As a new entrepreneur, you have after contemplating for a considerable amount of time, finally taken the plunge and started your own small business and are raring to go. You have considered every aspect about setting up and running the business, taken care of the formalities and legalities, studied and set up at the optimal location and were successful in obtaining a loan too. After ensuring everything is done correctly if you are still wondering what is that factor that is missing and can lure customers to your business? It is in fact, a vital aspect that carries the business forward, irrespective of the type of business, and that factor is marketing.
Importance of Marketing
Marketing and advertising are the actions and steps taken to promote and sell either a product or a service. A technical definition defines it as the “study and management of exchange relationships. Marketing is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers”. The main focus of marketing is the customers and thus marketing and advertising are considered as one of the premier components of business management.
Strategic marketing or devising marketing strategies implies determining the need for a particular product via consumer research and by observing and quantifying sales patterns of goods that are similar. It even includes ways to modify existing products to meet consumer demands or ways to create new products.
The importance of marketing can be described in a single sentence- “no sales, no business”, since marketing has a direct influence on and affects the sales and if there are no sales within the business, then it cannot survive. This emphasizes the fact that marketing is an integral part of every business, irrespective of the kind of business or the size of the business.
Marketing and strategising a marketing plan is important for every business and its success because-
- It helps to identify the customer’s needs
- It helps make your product and services reach the customers and persuades them to buy your goods
- It helps determine the best way to reach potential customers by creating campaigns based on research and studies
- It helps device the shortest path between the customers and the products as well as the brand
- It creates campaigns and strategies that respond to customer preferences in the quickest possible way
These are some of the ways marketing helps a business and is thus vital for the success of a business.
Things To Remember While Deciding Marketing Strategies
While we are now aware of the importance of marketing and associated strategies for the success of a business, the next step is to understand certain factors while devising and planning a marketing campaign for the business. A few basic questions to consider in order to create an objective for the marketing plan include-
- What demographics make up the customer base of your particular business?
- Where do these targeted customers and demographics live?
- Where do these likely customers hang out online and are more often seen visiting which social media platforms?
- How do these customers search for and purchase products that are in your niche?
- Who do the customers listen to when making decisions relative to your product or service?
These points will help narrow down the methods and mediums a business needs to employ to plan their marketing strategies and carry out their marketing plan.
Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
Small businesses often shy away from marketing strategies thinking that it is only for well-established or large businesses, but marketing is necessary and an integral part of every business. Also, there are a number of materials that can be employed as marketing tools.
Some of the marketing strategies that can be employed by small businesses include-
Study The Customers Well
Customers can make or break a business and thus their needs and requirements need to be studied well. It is better to know the preferences of your targeted customers and adjust your products and marketing techniques according to their liking, thus ensuring that you are providing them with what you need. While studying the customers it is advised to take into consideration their preferences and demand, how they shop for your niche product or service, where do they prefer to shop for it, the preferences in terms of pricing, quantity, quality, packaging, etc. can also be taken into consideration.
Adopt Digital Marketing Materials
Once you are aware of what the customer wants or needs you can then employ digital marketing strategies to advertise the product or service since digital times call for marketing strategies that are digital too.
Some of the ways in which digital marketing strategies can be adopted for small businesses include-
Creating A Website
A business needs visiting cards to let customers know if it’s brand and the services it offers and in this digital age a website acts as a visiting card.
An email address has become an indispensable part of everyone’s life now as all kinds of communication,and are a great way of advertising and marketing small businesses.
The number of users on Facebook is proof of its popularity. Owing to its wide reach and ability to reach out to diverse groups all at the same time, makes Facebook a great tool for advertising small businesses.
Using Google Ads
The program offered under Ads enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads and is largely focused on keywords.
Exploring Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. can be explored and advertised on to reach out to target audiences and specific demographics.
Small businesses usually have a niche market and need to target a specific audience, which can be reached out via webinars.
Creating A Blog
A blog can appeal to the desired audience and convert them into customers by sharing ideas, visions in an informal atmosphere.
Using Additional Marketing Material
Apart from digital marketing techniques, there is a marketing material checklist which can be explored and put to use as marketing for the business. Marketing materials consist of content media, print media and design media, all of which form a great method of reaching out to and retaining customers via the different mediums. Some of the design marketing materials include-
- Paper Marketing Material – this includes brochures, flyers, postcards, business cards, menus, magazines, door hangers, rate cards, calendar, etc which can be used as mediums of advertising.
- Promotional Marketing Material – this includes material that can promote the brand and in turn the business, such as t-shirts, mugs, sacks, gift certificates, event tickets, keychains, hand booklet, etc.
- Stationery Materials – this includes oft used items that can help advertise and create brand recall via pens, books, label, stickers, envelopes, hang tags, note pads, sticky notes, bookmarks.
- Print Marketing Materials – this includes printed marketing material such as brochures of the company, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, catalogues, data sheets of the products, testimonials, newsletters, greeting cards for various festivals or thank you cards, etc.
Banners, signboards, posters, and loyalty cards are also other forms of marketing material which can be used to advertise and create a brand value for the business and its products.
Coupons and Deals
Apart from using digital methods and advertising strategies for small businesses, there are a few indirect methods which too can be used while planning a marketing campaign for small businesses. One of these is to offer coupon and various deals which ensure that customers return to your business repeatedly. Similarly, loyalty programs and points too can be introduced to ensure that customers come repeatedly and remain loyal to the brand and its products.
Along with these marketing strategies, other methods too can be explored while devising strategies for marketing, such as offering consultations or even partnering with other businesses for events and contests for an indirect advertising method.
Small businesses can get to know more about advertising strategies and techniques, including digital marketing material, by talking to deAsra associates, who are always ready to help small businesses grow.