By Brian Petro
A small business has limited resources. I grew up with my parents conducting business at our kitchen table. I did the same, and I understand first-hand the daily struggles of an entrepreneur. Fires are constantly fought, and it’s easy for marketing to never rise high enough on the to-do list to see the light of day, but it must.
There are a lot of ways to define marketing, but I would describe it as the work that goes into creating a positive feeling about your company within your target market. We humans are an emotional bunch and we usually base our purchasing decisions on those emotions.
A good marketing plan for a small business is one that will leave the most favorable impression on your audience with the least possible amount of resources. Without a plan, businesses will waste time and money on uncoordinated branding and promotional efforts whose failures often go unmeasured and successes are impossible to recreate. Here are the essentials:
Branding – Who is your company? Why does it exist? What makes it unique? Use that information to create your company name, slogan, logo, etc.
Messaging – Develop a voice/style to communicate your brand emotionally.
Owned Media – Develop ways to get your message out that you own (signage, decor, website, social media accounts, newsletters, etc.).
Earned Media – Encourage others to spread your message for you (word of mouth, reviews, social media, print/tv/radio coverage).
Paid Media – Buy ads (digital and traditional).
Everything is a Test – Measure all results and constantly refine your message and your outreach methods.
Even if your company is doing great, marketing is still essential. Success breeds competition. How people feel about your company is your primary defense against competitors.
This was a quick overview on the importance of marketing but I’m looking forward to sharing more details with you on this and other related subjects in the future.
A marketing professional with 20+ years of management experience, Brian has a track record of significantly improving both sales and total company valuation. firstname.lastname@example.org