If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to treat marketing as a process – a series of actions to achieve your particular marketing goal. But unless you create a marketing system, your marketing process could be inefficient and inconsistent, producing results that are less than you had hoped.
Many small businesses feel that having a brand is not something necessary to successfully market their products or services. Some think it is something only large companies need. And although some might invest in a logo, they miss the fact that a brand identity is so much more than just the visual impression of your business.
A simple marketing plan that outlines all the important pieces needed to successfully and consistently market your business is something every small business should create. Whether you want to focus solely on inbound marketing or you want to integrate online with off-line marketing activities, there are 10 important reasons why your small business needs a simple, realistic marketing plan.
Small businesses have many marketing challenges, but one of the hardest things small business owners need to do is determine what makes their business stand out from the competition and present it in a way that attracts their ideal client. Being able to differentiate your business by communicating your unique capabilities that your competition does not have is paramount to attracting your ideal client.
Marketing success is never guaranteed. But one thing is guaranteed – if you don’t market your business, your competition will step in and take business away from you. Marketing must become a regular daily activity if you want your business to grow and thrive. I realize that there are plenty of marketing challenges facing your small business on a daily basis, so I understand your reluctance to start for fear of marketing consuming your entire day.
Keyword research is one of the most important and valuable activities in marketing, not just search engine marketing, but marketing in general and should be the starting point of your marketing plan. We know that people are doing more and more of their research online to determine what they want to buy and who they want to buy from. Consider keyword research as a component of market research that helps us better understand what our target markets are interested in and what terms they use to find what they need.
Your value proposition is an important part of your marketing strategy that is often misunderstood. Although a key concept in marketing for decades, it is now just as important in the online world where you are trying to get people to click on your ads or convert on your landing pages into qualified leads.
Marketing a small business has become overwhelming with all the online platforms, tools and strategies. There is so much complexity with all of your choices, how do you simplify marketing so it eliminates confusion and enables you to focus on what is important? What’s the secret to choosing the right platforms, tools and strategies to maximize your web presence and drive qualified inbound leads?
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.
Recently I wrote about the true value in your value proposition because small businesses need to understand what it is they offer and why their market needs it. And you really need to define your mission statement is so you can communicate it to your target audience. Now we need to turn our attention to creating a strong brand, one of your most valuable business assets.