Marketing doesn’t always mean spending tons of money to get the word out. Marketing on a shoestring budget just means that you need to be imaginative, innovative and think way outside the box. To understand how to approach marketing as a process in a business, it may be helpful to understand the definition of marketing;
Marketing is getting someone who has a need to first become aware of you and then trust you enough to buy. Now to gain this responsiveness, get this trust and be considered during the procurement, a process and plan are needed to approach marketing.
The good news for today’s small business owner is that the Internet and local advertising can provide targeted reach at a reasonable cost. In particular, email, Internet marketing, and classified advertising can generate huge returns for small businesses.
A strategy and tactics are both important to achieve success in marketing. But there is a priority to them. Strategy conversations always come first.
If one develops a clear strategy, it will attract the right tactics. If one doesn’t have a clear strategy, no tactic will deliver. The way to start with strategy is to decide who matters and what matters. Time must be spent narrowly defining the ideal clients and finding some unique proposition that these ideal clients value before proposing any tactics aimed at lifting sales.
Knowing about where potential clients or customers are going is prime. Create real relationships with your prospects and customers. Answer their questions, solve their problems and help them if they’re stuck.
Your prospects want to know that there’s a real person in front of your small business. Nothing matters more to a business than how they make customers feel during their experience with the brand.
How the customer feels determined whether your business survives or sinks. The secret to every business organic growth is great customer experiences, not the marketing done in the pages of a magazine, newspaper, trade publication, on TV, social media post or other media outlets.
The best way to produce content that works as marketing is to have it focus on the problems and desires of prospects and customers. It’s all about delivering independent value with content before you attempt to make the sale.
Next is taking your business to the digital world. This is what we have known as Digital marketing. It’s actually no longer a secret that online marketing is not an option anymore.
It’s absolutely a requirement for your small business if you want to continue to grow and thrive. As a small business owner, you need to take advantage of the web. Your business must be easily found online, easily engaged online, and easily communicated with online to facilitate offline engagements (calls, meetings, etc.) This requires a focus on SEO, Social Media participation and having a website.
If your marketing is going to eventually take hold, then you need to make a strong commitment to seeing it through until it sticks. Don’t give up in the early stages. The fruits of your marketing labors don’t happen overnight.
You need to plant your marketing seeds and tend to them regularly before your marketing garden blooms. Marketing is much like breathing. It’s the life of your small business and should be a regular part of your daily business activities.
Become a media company
In almost every industry today you are first a media company, then whatever your core expertise is. Media company/Accounting firm, media company/repair service, media company/HVAC services, media company/construction contractor. Every element of marketing today relies on some form of content to create awareness, educate customers, create sample engagements, improve the purchase experience, and generate referrals properly.
In this step business owners must commit to creating content much like a publisher might. Not just any content though, you need to create content that works as marketing — building know, like and trust, some even consider this the new branding.
The Internet has disrupted the traditional sales process, allowing the prospective customer or client to begin on their own terms via search and social media.
This means the savvy business owner must adapt to the information-empowered prospect in a fashion that more resembles courting than it does selling.
Mix lead generation
Lead generation is essentially a game of finding the right mix. There is no one magic way to generate tons of leads. One mistake some business owners make is to rely on one or two ways to generate leads.
In many cases, there will be one of two ways that seem most effective. Speaking, for example, is a great way to present your ideas and brand to willing prospects. But, to build a winning business you need to generate awareness and trust by appearing everywhere — integrating online and offline.
This means speaking, writing, advertising, PR, and referral generation. The impact of multifaceted lead generation is that it speeds the sales cycle dramatically and often removes proposals and price shopping.
Know your business strong point.
Every business owner essentially wants to know the one thing they can do to get massive results, the magic pill they can take, the one bit of advice from an expert that will turn the ship around.
In today’s internet and social media age, there are now more low-cost marketing options than ever before. Not only is it possible, but absolutely achievable to substantially grow your small business on a shoestring budget.
The truth is, marketing is mostly a bunch of hard work, done consistently. Once you build the various elements of your marketing process you must map it out on a calendar, test, analyze, tweak and improve it continuously.
It must be known that marketing is a process that doesn’t have an ending if we are doing it the right way. We must keep striving on how to increase leads.
Over 20% of existing customers will purchase from again (since they already know and have trust in the business), so creating an additional way for them to make purchases is necessary.
Related: Help For Small Business Owners