Communiations, local government, marketing, public sector

Marketing tips for small businesses

Has your business been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you had to pivot, diversity or seek new markets to survive? If you, like many other small businesses, are reaching for the marketing toolkit to help you generate more income, here are five tips to help you.

Be clear about who you’re targeting

Don’t believe that you can target everybody. You can’t reach all of the people, all of the time, so be really precise about the people you want to target, develop a clear picture of that customer, and do everything you can to reach them. Think about your entire potential customer groups as an orange. Each slice, or segment, represents a segment of your target market, and each slice has different likes, needs and views.

Every piece is unique, and you can’t tackle every slice at once. So take them one at a time, and take the time to understand and connect fully with each segment.

Beware of the bandwagons

Marketing has seen lots of trends over the years, and with changing technology, these trends are coming thick and fast. Every five minutes there’s a new social media platform, design software or SEO approach based on an algorithm change. It’s easy to get drawn into the hype and believe that the new tool or method is right for your business, however you need to be careful. Your resources are limited, and you can only focus on doing a finite number of things well, so focus on what’s working for you and stop when it stops working. If you’re thinking of trying a new tool or software, find out what real results other businesses, not salespeople or online ‘gurus’, are experiencing, and do an honest analysis of whether your ideas align with your company’s values, vision and objectives.

Focus on customer experience

We’re living in a world where people are baffled by choice. It’s a buyer’s market, and those buyers are becoming more difficult to please as more, new and different options greet them each day. You need to work hard for their time and attention, and you will only get it if everything you do is based upon trying to provide the best possible experience, every time.

Keep learning

For the reasons described above, and because technology is moving so fast, marketing is an industry where you’re always running to keep up. You can only ever truly succeed if you’re continually learning, changing and adapting to meet new environments, new customer demands and embracing new technology. There is no time to stand still. Read Marketing Week, sign up to Seth Godin’s daily blog, watch TED Talks, join a professional body, take part in webinars run by thought leaders and industry experts. Most importantly, think about a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualification so you can be sure you’re learning the most relevant information and developing your expertise.

Take a break

The work of a marketer is never done. With endless social media platforms to update, blog posts to write, strategies to develop and customers to understand, it’s easy to work long hours and get lost in an online world. Make sure you’re focusing on the activity you have measured and can prove it works, and make sure you take time out to reflect, learn, find offline solutions, and maybe eat a chocolate orange.

Whether you’re a full-time marketer or a business owner trying to find ways to grow your business, we salute you. It’s not easy. Keep going, know you’re not alone, and if you have any questions, just ask.

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