Marketing is the essence of business and once you excel at marketing running your small business is a cake walk. However, when coming up with a small business marketing strategy there is no one formula for success. You have to come up with your own strategy but here are some tips to help you devise your strategy for 2013.
1. Connect With Your Customers
This is a very important thing as customers are the reason why you exist in the first place. Connecting with them can start even before you launch your business formally. One great way of getting customers involved in your venture at the outset is by getting them to suggest a brand name, logo and slogan. That way to instill a sense of belonging in them right at the start!
The best way to do just that? That’s right – the social media. The medium? That’s right – mobile app. 2013 will be a significant year for everything-mobile, as there are more people – including your customers – who will access the web not from their desktop or laptop computers, but from their tablets and smartphones.
Giving people the freedom to customize or personalize products and services helps you earn big brownie points. If you let people evolve with you and blend their personal taste and style with your own to help them create a unique product or service it goes a long way in an image building exercise.
For instance as a wedding planner you cannot impose all your ideas on the couple. You have to incorporate their ideas and budget with your own to come up with something that pleases them.
3. Value Time
Don’t keep people waiting…whether you run a restaurant or store value people’s time. If you promise to deliver in 20 minutes make it in 19 minutes. Time is a scarce resource and making people wait will definitely not keep them coming back to you.
With the availability of mobile payment solutions today, you can speed things up and offer more convenience by allowing your customers to pay on the spot – wherever they are!
4. Use Free Business Tools
To reach out to your customers get on to those platforms where they already are….Facebook , Twitter, Four Square Business pages, Pinterest, You Tube, Skype, blogs and free SMS services are all ways you can reach out to your target audience without burning a hole in your pocket.
5. Stand For Something
In times when people appreciate companies that stand for something and when Corporate Social Responsibility is more than just a trend you as a small business must find something to stand for. Be it marginalized sections of society, the environment or stray animals, you have to associate with a cause, be devoted to it and make it part of your mission statement to earn brownie points.
6. Try Alternative Distribution Channels
You don’t have to sell from a store you could create limited edition products and sell them at flea markets or exhibits from time to time. Pop up retail has been around for quite some time but small business owners across the globe have been reinventing it in recent times. Don’t forget to get your hand down and dirty on e-commerce; selling your products online while getting the words out via social media, such as Pinterest – the hottest online marketing platform for product-based business, can definitely drive customers and generates revenue.
If you keep your mind open to trying alternative channels of distribution you end up saving more and make a bigger impact.
7. Promise and Deliver Exactly That
This is the era of the informed customer and you need to remember that if you promise something then you should deliver exactly that. You can better yourself but never underperform! If you say you’ll find that book and deliver it by 5 pm today, do it, don’t say you will and forget about it. People appreciate sellers who keep their word.
While the marketing tips above is not cutting-edge, they are definitely time-tested and proven. Following the trends are great, but what matters most is execution and performance.
Let’s take “gamification” as an example. It’s probably the hottest trend in online marketing, converging marketing with gaming to create highly interactive, entertaining marketing efforts that will help brands stick to customers’ mind. Despite the attractiveness and intuitiveness of gamified marketing campaigns, only time will tell whether it can beat the old-reliable words of mouth marketing.
Regardless of your marketing techniques, be sure that you focus on the value you can offer to your customers. You should not hard sell; insted, you need to communicate your value. If you doing it right, believe it or not, they will go to your business because of the value you propose.
So, how about you? Will you try new, cutting-edge marketing techniques or rely on the conventional ones?
Small biz marketing tips