The one-size-fits-all marketing approach has never been effective, especially for small businesses. Small businesses are as unique as the people who run them. There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to marketing. We’re here to clear some of them up.
1. You have to spend a fortune. The Small Business Administration recommends spending up to 8% of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising. However this is just a guideline. Marketing success is less about how much you spend and more about how strategically you spend. You’ll have to do a bit of testing before you figure out your company’s own secret sauce when it comes to marketing, so don’t get disheartened when a campaign doesn’t work out as well as you’d hope. That just means it’s time to adjust your approach or explore different avenues. Every dollar spent is a learning experience, and it will help you learn more about your market and your business’s role in your local economy.
2. You have to stick to one marketing outlet. Small businesses have tight budgets, and that means that you have to be discerning when spending on marketing. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to only one outlet. Studies have shown that using a mix of marketing outlets is the most effective because you reach your audience where they are, not just where it’s convenient to you. Instead of throwing the bulk of a marketing budget into one outlet, it’s better to split that budget up amongst several. This way, you can test and see which outlet is most effective for your business so that you can then redirect the majority of your budget into the outlet that is most successful. Businesses have been benefitting from a mix of print, web, social, and more for years, and your business can too.
3. A good product or service doesn’t need to be advertised. While your product or service is so wonderful that it speaks for itself, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be advertised. More consumers are researching extensively before purchasing, and tend to be distrustful of products or services that they can’t find any information on. That is why it is important to have an established web and social presence. It can be hard to get your foot in the door when you’re competing with other businesses in the vastness of the world wide web, but that just means you need to be strategic about your web presence. Take advantage of an established trusted source of information, such as TheGuide.com and use that as a baseline for directing traffic to your own site. Banner ads are a wonderful way to promote brand recognition and awareness without spending a fortune. For more information on banner advertising, click here.
4. Raising your voice is all that’s needed. These days people are absolutely overwhelmed by marketing messages. They’re on our phones when we check them in the morning, up and down the highway on our ride to work, blasting through our radios, and interrupting our TV shows every 8-10 minutes. So how do you break through the noise? You have to talk TO your customers, not AT them. It’s not about raising your voice, but starting a meaningful conversation. Your customers are people with unique lives and experiences and needs. Talk to them as you would a close friend, with care, consideration, and a good sense of humor, and your message will travel for miles and miles.
5. You have to do it alone. Marketing is at it’s core communication, so there’s no reason to do it alone. Reach out and find resources for tips and advice. The Guide has spent the past 60 years marketing local businesses and reaching out to the public to let the voices of small business owners be heard. We’re here to help! Visit www.TheGuide.com or give us a call at 302-629-5060. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together.