5 Fundamentals Of Marketing For Any Business
Marketing strategies and tactics can be very different, depending on your industry, size or location. But there are five fundamentals your marketing must accomplish, no matter what type or size of business you run, and no matter where it is.
If your marketing is not accomplishing one or more of these five marketing musts, it might not be bringing your small business the new customers, brand advocates and followers you need to build a strong organization.
Even for businesses located in the same town and industry, marketing plans and tactics can be widely divergent depending on a variety of factors. While some marketing tactics may be more effective for your small business than others when it comes to helping, you increase sales, build your lead pipeline, garner customer loyalty and referrals and identify emerging trends, it's still true that your marketing strategies must be built to help you accomplish each and every one of these goals.
1. Tell a story
Telling the story of your business in terms of your passion, inspiration, industry, history, evolution, problems overcome, staff, customer helped, your successes - these are the elements that set your business apart from all competitors. These are the reasons that people should choose to do business with you.
2. Find your target markets
Your marketing must be specifically designed to reach your ideal buyer types, members of your target markets and other types of buyers based on buyer profiles you have identified and researched. This will involve not only identifying the characteristics which reflect your typical customers and ideal buyer types, but will also necessitate that you find out where they are, how best to reach them and what types of marketing messages will be most compelling to them.
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3. Cultivate leads
Some businesses have very short buying cycles (the length of time between when an individual identifies a need or want they decide to fulfill, research their options, narrow their options and make a buying decision), while others have very long buying cycles. Typically, the more important, expensive, long lasting or impactful the result of a purchasing decision will have, the longer the buying cycle.
4. Nurture customer relationships
Does your marketing do anything to turn customers into loyal customers and brand advocates? Bringing new business onto the books is great, but even though attracting new customers is a far more difficult and expensive endeavor than retaining and upselling existing customers, customer acquisition is often the sole goal of most small business marketing activities.
Your small business can use email marketing, social media and other low-cost tools to strengthen relationships with existing customers. You may also find that extending special "insider" offers or hold closed-door events for your best customers creates loyalty and advocacy.
Word of mouth can become your best marketing, but only if you are using your marketing to turn customers into word-of-mouth brand ambassadors!
5. Drive the evolution of your business
Often, we engage in marketing as a monologue, when it should be a dialogue. Leave room in your marketing plan for surveys, polls and other interactive engagements with customers and prospects so that you can learn how to improve and evolve your business, in order to strengthen it for the long haul.
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