What is marketing if you own and operate a small business?
Most people think it's all about advertising.
It isn't - that's just one of your marketing channels. You could market to them using seminars or sales events. You could engage with them through direct mail or social media. The appropriate marketing channel depends on who they are, and what they want to hear.
Small Business Marketing is all about helping your customers get a benefit from their purchase, and talking to them about that benefit, not about what the features of the product are.
Once you get that right, then you can choose the most appropriate marketing channel to engage with them.
When you are looking to buy a product, you're not really interested in the product itself but what it can do for your existing problem.
- You do not look for a German car with the best technology - you look for convenience or safety or just transport.
- You do not look for an experienced tax accountant, you want your argument with the Tax Department to go away.
- You do not look for a pair of safety boots, you look for something to protect your feet.
Then, as you look for that product that will fix your problem, you start to look with your heart:
- The car which will get me there safely is German and owning a German car will show people I am successful
- My accountant will speak to the Tax Department directly, and he doesn't make me feel stupid
- That pair of safety boots will protect my feet but it's also going to make me look good wearing it with my jeans
It's only after you are emotionally attracted to the product that fixes your problem do you start to think with your head to justify the choice.
- Actually, that German car will keep its value over time
- Actually, my accountant is very experienced - I saw all his qualifications framed on the wall
- Actually, those boots have safety toes and a cushioned comfort-sole
So, a good marketer will not talk about the German technology of the car. They know that they first have to find out your problem, and then make the product attractive to you, and then show you why you should buy it - in that order.
So, whatever your marketing channel, that is what you need to do.
We have a 7-step process by which we can help you design this marketing journey to take your customers on, even before you decide on what is the most appropriate marketing channel to use to engage with them.
We call it SMART Marketing.
What are the 7 steps?
Step 1 is to clarify the benefits of your product or service so that you can meet customers' unstated needs.
Step 2 is to identify the types of customers who are ready and perfect to buy your product.
Step 3 is to make sure your business is geared up and organized to meet all the customers' requirements, giving them a full experience.
Step 4 is to choose the right pricing strategy to attract your specific target market.
Step 5 is to choose the right type of marketing activities to send focused marketing messages to your target market.
Step 6 is to put it all together into a 12-month campaign plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-oriented, and Time-based.
Then in Step 7 you document your plan for action and implement easy-to-manage accountability systems.
This is the S.M.A.R.T. Marketing system and it's brought to you by our online brand called Teik Oh Dot Com.
I have written a book abo9ut it called "SMART Marketing - 7 Easy Steps To More Sales" and you can buy it on Amazon or from the publisher here.
I have even written a Workbook with all the templates you need to follow the book and you can get it here.
The S.M.A.R.T. Marketing system follows the above 7 steps to create your own focused marketing plan.
It takes you through a logical process that you can follow on your own because it uses your own knowledge of your business to follow a guided sequence of steps so that you analyse your products, you analyse your customers, you prepare your "brand", and then choose the most appropriate marketing strategies and put them into a consistent annual plan.
Watch this free video mini-training on why you need a focused marketing plan and how to create your own.
If you want to know more, you can read about the program at OTS Management's online brand website - smart-marketing
Make sure that, as a small business, you are marketing correctly!