Small business marketing can work wonders: it can help you increase your income, reach new customers, build strong relationships, and much more. It is not something reserved only for large companies. All companies, regardless of size and budget, should use this tool to grow and prosper.
However, most small business owners feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the amount of terms associated with marketing. They don’t know where to start and how to create effective marketing strategies. This article will help you understand the basic marketing concepts that all small business owners should know. Moreover, here you will learn how to launch your marketing strategies. If you’re just starting in the world of small business marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
What is marketing?
You already know that marketing is an essential tool for the growth and success of your business. But do you know what it is?
In simple terms, these are activities that you can quantify and that help you create and maintain customers. With a constant flow of new and loyal customers, you can guarantee the prosperity of your business. Basically, marketing gives you different tactics for your company to succeed, including:
- Strategies to create more customers.
- Strategies to persuade customers to buy more.
As you can see, the core of all good marketing is to consider your customers as the most important. Creating relationships with your customers, knowing who they are, and what their challenges and needs are, is the basis of effective marketing for small businesses. But how can you achieve those goals if you don’t know very well who your customers are?
These tips can help you:
● Know your customers online: understand who your customers are and what their shopping habits are. You can collect this information through emails or personal calls.
● Create a profile of your client: this profile details your gender, age, habits, tastes and challenges.
● Create a customer database: you can add any information about a customer that is relevant to your company in an Excel spreadsheet or in a customer relationship management system (or “Customer Relationship Management” in English, CRM by its acronym).
● Meet your customers not only online but also in person, so you can establish a solid relationship with them. In return, this will allow you to provide a first class service and establish the confidence necessary for the successful purchase process.
That said, keep in mind that marketing is not the same as advertising. Advertising is just one component of marketing, which is a broader concept. Advertising refers to paying for the space necessary to promote a product or service, while marketing, on the other hand, includes public relations, pricing, product distribution, sales strategy, customer service , participation in your community, market research, a marketing plan and a budget allocated to marketing. We will focus next on the last three crucial components.
What is market research?
Now that you know what marketing really is, let’s see what market research is about. This strategy will help you identify the specific segment of customers that may be interested in your product or service and that may benefit from it.
Adequate market research is not only reserved for large companies. It is a necessary step that will help you understand who is willing to pay for your products. That way, you will avoid costly marketing mistakes.
Your target market is a very specific and small segment of the population interested in your business, services or products. Not everyone or all consumers make up your target group. Directing your marketing activities to a very specific sector will benefit your business in many ways: it will save you time and money and get faster results.
For example, if you have a dog care business, your target market will be reduced to pet owners only. If you have a beauty salon, your target market will be broader, but as a small business owner, you can focus only on the female population of your area or neighborhood.
To identify your target market, think about who needs your product or service. Determine their gender, age, location, level of education, income, interests, main challenges and needs. Your website or the statistics of your social networks can provide you with valuable information. In addition, you can organize online surveys, telephone interviews or different contests to obtain information about your audience.