As 2020 is unfolding and small businesses are gearing up for another challenging year, now is the opportune time to review your business marketing success. No crystal ball gazing or smoke and mirrors; our structured marketing approach is a proven, step by step strategy that has delivered success for small to medium businesses across many diverse sectors.
Our common-sense Strategy First approach ensures you don’t put the cart before the horse as we review the step by step platform to achieving goals and ongoing successes in your business.
Here are some insights into our 7 Step Guide to Small Business Marketing Success that can change your approach to business marketing:
Business Marketing Success
STEP 1. Strategy Before Tactics
This is the critical starting point; as small businesses are so busy, they always want to grab the idea of the week. So, the shiny object that makes the most noise this week is now the marketing plan.
Once a business owner gets the strategy part right in marketing, he or she can surround it with any set of tactics that are performed and measured consistently. That’s how important the strategy piece is as it forms the foundation of everything and sets you on the path to small business marketing success.
STEP 2. The Marketing Hourglass™
When one overlays the marketing system – “getting someone who has a need to know, like, and trust you” – with the act of turning know, like, and trust into try, buy, repeat, and refer, the entire logical path from initial awareness to advocate becomes a very simple process.
The key is to develop touchpoints, processes, and product/service offerings for each of the 7 phases of the hourglass.
STEP 3. Publish Educational Content
By now, small business owners are tired of hearing the phrase “Content is King.” As true as it may be, today’s prospects instinctively gravitate to search engines to answer all their burning questions. The mistake many businesses make is that even if they churn out continuous content, they don’t make it part of their overall strategy.
Your content and publishing efforts must be focused on achieving two things: building trust and educating. These two categories of content strategy must be delivered through the creation of very specific forms of content, not simply through sheer volume.
Every business is now a publishing business, so you must start to think like one.
STEP 4. Create a Total Web Presence
The onslaught of social media use didn’t simply create another set of marketing tactics, it signalled, to those viewing it strategically, a shift in the marketing landscape that has become preposterously evident.
Web and digital interactivity now represent the centre of the marketing universe. Most marketing decisions must start and end there. Quality content plays a large part in any marketing strategy, especially in the digital world.
STEP 5. Operate a Lead Generation Trio
Traditional lead generation tactics – directory advertising, trade show participation, half-page print ads – are quickly losing appeal with small business owners.
There are two very good reasons for this decline:
- Traditional methods are some of the most expensive.
- Traditional methods are proving less effective in terms of lead generation.
Small businesses must change the way they think about and approach lead generation. They must think more in terms of being found and less in terms of finding. People are still looking for solutions – trying out new services and buying things they want – but they’ve just changed how they go about doing it.
Today’s integrated lead generation trio consists of creating education-based approaches that blend the use of advertising, public relations, and referrals.
While most businesses find they develop a primary lead generation tactic, it’s the thoughtful combination of repeated contacts, consistently placed, that leads to the greatest long-term, trust-building marketing and ultimately, contributes to your small business marketing success.
STEP 6. Marketing Success – Make Selling a System!
The quickest way to make an impact on an organisation’s marketing results is to go to work on the lead conversion or sales process. The lack of a systematic approach to selling is the biggest weakness for most small businesses. Installing a sales system that everyone in the organisation who is involved in selling operates is the fastest way to improve overall marketing results.
If you’re moving prospects logically through The Marketing Hourglass™, you will notice that by the time they get serious about a buying decision, they’ve already sold themselves.
This makes selling a non-issue and delivers stunningly high conversation rates.
STEP 7. Business Marketing Success Means Living by the Calendar
It’s tough to get around to marketing, but the secret to getting marketing done is to make it a habit. Or – if we may roughly paraphrase Aristotle – “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Marketing, then, is not an act, but a habit. Most of us have more experience trying to break a bad habit than establishing a good one. The secret is to create a system and practice until it becomes second nature.
When it comes to marketing, we’ve learned that small business owners can move towards making marketing a habit by doing these things.