Small Business Marketing Simplified

There is a lot of “noise” in the market these days. Getting your product or service to stand out from the competition can be difficult. Entrepreneurs know the value of product placement and getting in front of the right customer. Many small businesses make the mistake of just putting information into circulation and then sitting back waiting for the phone to ring or the email box to fill up.  Some business owners are exhausted from trying every possible marketing program they can find. No matter where you are with your business, here are four tips on how to be more effective in launching a product or service.

It’s all about being different…

As a business owner, you know your product inside and out. You know exactly why a customer should buy it above the competition. All the features and benefits of your product are clear to you but you need to communicate this to your customer in a way that emphasizes how their life will be improved or how your product or service will solve a problem. To do this, you need a Unique Value Proposition. Your value proposition specifically outlines what makes you different from the competition in a focused, memorable manner.  This statement can be fun or strictly business but it must be clear and concise and focus on the solution and benefits.

Target the right customer…

In these days of mass media and extensive technology reach, a small business owner has the ability to literally reach millions of people with a few minutes of effort on a mobile device. While this may sound impressive it is most likely not very effective. The key is to reach hundreds or thousands of “qualified” customers instead of millions of casual viewers. You can do a simple exercise to make sure you are targeting the right customer.  Simply record a list of all the attributes that describe your ideal client. How old are they? Gender, education, income, home-ownership, pet-owner, hobbies, are just a few data points that may help you define your ideal customer. Many business owners overlook the potential customer’s ability to buy their product or service also.  Make sure the ideal client, has the funds or financing required to actually buy your product or service. The more you know about the client the more effective your marketing will be.

Figure out where everyone hangs out…

There is a saying, “Fish where the fish are.” This is very true in marketing a product or service. While we just discussed knowing as much as you can about your client, part of that needs to include knowing where to find them on a regular basis. What publications do they read? What websites do they visit? What social media platforms do they subscribe to? Where do they spend their off time and what radio station do the likely listen to?  If you know where a client hangs out, you can be much more targeted and effective with your marketing and delivery of your unique value proposition. Too many business owners waste too much time marketing where their customers aren’t!

Know somebody who knows somebody…

Usually, when you attend a networking event, there is at least one person in the room that everyone seems to know. There is normally someone in the room who has been in the area or in your line of work for a very long time.  They may not know every name but they know how things get done and where to find the contacts and short-cuts needed to accomplish your marketing goals. These people are the influencers that you need to get in touch with. This process may not lead to a direct sale but it very well lead to ongoing, sustainable leads for your product or service.

The Small Business Development Centers are ready to assist you with marketing and sales strategies. Consultants are available at no charge to help you create marketing plans and provide guidance on market research. Contact our office at 803-777-1020.

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