A few marketing basics for novice small business owners
February 02, 2012
As ubiquitous as marketing and advertising are, they are deceptively difficult to master. Some professionals spend whole careers perfecting a marketing channel only to find it become obsolete with time. It's a fickle endeavor, and it requires creativity, rapt attention, diligence and, above all, patience.
Of course, many small ventures and entrepreneurs don't have the resources to devote so much time and effort to their marketing strategies. They need to be timely and efficient in promoting their brands. While there is no across-the-board solution for startup marketing, it may help to start from scratch and review some of the basics. Here are some pointers:
Separate your business from the competition
This may take some brainstorming, as many business owners do not immediately recognize what it is about their offering that sets them apart. Is it a singular product? Is it a customer service perk? Is it recognition? Whatever it is, it helps to focus on innovation. After all, the quality of the product or service you're selling determines your success. In that sense, you want to give your company plenty of time and resources to focus on making your offering the best it can possibly be.
"The less you offer the more time you have to truly be innovative with your products or services, service delivery, customer service, etc.," writes Susan Oakes for M4B Marketing.
Selectivity saves time and money
Blanketing your market with the same message over and over again is bad strategy for a number of reason. One, your prospects will get annoyed. Two, it's an expensive process that yields few leads. Remember that the excitement you hold for your company exceeds everyone else's. Be humble, do your research and target specific customers and prospects.
Hire for creativity
Even if you have no marketing department and your promotional efforts are handled when and where it can be fit, you should seek out creative minds when hiring.
"When you have a real focus on your specialty offerings you can get creative in the way you present your products or services," Oakes adds.
Of course, gauging a candidate's creative intellect is no simple task, but by instilling a bit of creativity in the hiring process you may glean some interesting responses. Throw curve balls and ask odd questions to see how individuals react. Their ability to go with the flow is a good indication of a spontaneous, innovative mind.