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Small Business Marketing Strategy

small business marketing strategy

A Strategy for Building Your Marketing Strategy

Recently I Googled “small business marketing strategy.” I was curious about what would come up on the results page. I saw things like “use Facebook” and “run Google ads” and advice on sending direct mailers.

All of these are great ideas, but they are tactics, not strategies.

The difference? Tactics do well in search engines, but they are completely disconnected from your unique business goals. They aren’t tied to your business plan; they miss the boat on what actually constitutes a strategy.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat.” – Sun Tzu

It’s time you establish your brand’s marketing strategy. A true marketing strategy reflects the “who” and “why” of your business. Your strategy determines what your tactics should be.

Without a defined strategy, you are very likely to zig and zag between tactics with no real clarity about what is actually producing an effective return for your business. And isn’t that what marketing is all about?

The Three Components of Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

When you think about what you want your marketing strategy to accomplish, it’s best to keep these three principles in mind in order to have a successful marketing strategy:

  • Your Ideal Target Customer: Your ideal customer isn’t just someone with a pulse. Who are your best customers? Come up with a list of your best five customers, and that probably gives you a strong picture in your mind. You can examine what makes them so ideal:
    • Their demographics, including age, gender, location, income or net worth, even the number and ages of their children
    • Psychographic information: their occupation, title, life stage and the problems they have that your company can solve. Where did they find information about your company?
  • Unique Value Proposition: This is where you can acknowledge that there is detail and value in the kind of service you supply; it’s the quality of your brand.
    • Why did your best customers choose you over other brands? And why do they stay with you? Dig deeper than just “service” or “quality,” and look into the personal stories. When have you really delivered value for your customers? Call them and ask! It’s a great opportunity to talk to them.
    • Don’t assume that you know what your value is. Your customers may point out a factor or an experience that you take for granted. Without differentiation and your brand’s unique value, you are doomed to compete on price and run a race to the bottom. That won’t set your business up for success.
  • Core Story: Once you have your target customer profile and your unique value, you can craft your core story. This story should be yours alone—it cannot easily be duplicated by your competition.
    • Your core story then, is the answer to the question, “What do you do?” When people ask, your core story is just that—the core of who you are as a brand.

Building Your Personalized Marketing Strategy

Next, it’s time to build your marketing strategy. With a strategy in place, you are able to create targeted tactics so you can attract and convert more of your ideal customers.

You should examine the way you do everything. Maybe your website needs a makeover. Maybe you need a totally new website. Even your social media content should reflect your core story and your brand voice to help the right folks best engage with your business.

Your core story should be reflected in the way you conduct your everyday business—that is the value your company provides.

Your content and all of your marketing tactics should echo this strategy too. It should speak to the customer’s journey within your market:

  • How they find and learn about your company
  • How they engage with your company
  • How you retain them as a customer
  • How you use referrals to generate more customers

This strategy should change and grow as much as your company does. Are you just starting out? Walk before you run. Learn to understand your target market and your value, and start to infuse that in your marketing messages, whether that be on your website, in your emails or on your social channels.

This means that it’s OK to start small. You may not be able to handle multiple channels at once. Avoid giving “half effort” to something or investing where you do not yet understand the return. If you can’t explain why you are doing something, stop and then see if the results change. And if nothing does? You can eliminate an unnecessary tactic and save yourself time and money.

Starting small means you can be specific. You always can add things back in. Think of your marketing like a “maturity matrix” that you can grow and evolve over time.

What’s Next?

So how should you develop your marketing strategy? By starting today:

  • Call three of your best customers. Ask them why they do business with you and about the real value you provide. You may learn a lot.
    (While you’re at it? Ask them to leave you a review on Google or Facebook too!)
  • Now is the time to determine whether you can tell your business’s marketing efforts apart from the competition. Ask three people who don’t work for you to see if they can too.
  • Get your Google My Business profile claimed and optimized. Far more people see your business on Google before they ever come to your website. Is it professional and polished?
  • Start to track your results. You may not be able to trace everything down to the penny—and that’s OK, but you must begin to understand where your customers are coming from and how much it costs you to acquire them.
  • Download my Seven Steps for Small Business Marketing Success guide, and gain a deeper knowledge of what to do next.

Taking Charge of Your Future

Putting in the effort to develop a living, breathing marketing strategy will pay off in a myriad of ways. You will gain confidence in your marketing efforts. You will have an improved understanding of the type of company you are building. And you will have higher profits because you are attracting the right kinds of customers.

Want to discuss this with me further? Developing marketing strategies for small businesses is what I do best.

Let’s get in touch today and see how far a well-designed marketing plan can take your brand!


Photo by Iker Urteaga on Unsplash