For small business owners, it takes lots of pain and challenges to complete their small business journey successfully. Handling a start-up or any local business is a long run on an arcade filled with unexpected hurdles. As per the study, more than14% of businesses fail and the major reason for this failure is the lack of proper marketing.
You know you need to market your business to become or remain visible to your target audience. But like most small businesses, there are more pressing priorities of operating a business that demands your attention. Your time will be spent on operational issues and you will struggle to find the time to do any marketing at all. Unless, of course, you suddenly notice a lack of sales.
According to research conducted by LeadPages and Infusionsoft, 47% of the small business owners surveyed handle the marketing efforts on their own, struggling to track their return on investment to understand whether their marketing activities are effective. If you fall under the category of small business owners, this article will address some of the struggles and provide some valuable tips and tricks.
- What are the Marketing Problems Faced by the Small Business Owners?
- What are the Marketing Problems Faced by Small Scale Industries?
- How does Marketing Affect Small Businesses?
- What are Marketing Problems in a Business?
- What are the 10 Challenges Faced by Small Businesses?
- What Type of Marketing can Small Businesses Put Money in?
- What are the Importance of Marketing to Small Business Owners?
- Why do Small Businesses Need a Marketing Strategy?
- Types of Marketing
- Why is Marketing Hard for Small Business?
What are the Marketing Problems Faced by the Small Business Owners?
As a small business owner, what would you say is your biggest marketing challenge? Some challenges small business owners face when it comes to marketing might include:
- not enough resources to effectively implement and carry out a marketing plan
- budgetary constraints to hire the right team members
- not sure what direction you need to go or even how to begin
- not enough time to do the marketing tasks you’d like to do
Let’s look at some of them together.
Spreading Brand Awareness using marketing tactics
Making any new or small brands lack popularity as they don’t understand the significance of brand awareness. Moreover, they think that it takes lots of time and money to promote any business. But the reality is marketing any small business has never been so easy.
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There are so many social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others that connect your business to your potential customers. All you need is a small team or digital marketing agency experienced in modern marketing channels. They must practice SEO, social media, content marketing, emailing, and other important tasks regularly & wisely to keep their business alive online.
Finding and Retaining Profitable Customers from competition
Small businesses are not aware of their USPs, and those who know, don’t know how to use them to reach prospects and increase their customer base. They don’t even know how these USPs can help them stand out from their competitors.
Even if they know about their positives, they know much about their customers like their interest, job, income, and other factors. Grouping customers on the basis of common interest or interaction with their business will help you provide what they expect from you like special offers, updates, discounts, etc. Most of the marketing channels work on customers’ demographic details and small businesses fail to consider its significance.
Staying Current in their sector
Many local businesses fail to stay updated with what is happening around in the market and what’s new their competitor are up to. They don’t keep a check on the latest market trend in their business niche, and how their competitors have accepted that change. They don’t have any change in plan for their marketing efforts which degrades their reputation and lets customers lose interest in their business.
Lack Of Proper Marketing
Lack of a proper marketing plan will most likely make you copy your competition’s strategy which will be just a waste of time and money. If you have a unique marketing plan for your business, it will definitely alleviate many of your marketing challenges. It will guide you on your goals and let you market your business to your ideal customer more effectively.
Always be practical about what you can do and what you cannot depending on the resources you have and can afford. Once you define your marketing strategy, it’s time to outline the activities that will come under each strategy. Don’t forget to check these tasks to ensure which ones make sense for your target audience. Always stick to the plan for a definite period until you gain desired results.
Performance monitoring is a reality check on your strategies that will give you real insights into how your business is performing with the new marketing strategy. Highlight the opportunities that you have obtained within that span and also identify the challenges that you had to face. You must be aware of both of them. Measure the ROI to know the final result of all the efforts made.
Lack of Technology Upgradation
Tools and technology keep changing and you have to update yourself with this changing technology just like business trends. Use software and tools to have a better understanding of customer experiences or feedback. Embracing technology like Automation, CRM, Analytics, etc. will make things easier and simpler for business owners. This will alleviate some of the challenges, especially time constraints making time management easy.
What are the Marketing Problems Faced by Small Scale Industries?
Marketing is probably the most important expenditure for any business. Without it, your target market may never know about you, your products, or why buying from you is preferable to the competition; thus, your product or service goes unnoticed and unpurchased. Marketing for small-scale businesses has its challenges that must be overcome for your business to succeed.
One problem of marketing for a small-scale business is the issue of certification. Whatever your product, it is subject to laws and regulations regarding consistency, purity and the like. Vegetables and milk, for example, are not permitted to sell in certain areas unless certified as either organic or disease-free. Acquiring these certifications is often costly for a small-scale business. However, without them, sales will be more limited.
Another marketing problem facing the small-scale business is transportation. A large-scale business can buy an item in bulk, which saves money. A small-scale business may not have the money or demand to order such quantity, which raises item cost. This creates a marketing issue: How can a small company sell the same item as its competition at a higher price and remain competitive? That is why many small-scale industries focus on selling a higher-quality item than their mass-marketed competition.
Cost of Ads
A final problem facing small-scale marketing efforts is the cost of advertising. Running a full-page Sunday newspaper ad or Super Bowl TV commercial is no financial hardship for certain large businesses. However, such costs are obviously prohibitive for small-scale businesses. Thus, many will circumvent this dilemma by forming co-ops to split advertising costs or using local advertising and word-of-mouth.
How does Marketing Affect Small Businesses?
Marketing gets the word out about your business. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of all the services you offer. It builds brand recognition and fosters healthy competition between businesses. It boosts sales, helps you construct a consistent client-base, and helps you make your mark on the world.
Without strong marketing, it is easy to fade into the background and your business can easily disappear. With it, though, you can engage with clients and make your name known. Marketing increases your business’s overall potential, builds your reputation, and increases your reach, and is a tool that must be used in order to ensure your business is the best and most successful it can be.
Are you having a tough time wrapping your head around the importance of marketing? Here are seven reasons why marketing is important for small businesses.
1. Lets the Public Know Your Business Exists
As long as your business makes a great product or provides a great service, you might be under the impression that it’ll be easy for your company to stand out. But that is simply not the case!
There are more than 30 million small businesses in the country today. That makes it easy for companies—even great companies—to get lost in the shuffle.
One of the top reasons why marketing is important for small businesses is because it lets the public know about a company’s existence. You’ll be able to put your small business on the map through your marketing efforts.
2. Educates Consumers About Your Products and/or Services
As the owner of a small business, you spend almost all of your time tinkering with your products or perfecting your services. You know them inside and out and have a clear understanding of how they work.
But a lot of the people who might benefit from your products and/or services probably don’t know much about them. Marketing gives you a chance to educate people about your products and/or services and to show them why they need to buy them from you.
Inbound marketing, in particular, is an effective marketing approach for small businesses. It allows businesses to use a combination of content marketing, social media marketing, and more to educate consumers about the products and services that they sell.
3. Establishes Trust Between Your Business and Your Customers
To make your small business as successful as it can be, you need to build a loyal following for your brand. People are going to have to come back to your business on a regular basis to buy products and/or services from you.
This requires you to build up a certain level of trust with your customers. They need to trust you to provide them with the best products and/or services at the best prices.
Marketing helps to establish some sense of trust between companies and customers. Companies are able to use marketing techniques to create trust with their customers and keep them coming back for more products and/or services in the future.
4. Teaches You About Your Business’ Customer Base
When you first get your small business off the ground, you might have some idea of who your target audience is going to be based on the products and/or services that you have to offer. But over time, you might find that your target audience isn’t who you thought it would be.
Marketing can teach you so much about your customer base. You can take a look at who responds to your marketing efforts the most and use it to change up who you’re targeting your products and/or services at.
You can also use marketing to gain invaluable feedback on your products and/or services from your customers. Specifically, social media marketing has become a great tool for small businesses searching for feedback from customers.
5. Gives Your Business Sales a Boost
At the end of the day, your goal as a small business owner is going to be to make money. You want to sell as many products and/or services as you can to your customers.
As long as you market your products and/or services right, you should be able to drum up sales for your business in no time. Educating consumers about them and talking to people about why they need them will result in more sales over time.
6. Allows Your Business to Remain Relevant
When your small business first opens up or when you first introduce a new product and/or service, it shouldn’t be too difficult to generate interest in your brand. There will be a newness to it that will create some buzz.
But once your small business isn’t new anymore or once your product and/or service has been out for a few months, the newness will wear off. Your small business won’t be on the tips of everyone’s tongues anymore.
You can maintain your company’s relevance by using marketing. Marketing will help you continue to maintain connections with your customers, even when you don’t have a new product and/or service to show them.
7. Provides Your Business With the Opportunity to Grow
In the business world, growth is the name of the game. You want your company to be bigger in a year than it is now.
Without marketing, growth is pretty much impossible. You’re not going to be able to attract new customers to your business if you don’t have a strong marketing plan in place.
By continuing to market your company at all times, you’ll push it to grow bigger and bigger every year. You’ll also continue to learn more about your customers so that you can create products and/or services that cater to their specific needs.
What are Marketing Problems in a Business?
Here are some challenges that marketing teams may face, along with potential solutions:
1. Recruiting talent
A marketing team’s combined levels of experience and expertise are often important factors in creating effective strategies. Because talented marketers are often in high demand, recruiting and maintaining an accomplished staff can sometimes be a challenge. If you’re experiencing staffing issues, consider applying marketing techniques to the recruitment process to make your company more attractive to potential employees.
One approach is improving current employees’ satisfaction through actions like incorporating feedback channels in the workplace, quickly addressing management issues, and hosting team-building activities. If your employees enjoy working for the company, they may encourage others to apply for open positions.
You may also consider offering higher salaries, more flexibility and full benefits. To help improve your image as an employer, try introducing your marketing team on social media channels or creating outlets to let them display their work.
2. Maintaining a sufficient budget
One common challenge marketers may face is a lack of funding or resources. This can occur if a company is experiencing losses or if marketing campaigns aren’t providing a return on investment. Insufficient funds may prevent marketers from reaching their potential or slow a company’s growth.
To overcome funding issues, it’s often important for marketing teams to establish their value to company leadership. One effective strategy is tracking and reporting on valuable performance metrics. Here are some metrics your team could share:
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): This metric tells marketers how much they spend to gain a new customer. It can show leadership that marketers are bringing in new customers at high rates while maintaining low costs.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): This is the average revenue that customers generate for a company over the life of their relationship. High CLVs may help prove that the team’s campaigns are effective.
- Conversion rate: Conversion rates tell companies how effective their marketing is by measuring how many customers make purchases after viewing advertisements. The higher a campaign’s conversion rates, the more successful it is.
- Return on investment (ROI): The ROI ratio measures how much revenue a company receives for every dollar it spends on advertising. Marketing teams can use this metric to show the effectiveness of their campaigns.
3. Generating leads
Leads are individuals or companies who show an interest in your products or services. A primary goal of marketers is to find leads and convert them into paying customers. Lead generation can be challenging, especially in industries with heavy competition. These are some methods for mitigating this issue:
- Monitor new developments in marketing.
- Incorporate new tactics into your marketing strategy.
- Compare your products to those of your competitors.
- Take steps to find out what content appeals to your potential customers.
- Track your conversion rate to discover what earns responses from your customers.
4. Finding the right tools
Marketing tools and tactics often change rapidly, along with customer expectations. It’s important for marketing professionals to use the most effective and current tools for attracting and retaining customers. Using inadequate tools can prevent companies from staying competitive and making the best use of their leads.
One marketing tool is customer relationship management software. These programs can help your team track its contacts, learn more about them and develop effective strategies for getting their business. Your company can also consider using analytics software or marketing automation tools.
Analytics software can automatically track important metrics related to your online campaigns, while marketing automation tools can implement automatic checkout and follow-up to help your customers complete purchases.
5. Being risk-averse
Like many other aspects of business, marketing can involve occasional risks. However, some marketing teams may be excessively reluctant to change strategies they’ve used for years. This impulse may prevent teams from discovering effective marketing techniques, causing them to fall behind current trends and potentially slow the company’s growth.
There are several strategies you can use to ensure your team is comfortable with risk and change. Monitor developments in your industry to find out what works and which new trends to pursue. You can then consider implementing them alongside your current strategy and monitoring their success. Also consider testing new tactics on a single campaign to ensure that your team is comfortable with them before applying the tactics to large sections of your operations.
6. Moving into new markets
Growth is often a primary goal of many businesses, but it may bring new challenges. For example, a company’s expansion into new markets may lead to marketing teams’ existing strategies, goals and structure becoming ineffective.
When moving into new markets, especially international ones, conduct extensive research and consider hiring local marketing professionals who can provide insights, offer recommendations or share important linguistic abilities for expanding into their market. You may also consider optimizing your online presence, including your website and social media accounts, for international audiences.
7. Retaining customers
Customer retention can be an important goal for marketing teams. This is because it’s often more cost-effective than acquiring new customers or converting leads. Low customer retention can increase a company’s advertising costs compared to its profits.
It’s often helpful to invest in retention strategies to ensure your company reaches a sustainable profit margin. Consider making small investments to avoid significant costs associated with turnover. Try offering your current customers discounts or implementing a system of automated email or text messages so you can remain in contact with them. These steps can help your customers feel valued and may increase your average customer lifetime.
8. Retaining and training staff
The expertise of your marketing team is an important asset that can help you stay productive. Hiring new staff can pose challenges to productivity and may divert valuable resources away from your team’s goals. To avoid this, it’s often helpful to increase employee retention and streamline your recruiting and training procedures.
Employee retention can allow your team to continue benefiting from its most valuable employees’ expertise. To increase retention, invest in your employees with competitive salaries and benefits or increase the flexibility of your workplace.
To streamline your onboarding procedures, it may be helpful to recruit experienced marketers and automate your training and onboarding. These steps can ensure that your other team members can stay focused on their marketing goals.
9. Choosing effective tactics
There are many ways to reach your customers. So it’s important to identify which campaigns and strategies are most effective and which ones consume more resources than they produce. Focusing on effective campaigns can help you lower your costs and increase your profitability.
One way to identify your most profitable tactics is to track metrics on all of your campaigns and advertising platforms. You can use automated tracking to make this process easier and more thorough. Once you understand how your campaigns are performing, you can eliminate inefficient platforms and invest more in your best strategies.
10. Facing increased competition
In industries that experience growth, marketing teams may encounter more competition from similar companies. With this challenge, some teams try producing content at a higher rate to increase their market share. While this may be effective, it’s often more helpful to make your content more competitive by improving its quality.
Analyze your different campaigns and focus on the most effective ones. You can then put more resources into further developing those strategies. Consider increasing the quality of your output and focusing your advertising on the unique aspects of your product or service. These tactics may help you outperform your competition even when you produce a smaller quantity of content.
What are the 10 Challenges Faced by Small Businesses?
Whether you’re thinking of starting a small business, or in the first few years of operation, here are common problems we’ve all faced at some point in time.
1. Health Care
Bar-none, one of the most challenging aspects of running a small business comes from managing health care for your employees. Without a doubt, your workers’ health is important, but the increased healthcare costs make finances difficult to manage. While “Obamacare” is undoubtedly beneficial for the health of workers, it’s often the business owners that receive the financial blow.
2. Government Regulations
Each year it seems like the government’s collar around owners’ necks becomes tighter. One of those regulations deals with the environment. The Clean Air Act of 1990 forces you to remove air pollutants, and your vehicles’ contribution to smog, gas and other chemicals that crush the ozone layer. While this act isn’t a bad thing, it is a challenge for business owners who don’t have the proper vehicles or environmental-protection know-how.
Another set of regulations that may damper your business is advertising regulations. In this instance, the challenge occurs when the copywriter enjoys artistic license too much… and puts fraudulent claims in the copy. The Federal Trade Commission applies these regulations to both online and print advertising. (In advertising, honesty truly is the best policy.
Not only to save your own hide but to provide the service your customers expect; when they see that your business is “the real deal” your ads claimed, you’ll dramatically increase the number of lifetime customers who buy again and again.)
3. Federal Income Taxes
Does it feel like each year federal income tax rates skyrocket? It’s unbelievable. Under current U.S. law, the corporate tax rate is currently 15% on the first $50,000 of taxable income. Expect 25% tax rate on the next $25,000, and a whopping 35% tax on income over $10 million. Knowing your state’s tax rate is crucial for minimizing the costly damage of paying them.
4. The Economy
Not even Wall Street stockbrokers—or so-called “masters of the universe”—do not truly know how the economy is going to pan out. Fortunately, a SBA 504 loan can help you if you plan on purchasing commercial property or major equipment.
The SBA 504 loan protects you against the economy’s rising rates, since the loan keeps down your overall finance costs, letting you get the most from tax rates. The uncertainty of the economy’s condition cannot be overstated, and must be treated with the utmost respect; doing so keeps you from taking unnecessary risks.
5. Tax Compliance
When your small business is home-based, home office deductions are vital for keeping profits high. However, regulations concerning record keeping are time-costly and, if you don’t have a penchant for bookkeeping (guilty), frustrating.
If your business makes less than $5 million, you’re allowed to use cash accounting. This is in stark contrast to the more traditional (and complicated) accrual method. The National Federation of Independent Business states that when you invest in your business, Section 179 allows you to instantly deduct the cost of that investment. Therefore, that investment cost can be re-invested further into your company.
6. Cash Flow
From online invoice software to better budgeting systems and effective cash flow management, this challenge can be overcome. However, virtually every small business owner has cash flow problems. One simple tip is to keep strict track of your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.
In “How To Get Rich”, Dennis Publishing founder Felix Dennis had problems getting a loan for his business from a bank. His solution was to keep astute track of his income and expenses. This highly professional bookkeeping impressed the bank, and he finally received his loan.
7. Staying Passionate
In the daily grind of living, it is crucial more than ever to be obsessed with what you’re doing. Otherwise, the quality of your product/services suffers… thereby giving your customers a shoddy experience… which inspires them to take their business elsewhere. That is why obsession is a critical component; when you’re obsessed, working 14-hour days isn’t as big a hassle.
Without obsession, you’re more likely to let your small business fold instead of fighting for it. Without obsession, work becomes another mindless grindstone to put your nose to. If you’re still thinking about starting a business, make sure you are selling a product or service that you are passionate about.
8. Not Diversifying Client Bases
I want you to take a good, long look at your client list. If you have any clients who are responsible for more than half of your business income, it’s time to a) generate more clients or b) work better deals for your other clients. When your income has you riding one “whale”, that one whale could dash off to do business with someone else. Leaving you in the ocean, possibly drowning, while your other clients—or “small fish”—and their small incomes. Don’t let your business rely on one client – it’s a recipe for disaster.
9. Growth vs. Quality
In time, a business may boom beyond growth expectations. Small business owners who haven’t planned for this increase in customers and product/service production are liable to fall by the wayside. As demands for your business increase, without the proper systems in place, you’re more likely to come up short and fall short of those demands. This is why it is crucial for you to scale up your business – without sacrificing the qualities that made you such a hit in the first place.
10. Hiring New Employees
Around the nation, many small businesses face employee hiring troubles. The cost (equipment, benefits, taxes, bonuses, etc.) of hiring new employees, unfortunately, keeps rising. All those hurdles come into play before outlining the position’s salary.
Without employees, a small business cannot run successfully (with the rare exception of home-run businesses). In the event that you can, life would be a lot easier if you had a few employees under your belt. It’s always wise to judge the profit against the cost.
What Type of Marketing can Small Businesses Put Money in?
Before your business starts marketing a product, it helps to create a buyer persona whom you want to reach with your promotional materials. Once you have your ideal customer, you’ll have a wide choice of marketing methods. Most of these are low-cost or no-cost tactics (sometimes called guerrilla marketing). You may use different ones at different stages of your business cycle—or you may utilize them all at once from your business’ inception.
When you build a business, the first thing you want to secure is a customer base. Then, with a decent printer, a phone, and an internet-connected device, you can create a reasonably extensive advertising campaign without paying for space. We’ll look at seven small business marketing techniques in more detail.
This is the carpet-bombing method of cheap advertising. You find an area where you would like to do business and distribute flyers to all the mailboxes within reach. Your flyer should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer or products you sell and providing contact information. Offering a free appraisal, coupon, or discount can help attract your first customers.
Flyers shouldn’t be mistaken for posters. Flyers are more informative, listing services or products provided, contact information, addresses, and specialties.
Most supermarkets, public spaces, and malls offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements. This method is hit-or-miss, but you should try to make your poster visible and have removable tabs that the customers can present for a discount.
Make each location a different color to get an idea from the tabs where the most leads are generated. If one area is producing most of your leads, you can better target your campaign (flyers, ads in local media catering to those areas, cold calling, etc.)
Posters should feature appealing images and catchy, memorable phrasing so viewers will recall it when they’re wondering where to go for whatever it is they need.
3. Value Additions
Value additions (or value-ads) are powerful selling points for any product or service. On the surface, value additions are very similar to coupons and free appraisals, but they aim to increase customer satisfaction and widen the gap between you and the competition.
Common value additions typically include:
- Discounts for repeat customers
- Point cards
- Referral rewards
The deciding factor for a customer choosing between two similar shops might be the one that offers a point card or preferred customer card. You don’t have to promise the moon to add value—instead, point out something that the customer may not realize about your product or service. It’s important to highlight the value additions when creating your advertising materials.
4. Referral Networks
Referral networks are invaluable to a business, which often include customer referrals. These can be are encouraged through discounts or other rewards per referral. However, referral networks also include business-to-business referrals. If you have ever found yourself saying, “We don’t do/sell that here, but X down the street does,” you might want to introduce yourself to Xs owner and talk to them about referral quid-pro-quo.
When dealing with white-collar professions, this network is even stronger. A lawyer refers people to an accountant; an accountant refers people to a broker; a financial planner refers to a real estate agent. In each of these situations, the person stakes their professional reputation on the referral. Regardless of your business, make sure you create a referral network that has the same outlook and commitment to quality that you do.
As a final note on referral networks, remember that your competition is not always your enemy. If you are too busy to take a job, throw it their way. You will often find the favor returned—besides, it can be bad for your reputation if a customer has to wait too long.
Advertising can help attract customers, but what you do after they come in can often be a much stronger marketing tool. Follow-up questionnaires are one of the best sources of feedback on how your ad campaign is going. Some questions you could ask are:
- Why did the customer choose your business?
- Where did they hear about it?
- Which other companies had they considered?
- What produced the most customer satisfaction?
- What was the least satisfying
Also, if your job involves going to the customer, make sure to slip a flyer into nearby mailboxes, as people of similar needs and interests tend to live in the same area.
6. Cold Calls
Unpleasant? Important? Yes, and yes.
Cold calling—whether over the phone or door to door—is a baptism of fire for many small businesses. Cold calling forces you to sell yourself as well as your business. If people can’t buy you (the person talking to them), they won’t buy anything from you.
Over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of a smile or face-to-face conversation—a phone is a license for some people to be as caustic and abrupt as possible (we are all guilty of this at one time or another). However, cold calling does make you think on your feet and encourages creativity and adaptability when facing potential customers.
A combination of old-fashioned pounding the pavement and modern-day pounding the keyboard will provide the best results for a small business looking to market itself.
Warm calls are an alternative to cold calls. You make calls to people you have already met or introduced yourself to through social events, email campaigns, or other activities.
7. The Internet
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the internet in building a successful business. Marketing methods have stayed pretty much the same across the last 50 years, except for the birth and rapid evolution of the internet. No company (even a local café) should be without, at the very least, a website with vital details such as location and hours. You need a point of access for everyone who searches the internet first when they want to make a buying decision.
You may also need:
- A social media presence: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- A content management system (CMS): Word Press, Hubspot, Joomla, or Drupal
- Search engine optimization (SEO) skills: Optimizing your content for searches, internal and external linking, title tags, alt tags, and headings
All this digital dexterity may feel intimidating at first. However, publishing technology has evolved to the point where an open-source CMS can meet all these needs.
What are the Importance of Marketing to Small Business Owners?
we’ll discuss the importance of marketing for businesses along with the reasons.
Effective consumer engagement: Businesses must engage customers, and herein, marketing proves to be an effective tool. Customers can be engaged by telling them what they do not know and creating good content around your products and services.
Building and maintaining reputation: The reputation of your business depends on how it grows and what its lifespan is. This is where marketing comes across as a way to build the brand equity of businesses. And this happens when the expectations of the customers are met.
Building relationships between customers and business: For any business to grow, it must build a long-lasting relationship with its customers. Marketing is based on demographics, psychographics, and consumer behavior and therefore, gives an understanding of what customers want.
Boosting sales: Since marketing utilizes different ways to promote products or services, it helps in increasing the likelihood of better sales. Happy customers translate into a company’s brand ambassadors automatically.
Staying relevant: Marketing helps a business to remain relevant to the customers and in its domain. It helps in maintaining good relationships.
Making informed decisions: The basic questions that every business has are around the how’s and why’s of producing products or delivering services. This underscores the importance of marketing for businesses and the fact that it links a business and society.
Why do Small Businesses Need a Marketing Strategy?
The success story of a business largely depends on the marketing strategy it deploys. An effective business marketing strategy helps in boosting growth as well as growing the number of consumers for a business. Some of the different marketing strategies include promotions and advertising, establishing media relations and other aspects.
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Even when a business provides the best products and services, it is important for people to know about it. This provides information to consumers and makes them aware. Another benefit of a marketing strategy is that it helps in building a company’s reputation thereby leading to better trust among its consumers.
Types of Marketing
The different types of marketing strategies that you should be aware of are:
The term B2B marketing means business-to-business transactions. B2B marketing strategies are used when a company is selling goods or services to some other company.
B2C marketing means business-to-consumer marketing. This refers to a company selling its products or services to consumers and the business promotion is done through ads.
This is the opposite of B2C and means consumer-to-business marketing. In this type of marketing, the consumer gives goods or services to the company.
C2C Marketing refers to consumer-to-consumer marketing. In this, consumers interact with co-consumers when they share a common product or service. An example of this is OfferUp and let go apps.
Why is Marketing Hard for Small Business?
Irrespective of whether you are a business owner or a working professional, there are several critical questions that you should be asking yourself. For example – Are you aware of the needs of your customers? Do you think customers trust your products? Have you observed any of the messages or posts that the customers make about your products and services?
The one word that can answer all these questions is ‘marketing’. But if you are finding it difficult to carry out your marketing effectively, the points below might be responsible for it;
- Lack of resources (budget / people / time)
- Increasing visibility and generating quality leads
- Choosing the right social media platforms
- Consistent execution of marketing activities
- Producing and delivering content
- Keeping up with trends and technology
- Who to trust when outsourcing marketing activities
The rate of change in marketing tools and technology is staggering. But with all the new tools and technology, marketing really hasn’t changed. You still need to:
- Understand your target audience and what problem/need they are trying to solve or fulfill.
- Understand what makes you different and why your target audience would want to do business with you.
- Craft a compelling message to make your target audience take some action.
- Develop the right strategies to reach your target audience with your message.
What has changed is how you deliver that message to your audience.
Traditional marketing reaches your audience via channels such as print advertising, television and direct mail.
New media marketing uses the tools of the Internet to deliver your message. Online channels include your website, digital advertising and social media, email marketing and landing pages or purpose-specific web pages.
Yes, the tools and technology keep changing, but marketing strategy does not.
So trends are important but you don’t need to dwell on it regularly. You want to be aware of new ways to reach your target audience and what will appeal to them, but the new shiny object may not be relevant to your business.