Why You’re Wrong to Think Your Small Business Doesn’t Need Marketing
That’s right. If you plan to stay in business for the foreseeable future, you need to be marketing.
If you’re the small business owner that has never knowingly utilized any marketing before, you’re probably saying to yourself, “No, I don’t. We’ve been doing just fine without it so far!”
However, you may be surprised to learn that you have been marketing, albeit inadvertently. Nevertheless, it is always better to know what message you are sending to your potential patrons and it rarely hurts to add on some more well-planned efforts to those already in action.
The term “marketing” covers a wide swathe of elements and outlets. Many of these you probably associate with marketing, but many others probably wouldn’t be the first to come into your mind. Speaking in very broad terms, just about anything your organization does can factor some way into your marketing in one way or another, as every visible action will likely influence public perception.
So you might now be thinking, “Well then, if everything I do is marketing, then I don’t need to do anything for it specifically!”
Not quite. Without a direction to your marketing efforts, you won’t have any control over the impression you make to your future clients, which defeats the entire purpose of marketing in the first place.
After all, your marketing is almost certainly the first point of contact prospective new clients will have with your business. After that, it will likely be the second, third, fourth, as far up as the twenty-seventh contact your business makes before the prospect finally converts into a client. Without these touches, you will never achieve any conversions, at least not at the volume you need in order to remain in business, and marketing is what provides you with these touches.
Furthermore, consider your competition. While the huge companies that possess a considerable number of subsidiaries and operate on a national scale may first come to mind, your real competitors are the other local providers just like you. They are the ones in the same position that you are, directly targeting exactly the audience whose business you want to collect. The thing that sets all of them apart from you at the moment is that they are likely marketing themselves in some way, be it through local media, local events, or even mailers or billboards. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take the giant corporations into account, but you should also not shape your entire approach around their presence.
Actively participating in marketing as well is one of few ways you can close the gap between your own business and your competition, all the while carving out your own niche by promoting your services in a way that suits your desired perception of your business. With some well-produced and timely campaigns, you can compete with the other SMBs in your area, establishing your place in the minds of potential clients.
If price is a concern (and let’s face it, it always is) there are some relatively inexpensive marketing initiatives to utilize.
Social networking is an excellent marketing tool, as you can portray your business exactly as you please while delivering value to those who visit your page for the low, low price of “free.” Of course, to give yourself an extra boost, most social networks also allow for relatively inexpensive sponsored posting to get your message in front of more eyes than would see it organically. What’s more, your social media can be connected directly to your website - another critical component to any company’s success.
Make use of your existing customers by implementing a customer referral program. Offer your current clients discounted services each time one of their referrals becomes a client themselves.
It never hurts to attend local events to distribute complimentary company-branded merchandise. While there will be some small production costs (t-shirts, mousepads, and car magnets, while inexpensive, aren’t free after all) you will more than make up for it in the equity from the gains in brand recognition, plus the positive public reaction to your participation in the event. If a local road race is coming up, hand out specially branded water bottles to the runners as they pass by your station. Forming teams for charity events can produce equivalent, if not greater, public opinion and impressions as well. If there aren’t any events coming up in your area, there’s nothing to stop you from hosting your own, either.
Regardless of how successful your business currently is, the right marketing could only improve it. We can help you put together a marketing plan to help you get a great start to your promotional efforts. Reach out to us.