Marketing Strategies for Small BusinessesEffective marketing strategies or marketing campaigns often consist of a combination of several marketing tactics that work together in a synergistic way to establish your brand, reduce sales resistance, and create interest and desire for your product or service.
Each business is different, in terms of which marketing strategies or combination of marketing strategies would be the best to use, but here's a general overview of some of the more effective approaches, many of which don't have to be overly expensive.
Create and promote a website: Most small businesses that do not have some sort of Internet presence are losing sales and missing out on a powerful channel for communicating with the public. Marketing tip: A website is an even more powerful vehicle for reaching out to your customers if your web address (domain name) is easy to memorize. While ads in the Yellow Pages still have their place in small business marketing, the public is increasingly turning to the Internet to search for products and services they need. I don't know what the future of the clunky, old-fashioned phone book is going to be, but, for many people, it's a lot more convenient to go to their Internet browser and type in what they're shopping for than to lug out the heavy, bulky telephone book (especially if you live in a large city) and leaf through the pages. Another advantage of having a presence on the Web is the fact that you can get people to visit your web site (or even just a web page) by including your web address on your business cards, brochures, direct mail pieces, Yellow pages ads, press releases, newsletters, email correspondence, and any other printed or electronic communication that is distributed to your customers or prospective clients.
Know your competitive advantages: If you haven't spent some time brainstorming, listing, and writing down what's called your "Unique Selling Proposition", "value proposition", or "competitive advantages", then you're not ready to put your best foot forward when giving sales presentations, writing web site content, writing and placing ads, or communicating in any way with your prospective clients or current customers. One of the cornerstones of developing a successful marketing strategy is being able to present a compelling case to people of why they should do business with you and choose you over the competition. Sometimes when small business owners do an analysis of their competitive advantages, they reach the startling conclusion that they don't have any! When they find themselves at that rather awkward crossroads, they can do one of two things: 1) They can continue offering the same service, pricing, selection, or specials that they've been offering, or 2) They can re-evaluate the the uniqueness and competitiveness of their offers, services, or customer benefits, and then develop ways to add value to their customers' experience.
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