Small Business Marketing – An Essential Step In Success

Regardless of the size, a small business must focus on marketing, just like any business of a substantial size. Unlike big businesses, small businesses have a lot of factors that make marketing more difficult. Primarily, these efforts are hindered by budgets and resources.

A marketing strategy is a step-by-step process that examines a business situation or environment. The plan identifies a target client/market, key competition, challenges and opportunities in the market.

Marketing is such an important part of the business process. It’s what brings consumers and products together in a market place.

When you have a well thought out plan in place, you generate more sales because you capture the attention of the market quickly. Small business marketing often has to be especially innovative to overcome the challenges of the limited resources. Your marketing plan forms the foundation for your business decision making, and acts a reference point for making decisions about direction changes. Marketing plans allow you to work towards your predetermined goal.

Primarily, this type of marketing focuses on developing a product or brand identity. A good marketing plan begins with understanding your company’s unique selling position in the marketing place. What is it that makes your products or services unique? Your brand incorporates that unique selling position and establishes an impression of your company in the mind of the target customer.

Many small businesses choose to use some simple methods of marketing their products and brand to their clients. Some methods of marketing include development of a web site, direct mailing efforts such as postcards or brochures, or email marketing campaigns, including newsletters. These marketing efforts are very cost effective – they allow you to contact clients at very little cost and begin the steps of developing brand recognition.

One of the advantages a small business has is flexibility. Although a small company doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money to invest in marketing, they have the advantage of being able to make decisions quickly. If a marketing strategy isn’t working, these businesses can quickly change direction and respond to the needs of a changing market place. Small businesses do have some advantages over the giants – how many can change their marketing strategy within a week?

Marketing for a small business is something that has to be consistently done, almost on a daily basis. You can easily implement a number of marketing tools, such as daily emails, blogs to your website, flyers on windshields or door hangers, etc.

One option a business has is to partner with another business and stretch marketing. Look for a small business that offers a supporting product or service and try to partner with them. Working in partnership with another company gives you flexibility to share expenses, such as graphic designers, printers, web site designers, etc. By sharing resources and times, you may stretch your budget much farther.

Small business marketing is necessary for success. In many cases, your best marketing tool is word of mouth – from satisfied clients. Marketing is essential part of any small business success. Whether you focus your time on developing a marketing plan yourself, or use the advice of experienced professionals, marketing will help establish your company brand and image.

Internet Marketing Promotion And Advertising Online Direct In 3 Easy Steps

Sometimes The Cheapest Deals Are Not Necessary The Best

I would be the first person to testify to that if I were standing right in front of you now. Even if the Internet marketing promotion and advertising direct methods has been around for quite awhile, the business world online is rapidly evolving.

Here are the 3 steps to ensure that you maximize your advertising and promotional dollars. A wise business person knows best when to put his money into a product and when to hold back.

Step 1: Determining Your Core Target Market

Before I get shot down here let me just make a bold statement. This advice is really an old age, proven strategy but the best way to explain it is this way.

You can start out by drafting how your business will help the prospect either financially, physically or emotionally. Pin pointing the exact problem that your prospect faces and then seeing your product or services as a solution will indeed bring you to an immediate advantage point.

Step 2: Budget Versus Quality

We all know that today a web hosting solution can be ranging from $10 – $100 monthly for a good service. Its all good and the cheaper the better. However, for Internet marketing promotion and advertising online direct methods this will not be entirely true.

So, your mindset should be that when it comes to advertising, good quality prospects or leads comes with a hefty price. You can always do a quick research by checking out the feedback of customers who used that certain advertising deal.

Step 3: Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag

My biggest secret yet is this: find a really reliable source for advertising which does everything for you. If they’re good then repeat your internet marketing promotional activities again and again.

Once its all dried up move on to the next and repeat the entire process all over again. Sure, it takes some effort but its only worth a few days work for months or massive revenue. Call it passive income generation.

Even if you feel a little nervous because it is your first time using Internet marketing promotion and advertising online direct methods do not fear. Remember that life is too short and you must take risks to live life to the full.

Integrated Marketing Tip 3 – Direct Mail and Email Marketing

Let’s All be Friends: Integrating Direct Mail and Email Marketing Marketers understand that first impressions mean everything. And they also know that those good impressions need to be sustained. Messages should be reinforced – many times, and in multiple channels – until your audience sees you as recognizable, trustworthy, and someone they want to do business with.

Unfortunately, using only one channel – say, email exclusively – to communicate your message forces the recipient to interact and respond via the channel you choose, not the one that is most comfortable for the recipient. That one-size-fits-all approach often leads to less-successful campaigns; but it can be avoided by using email in concert with direct mail. Indeed, response increases across the board when direct mail and email are combined in a multi-channel campaign. This two-ply marketing strategy will also strengthen your brand by reinforcing a consistent theme across channels.

Fortunately, the tools to coordinate a synchronized, direct mail and email campaign do not need to be overly complicated. Where do you begin? There are four elements to consider: branding; timing; the call to action; and analysis.

1. Branding and consistency: Both your direct mail piece and your email should contain the same slogans, logo, and other marks that help your prospects identify your company. If your marketing campaign includes a tagline or other brand-reinforcing slogans, you can repeat those in both the email subject and the envelope copy or a prominent line in the postal piece. Simple and to the point is best: keep your headline between 30 to 40 characters and try to make it brand-specific, action-oriented, or benefit-driven. To maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail and email campaign, play one off the other – and play to each channel’s strengths. You might, for example, consider sending the direct mail piece first, introducing the benefits you offer the prospect. Let the recipient know that in a week you’ll be following up with an email with a special online coupon.

2. Timing and frequency: Much has been studied and written about the day of week and time of day that maximize email open rates (it really depends on your audience – test and see what works best for you). More important is the timing of your email relative to your print mailer. In most cases, it is best for the first email to hit a week after the postal mail arrives (give or take a day or two). The printed piece goes first because it has a longer shelf life. Emails should continue at regular intervals.

How often should you mail? It depends on what you’re sending. Brochures and catalogs are often mailed quarterly, accompanied by monthly emails. Postcards and smaller printed pieces can be mailed more often. The general rule is to send two to four emails for every printed package.

3. The call to action: The importance of the call to action really can’t be overemphasized. Every piece in every channel needs a strong call to action. By using multi-channel vehicles, you have the opportunity to restate your call to action multiple times, and perhaps in multiple ways (maybe the print mailer asks the recipient to visit your store and the email asks her to visit your website).

4. Analysis: Some businesses measure a marketing campaign’s success by identifying responses by channel. Yet this is not as accurate as viewing the results as a whole. Remember that the whole point of integrated marketing is that channels reinforce each other. So the consumer may respond to an email, but it is possible the initial postal piece was the reason why he opened the email to begin with. Or the customer may phone in an order after reading both a direct mail piece and an email. So it’s important to test your email and direct mail campaigns individually, but to also measure how well they worked in coordination with other channels. In an effective integrated marketing campaign, the channels will work in harmony and, therefore, it is best that they are evaluated that way.

Direct mail and email have different strengths. But sending a consistent message through both channels is a great way to generate multiple contacts with your prospects, reinforcing your consistent messaging and building a relationship with your targets (which is, after all, the key to the sale).