Marketing your small business is very much like playing golf. In golf, the goal is to play each hole to get the ball from the tee into the hole on the green in the fewest number of strokes possible. To achieve that goal, you need a strategy for each hole such that you get to your destination successfully. Your action plan is to execute each shot as planned, resulting in the par score.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.” Yogi Berra had a humorous way of stating the obvious but when it comes to your business, winding up somewhere unknown is not funny. Most business owners understand the value of having marketing goals, but many never take the time to set them, evaluate progress and adjust them as necessary.
Small business owners don’t go into business to become marketing experts. For you to succeed however, mastering marketing is a critical component. Although there will be many posts on small business marketing trends for 2013, I believe that these following six small business marketing trends are critical for you to implement sooner than later.
Have you come up with a great name for your business or a service you offer? Did you have a great logo designed that is unique and memorable? Did you know that your name and logo are valuable assets of your business? Many businesses don’t understand the value of registering a trademark for your identifiable assets, but doing so allows you to protect your brand in the event someone infringes on your mark. The definition of a trademark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Trademarks identify a product, service, person […]
Marketing your business is a process similar to a home renovation: you need a general contractor to call the shots and make everything fit together. I made this statement on my Facebook page and now will explain why this is an important analogy. I come in contact with many small business owners that hire different companies that “specialize” in one particular online marketing task. The result: no consistency and ineffective activities that counteract the effectiveness of one another. In fact, a couple clients of mine ended up with two websites (with two different designs) because each of these online marketing companies had to create their own website to guarantee first page placement on Google! Having a marketing general contractor (or […]
Focus, focus, focus It’s the mantra of many involved in small business marketing and is important to those of us who need to deliver client projects while continuing to market our businesses. What marketing should your small business consistently execute that will deliver proven results? Here are my recommendations for where you should focus over the next year. Online Presence Make sure your online presence is the best it can be. Don’t take short cuts in this important area as people still judge your business by what they see online. Consider some or all of the following depending on your business and how much time you can spend. Build your site using WordPress (on a hosted platform, not WordPress.com) to […]
Marketing people love to write about marketing blunders and mistakes and we all have our opinion on what should be included in the top mistakes every small business must avoid. However, even though we continue to make these blunders visible, I still see these mistakes made, costing small businesses dearly in terms of dollars and results. Solid marketing efforts take a combination of planning, creativity and patience. As you review your plan and adjust for the upcoming year, make sure you are not unknowingly committing the following. Not Developing a Marketing Plan Jumping right into activities without assessing your target market needs and desires and understanding how best to reach them sets you up for inefficient marketing with little to […]
The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute published a report in June 2010 called Six Dimensions That Characterize Success-Oriented Small Business Owners. The survey is based on analysis of a survey of 1,100 small businesses with between 2 and 99 employees. These 6 dimensions include collaborative, self-fulfilled, future focused, curious, tech savvy and action oriented. Although I agree that these are important, I have identified 5 more dimensions, or personality traits, that contribute to their success. Creativity Successful small business owners are always thinking about what marketing activities will keep them visible to their target market. Savvy business owners evaluate many opportunities to see if they can help their marketing efforts. Patience Marketing takes time for it to deliver results […]
The answer, of course, is yes. And even if you don’t have a logo, your business still has a brand. However, few small businesses really understand what a brand is and why it is important to their overall marketing strategy.
In conversations with small business owners, I have realized that my conversation with them takes the following structure. Business owner: I want to add viral marketing / social media / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn (pick your favorite platform) to my marketing efforts. Me: Of course, great idea but first who are your ideal customers as that will determine which platform may make the most sense? Business owner: I just want to add social media to the marketing activities. Me: Great, but what are you trying to accomplish so we can determine the type of results you will get? Business owner: I’ve heard that social media marketing gets great results for very little money! Me: Yes, it can, however, although […]