small business marketing
Next week, I’m heading to the northeast for a week of presentations to local small businesses. My topic? “How to Market Effectively.”
Sounds fairly broad, so I’m narrowing it down to some basics. The first thing I discuss is branding.
What is a Brand?
I’ve written about this many times. A brand is not just your logo, look, or colors. It’s the combination of a customer’s experiences with your business at every touch point along the customer journey.
Your small business’ brand emanates from the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors of anyone and everyone involved in it. Every word, action, nuance, interaction, story, appearance, etc., has a profound impact on your customers’ experiences.”
(from Beyond Your Logo – 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success, © 2015, Elaine Fogel)
Although 45% of small businesses say that increasing profit is their biggest challenge, and 43% say it’s growing revenue, many are missing important marketing opportunities that can help them reach these objectives.
The 2016 State of Small Business Report from Wasp Barcode Technologies, demonstrates where these opportunities lie.
Starting with marketing investments, the majority of small businesses (SB) invest less than 7% of their annual revenue in marketing.
- 5% said they’re not sure about their marketing investments (Yikes!)
- 9% don’t invest in marketing at all!
- 25% invest 1-3%
- 29% invest 4-6%
Whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Yet many small businesses don’t allocate enough money to marketing or, worse, spend it haphazardly.” Caron Beesley, US Small Business Administration (USBA) blog
Is digital marketing losing its luster? Digital marketing channels are getting so saturated that marketers are re-examining traditional marketing. Say what?
There’s no such thing as the perfect channel that will provide a solid return on investment (ROI) forever. With the ubiquitous emphasis on digital marketing these past few years, people have put a lot of money into social media, websites, blogging, digital content marketing, lead generation, inbound marketing, search marketing, email marketing, etc., etc. If you’re operating a smaller business or nonprofit, every marketing dollar counts, so choosing the “best” channels for your target audiences is crucial to success.