Basic marketing activities every small business needs to master
Starting a business and getting success is a dream to a lot of people. It is very difficult to start and maintain even a small business. There are so many things needed to get started like product offering, business plan, revenue generation, staffing, real estate needed, skills needed – well, a lot
When you finish the setup, have your business ready for serving customers you will be like uffff. But, the efforts you need to maintain and run your business is no less than starting it. Managing cash, assets, people, profit margins, introducing new products……..
However, in all these things, marketing small business is a seriously important task you might ignore, and quickly get overwhelmed with the number of options you have. So, we compiled the very fundamental and basic marketing activities that you can follow and to get started and get success. You can call this a starter pack!
Okay, before going to marketing basics, let’s discuss why marketing is worth spending your bucks!
Marketing acts as a bridge between you and your customers. When you start a business, the people close to you and some others in that area (if it’s a physical business) get to know about it. But if you want more people to know about your business, marketing helps you. It also helps in your key business activities, to create a better product offering, to increase sales, to understand your customer needs, revenue and so on. If you can understand and utilize marketing effectively, you will be a lot close to your business success.
Do market research
Judging by the name, it looks like a complex task, with a high budget and involves serious marketing professions. But, you don’t need all those. You can simply do a survey asking people about their opinions.
At this stage, if you already have a product, ask for people’s opinions around your product offering. What they like, what they don’t like, did they use any of your competitor’s products and so on. Make sure these questions are specific, clear and concise.
It is very difficult to get people to do an honest survey, but these efforts are worthy to every penny. Every bit of the answers that people give is very valuable information. If you are not yet decided on product offering, it is better too. Your survey questions can be vague and help you determine your product offering.
Remember at every stage of your business, you can ask for people’s opinion and you can create, develop and improve your product offering that is demanded by your customers.
Define your buyer persona
A buyer persona or marketing persona is a fictional character with the qualities of your ideal customer. Understanding who is your customer makes life easy for you to do marketing and reduces marketing costs by a mile. It also helps you improve your product/services offering ultimately optimising your costs and increases sales.
With the help of a survey, you could define your buyer persona. For example, if you are offering a product that a specific group of people voted on, collect more information about similar kinds of people, the demographics, usage habits etc. You may create more than one persona, as business usually serves different kinds of customers. You can find a buyer persona template here.
Creating this will help us target personalised messages to them. So, every time you make a business decision or marketing activity, these personas will drive you in the right direction of your customers.
Create a brand
Creating a brand is not only for big companies but also for small companies, it is also one of the basic marketing activities. Most of the time, the business tends to feel a brand is creating a logo. It is not entirely true. A brand is associated mainly with a logo. But it has a lot more to it.
Every business has both tangible assets (buildings, patents, equipment) and intangible assets (personality, tone of voice, expectations). These intangible assets are built over time, with consistent messaging or communication.
Seth Godin defines a brand as: ‘a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a buyer’s decision to choose one product or service over another’.
At the heart of the branding is the value (perceived or real). Value is in the mind of the consumer and affects buying decisions. You can define or understand your brand by asking the following questions
- “Why should a prospect buy a product/service from you rather than from your competitor ?”.
- What are the values that your business establishment is committed to? Did all of your product offerings reflect those values?
- What is the tone of your brand? How did you communicate to customers?
These questions should give you a basic idea about what makes your brand unique and you can design a logo, brand colours and brand ambience around these ideas.
Create a marketing plan and allocate budget
A marketing plan is something that serves as a road map for your marketing initiatives. A detailed marketing plan tells you what to do at a specific point of time and why you are doing it. Different businesses have different goals and the way to achieve them varies vastly. The tools you opt for, the customer’s you serve, everything changes your marketing plan. So, it is important to create a marketing plan upfront to avoid getting into side tracks and wasting marketing budget.
Depending on your marketing plan and tools you’ve opted for, the marketing expense and budget varies. Allocating a budget helps you set up the plans easily and avoid “ not needed expenses “.
Setting up a website and social media channels
Nowadays, a website and social media marketing is a must for any business. These are like a starter pack for any marketing activity. The website serves as a junction for all your marketing activities connecting all other channels, even physical channels.
As people are spending more and more time on social media, it evolved as a great place for marketers to target messages to their audience specifically. This levelled the ground for big companies and small businesses as they compete with almost similar resources, reduced marketing expenses by a mile and brought “ marketing to anyone at any budget “.
Based on your persona definition, select the right marketing channel that your audience spends more time, and build a community around your business. These communities serve as ambassadors for your business. You can also find new customers, increase awareness, and educate about your brand by combining social media channels and websites.
Create and run marketing campaigns
When we talk about finding prospects, create awareness and maintaining a community, these are all made possible by doing marketing campaigns. These are all a set of marketing activities, intended to reach a specific goal. For example, if you share content on your social media from your website, to bring users to the website and ultimately reach your goal.
This is simply combining multiple marketing channels, like social media, website, email marketing, you can reach the goal very effectively and the results will be more than doubled than what you do with a single channel.
However, these campaigns demand a lot of attention when carrying and a bit of expertise to be successful. In case if you need help doing this, you can consult an expert here
Learn from your marketing analytics
You can create great marketing activities and increase your business fourfold in a very short period of time. But all of these doesn’t make sense if you don’t learn from your experiences. The insights gained from your marketing activities, campaigns and website are of immense value. These insights are generated from the marketing activities that you’ve carried and completely tailored to your business.
You can utilize this expertise, understand who are your customers, what kind of people, what they like etc – to improve your persona profile (making it more accurate and more information on your buyer profile) increases your chances of success by many folds.
Develop new product offerings
With so much information gained through analytics, surveys and information directly from your customers (You can ask for feedback on your product/service) you can greatly improve your marketing ROI, sales and revenue.
Along with it, you can utilize the information gained from marketing activities to develop new product offerings, the product that your customer likes and in line with your business. With the information that you have, the chances of getting successful with a developed product are much higher and easier than the initial offering.
In Fact, many big companies develop products from the vast data that they have collected from their existing customers, people similar to their customer profiles and that minimizes the chances of product failure.
These might seem like a huge list of activities, but we promise you, we’ve put every effort into listing these basic marketing activities that have a balance between efforts and getting results. If you have any questions, you can ask us through the comments or book a free appointment with an expert to guide you.