As you review articles for help with your small-business marketing, you may notice that many of them focus on a single strategy or method. The reality is that a good marketing plan has balance.
Often today the strategy is online marketing or, getting more specific, social media marketing. Video marketing is also quite popular.
These articles offer useful information but, in my view, they fail to take into account the consumer audience that many small-businesses, especially those in retail, face. Your audience is not comprised of one single demographic. It is probably spread across various demographics – old/young; techy/traditional; mix of income levels; leaders/followers; etc., etc.
And even if you have a well-defined audience, they are exposed to a multitude of marketing messages coming from a multitude of sources with few methods going completely out of style. Millennials still read the paper and “the greatest generation” goes online. Television and radio still play a part of everyone’s life. Everyone is listening to their neighbor and friend for where they shop and what they like. Most consumers also like a good deal and good service.
Not only should your advertising be a mix, but so should your community support efforts. (These are as much a part of your marketing as a sale flyer in the paper). While it is important, in my view, to be a champion of one or two causes that are important to you or are strongly connected to your business, you need to support a range of local causes.
Yes, it is crucial that you are doing some online marketing. A basic website is crucial. Consumers use search tools regularly, even for places they know and for things they buy on a regular basis. This means your site must have a good list of key words so that you come up in a search. Also, social media has a great reach and you might be surprised at the diversity of people who are using it.
Unless your business is highly dependent on one specific audience, a balanced marketing plan increases your chances of remaining visible in the marketplace. Take some time and consider what you might be missing and how to add it to your mix. This may mean having to let something go. If that is the case, use your data from previous marketing efforts to determine where you are getting the biggest bang.
Good luck and happy marketing.
Just for the record, this Forbes article, Small Business Marketing 101, was the inspiration for my comments. You may enjoy it as well. I like the fact they showed a balance in developing a small-business marketing plan.
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