company. This should become your goal and you can achieve it through consistency.

A great way to market to your target audience is by using surveys. Surveys give you a chance to gather public opinion from your customers. Do they like your products? Have they had positive interactions with your customers? What can you do to make their experience with your company more enjoyable? Gather market research from the social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These social media markets are full of potential customers and it's a simple way to interact with them and gather data without paying a cent like you will with market research companies.

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