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Small Business Marketing Strategies Article

Profitable & Cost Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies

Overview

Previous articles in the ABC Business Consulting’s Marketing section include Developing a Marketing Plan, Cost Effective Online Marketing Strategies, and Internet Strategies, and this Article on Winning Marketing Strategies builds on this foundation and provides the business owner specific marketing strategies and tools to employ to increase company sales.

Subject Areas Covered in this Comprehensive Marketing Strategy Article

  • Marketing Keys
  • Marketing Plan Components
  • Creative Marketing
  • Marketing Methods
  • Marketing Calendar
  • Cost Effective Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Research
  • Targeted Marketing
  • Mass Media
  • Marketing Tactics
  • Customer Based Marketing
  • Essential Marketing Elements
  • Marketing Plan Elements
  • Successful Marketing Attitudes
  • Marketing is Psychology
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Marketing Keys

  • Committed to a well developed Marketing Plan
  • Your Company is Customer-Centric and involved with your customers. Understand your target customer base.
  • Consistent Customer Follow Up
  • Consent based marketing leads to sales.
  • Sell Value & Benefits, not sizzle. Sell Substance.
  • Follow on Marketing or Subsequent to the Sale Marketing is highly economical, yet, exponentially grows profits.
  • Have accurate Measurement and Tracking systems for all your Marketing Campaigns, Actions and Strategies.

Important Marketing Plan Components

  • Positioning: What specific niche needs will be filled by your product and service offering?
  • Objectives
  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Competition
  • Target Markets Defined
  • Target Market Needs
  • Market Trends

Tips: Home-based small businesses are exploding. Could this be a good Target for your products and services? 50 percent of small business start ups and from women. Could this target benefit from your offering or a variation of your offering?

  • Define your Market Position
  • Does your position provide customer driven benefits?
  • How specifically does the customer benefit?
  • Does your position define a competitive edge?
  • How Unique is your market position?
  • The Simple Ten Step Marketing Strategy Process
  • Step One: Define your Business Identity
  • Step Two: Determine the exact Purpose of the Marketing Plan
  • Step Three: Establish Customer Benefits and your Competitive Edge
  • Step Four: Determine the Target Markets
  • Step Five: Exact Marketing Tools that will be used
  • Step Six: Narrow your Market Niche
  • Step Seven: Develop your Marketing Positioning
  • Step Eight: Establish your Marketing Budget
  • Step Nine: Apply the Marketing Strategy Budget to your Strategic Planning Process. Does it produce a cost effective and profit laden Sales Forecast?
  • Step Ten: Re-work as necessary & Take ACTION!

Tips: Your Marketing Strategy Process should build into the plan certain flexibility and ability to adapt – include contingency based planning.

  • Important Objectives of the Marketing Plan
  • Flexible Plan to change and adapt with the changing market.
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Strengthen your Company’s Positive Identity
  • Keep, resell and up sell your current customers

Creative Marketing

Creative Marketing is effective Strategic Marketing, which simply means the Marketing translates into profits through specific, well planned tools, strategies and plans, which are out-of-the-box and highly targeted.

  • A Creative Marketing Strategy has Three Parts
  • A Purpose
  • The Benefits Offered
  • The Brand
  • Implementing the Creative Marketing Strategy
  • Offering must be interesting
  • Translate the interesting features to concrete benefits
  • Benefits must be Believable
  • Get and Hold Attention
  • Motivate Action
  • Very clear Communication
  • Measure, Track & Adjust against the strategy
  • Creativity Comes from Knowledge of:
  • Products & Services
  • Competition
  • Target Market Audience
  • Marketing Area
  • Marketing Trends
  • Economic Trends
  • World & News Events
  • Creative Marketing Starts at the End Point
  • Understand what the customer thinks, wants and needs at the purchase decision event.
  • Work backwards from the purchase decision back through your Marketing Strategy to its genesis.
  • Creative Marketing is Forward Thinking
  • Help the customer clearly see and feel the end results, benefits and value received after the purchase.

Marketing Methods

  • Internet
  • Highly targeted and extremely economical (see our Internet Marketing Article for more Details)
  • Extremely Interactive
  • Magazines
  • Targets your niche
  • Creates credibility
  • Establishes Identity & Brand
  • TV
  • Can be very cost effective
  • Great for demonstrations
  • Direct Mail
  • Highly targeted
  • Medium that allows you to go through the entire sales process.
  • Augmented with Follow-up Mailing and Telemarketing is very effective
  • Canvassing
  • Provides personal contact, which can be the most effective
  • Backed by targeted mailings and TV advertising increases its conversion ratio
  • Outdoor Billboards
  • Constant Reminder
  • Especially good for “Next Exit” Locational traffic targeting
  • Indoor Signs
  • Capitalizing on your marketing’s momentum
  • Can be the most important sign – even more crucial than outdoor signage
  • Signs don’t have to be static: i.e. Video Message, Slide Show, etc.
  • Online Marketing
  • Absolutely the best medium which economically blends high interactivity with action
  • Examples: Email, video & audio postcards, forums, blogs, websites, texting (see the ABC Internet Marketing Article for a plethora of online marketing tools).
  • Very effective when content based
  • Prospective customers are not constrained by time
  • Good, targeted, updated content means repeat customer visits
  • Great Follow up, Resale, Cross-sale and Up sell medium
  • Exponential results when augmented by offline marketing
  • Classified Ads
  • Very cost effective for a broad customer base
  • Targets the very hottest prospects
  • Confronts your competition head on
  • Brochures
  • Only effective if combined with online and offline marketing
  • Always a good after sale piece to keep the customer thinking of you
  • Code the brochure, ask the customer to pass it out and provide discounts or referral fees back
  • Phone:
  • Telemarketing only effective if part of an Opt In Marketing Campaign, whether online or offline or both.
  • Reminder Tools
  • Refrigerator magnet is the most effective
  • Double sided or folded business card which provides mini-brochure capabilities
  • Trade Shows
  • Targeted and motivated prospects
  • Consider online versions
  • Publicity
  • Public Relations driven marketing can be cost effective. Establish reputation and credibility
  • Community Relations & Sponsorship
  • Establish powerful contacts and connections
  • Great for image
  • Great constant reminder
  • Create an edge over the competition
  • Needs to be sincere

This article is an excerpt of a Chapter from our Business Success Guide. For the rest of the Chapter, please visit:  The Business Success Guide

The remaining major sections of the book’s Chapter have been left below as an outline so you can get an idea of what else is contained in this Chapter of the Business Success Guide.


 

Combine Marketing Tools & Methods

  • Developing a Content Rich Internet Presence
  • Online Marketing through Opt In
  • Advertise free Articles, Newsletter, Guides, Webinar, etc. in a targeted Magazine Ad

Online Marketing Calendar

Cost Effective Marketing Strategies

Profitable Marketing does not have to be expensive! Some cost saving tips…

  • Cooperative Advertising
  • Per Order or Inquiry Payment Method
  • Survey your Current Customers
  • Backend Products & Services
  • Code your Ads
  • Don’t Use a Rate Card
  • Tap into Remnant Magazine Space
  • TV Ad Tips
  • Concentrate Efforts on Established Customers
  • Combination Marketing
  • Website Design

Marketing Research

  • Questions to Ask:
  • Customers, whether current or prospective, offer the very best marketing info. Prepare a … 
  • Marketing Research Bonanza is the Wide World Web!
  • Use multiple Search Engines. Consider the following for info via …
  • Use Chat Rooms and Forums.
  • Determine your Marketing Appeals…
  • At the conclusion of your initial Marketing Research, ask yourself… 

Targeted Marketing

Targeted Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, rather, it is the focused and personalized nature of inexpensive Targeted Marketing which make it worth considering. Some examples include…

Targeted Marketing Methods

Telemarketing: I am not a huge fan of cold calls…

Fliers / Circulars / Brochures:

Fliers & Circulars:

Brochures:

Classified Ads:

Gift Certificates:

Signs:

Free Bulletin Boards:

Yellow Pages:

Using the Power of Mass Media

Why use Mass Media? Well, it gives you a wide spread identity and recognition, which in turn, makes your …

  • Mass Media Outlets
  • Newspapers:
  • Magazines:
  • Radio:
  • TV:
  • Outdoor Ads:
  • Direct Mail:
  • Advantages:
  • Important Elements of a Successful Campaign:
  • The Numbers:
  • Tips:
  • Tips (continued):
  • Post Cards:
  • Consider using Email Audio Post Cards:
  • Combine Direct Mail with Email:
  • Catalogs:

Great Marketing Tactics

Free Consultations:

Writing Articles:

Seminars:

Free Demonstrations:

Open House Events:

Social Online Networks

Newsletters:

Write a Book:

Speaking at Club Events:

Your Best Marketing Source = Your Customer

A Mentor Group

Networking Clubs

Who is Your Best Customer?

Online Marketing

Some Essential Marketing Elements

  • Public Relations
  • Follow Up:
  • Word of Mouth:
  • Competitive Edge:
  • 20-30 Seconds:
  • Guarantee / Warranty:
  • Branding:

Trade Shows

I am not a huge fan of Trade Shows because many shows will have absolutely no merit for the money and time you spend. However, many businesses have been successful…Some Trade Show Keys to keep in mind…

Community Involvement

Follow Up

Word of Mouth

Did you Notice?

Pulling it All Together: Important Marketing Plan Elements

Memes are highly effective when used…

  • Theme:
  • Branding:
  • Positioning:
  • Quality:
  • Location:
  • Referrals:
  • Testimonials:
  • Credibility:
  • Reputation:
  • Payment Plans:
  • Understanding your Competitors:
  • Be a Green Company:

Successful Marketing Attitudes

Marketing is the transposition of an attitude which you hope customers want to jump on and …

  • Passion:
  • Give it Away:
  • Be Fast:
  • Clean Company Image:
  • Telephone Skills:
  • Value Keys:
  • Be in Tune with your Customers:
  • Be Flexible: And Finally, Understand that Marketing is Psychology

Conclusion

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