Marketing Strategy for Small Business: A Key to Success
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” You’ve heard this one before, right?
The reality is that top performers succeed because they have a marketing strategy for small business first, and they execute on that strategy, second. That’s why developing one is vital. Without a strategy, your efforts to attract customers will fail.
The trick is to create a product that customers need and want. The idea is to develop a customer-centric product. A company that isn’t concerned so much about developing a product that they think is great in their eyes, but are invested in creating a product of value to consumers is far more likely to succeed. A strategy must be flexible for this reason. In order to respond to changes in customer demands, it’s important to leave room for flexibility so that when customers change, your product changes along with them.
Let’s look at key elements of a successful marketing strategy for small business.
A successful marketing strategy starts with identifying your customers – what is it that they are looking for and what do their needs. This way, you match your strengths to their needs and create a brand that targets the kind of customers you want to do business with. For example, if your customer is looking for quality first, all of your marketing activities should be aimed at drawing attention to the quality of your product.
It’s important to understand your strengths and weakness when creating a marketing strategy for small business. This will greatly affect your marketing. Start by creating a SWOT analysis; one that takes into consideration your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Strengths could be:
- Personal customer service
- Special features and benefits of your product
- Specialization in your industry
Weaknesses could be:
- Small budget
- Lack of an established reputation
Opportunities could be:
- Increased demand in the sector
- Digital consumers
- New technologies to improve your product
- New competition
- More attractive or cheaper versions of your product
- A downturn in the economy
This kind of analysis will help you measure the potential effectives of these elements so that you can direct your marketing strategy to focus on the strengths while improving the weaknesses and exploring opportunities. You can also prepare for threats when you break down these elements into their categories.
Here is a list of questions to ask when developing your strategy:
- What do we want to achieve – what’s the end goal
- What are customers looking for
- What are our buyer personas
- What’s the best method of communication with our customers
- How do we price our product?
- Which customers are the most profitable?
- Could changing the product increase sales?
- Could extending our product list increase sales and profitability?
And others ones that will work to improve the efforts that you put into your marketing strategy for small business.
- Making assumptions about what your customers want won’t get you very far.
- Don’t ignore your competition – learn from them to improve your own product and spot their weaknesses to capitalize on them.
- Don’t try to grow too quickly – slow and steady wins the race.
Remember: you existing customer base is a goldmine. Work to nurture these prospects first if there is opportunity for selling more. When focusing on the market, focus on you niche – what you can be the best at. Aim to put effort into your biggest customers.
A great tip to make sure you are on the right track is to get a third party to look at your strategy – they may be able to find gaps or weaknesses that you wouldn’t otherwise see yourself.
Create a marketing plan. Set out the aims, actions, costs, dates and resources and always be prepared to change things that aren’t working.
The fundamental goal of a marketing strategy for small business is to increase sales and achieve a competitive advantage. Work to create a brand of value, and creating a marketing plan that will support all the elements of your business. Are you working in a vacuum or do you have a set marketing strategy in place?