Without a marketing plan, your business is going nowhere fast.
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But as a small business owner, you don't have time to devise complex marketing strategies for your products. Instead, you can tap into a few simple strategies that have already proven their worth.
Many small business owners mistakenly confuse marketing strategies with ad campaigns. A marketing strategy is a plan or an approach for marketing your products and services. An ad campaign, on the other hand, is the means by which your marketing strategy is accomplished. Your objective is to tie your advertising efforts into a comprehensive marketing strategy that has carefully designed to attract attention in the marketplace.
Some marketing strategies are created for the purpose of capturing a certain segment of the market, but the majority of small business strategies are more generic in nature. Even so, it's important to understand what your strategy is trying to achieve.
Boost Consumer Confidence
Consumers are fickle lot and are frequently hesitant to buy a product they know little about. If your business or products are new to the area, you could create a marketing campaign that emphasizes the quality and value of your products. The resulting boost in consumer confidence will likely translate into more action at the cash register.
Another way to spark interest for your products is to conduct a campaign designed to promote your products in as many ways as possible. In other words, your marketing strategy could be to create buzz by blanketing the local airwaves, print space, and other advertising mediums with your name, logo, and products. Increased awareness will definitely bring more people into your store, but it also costs money, so you should be prepared to increase your advertising budget to pull it off.
No matter what they say, the buying decision is emotional for many customers. Large corporations spend millions of dollars playing on their customers' emotions and what works for them, can work for you, too. The key is to create a campaign that makes consumers feel themselves, your company, and the decision to buy your products.
The task of overcoming a buyer's objections is usually assigned to the sales team. However, a well-crafted marketing campaign can work toward overcoming your customers' buying obstacles before they walk in the door. A marketing strategy that emphasizes warranties, testimonials, endorsements, and other positive reinforcement devices can not only make the buying decision easier for existing customers, but also attract new customers who hadn't previously considered buying from your business.
Set a Deadline
Why do so many ads emphasize the date the sale ends? Because people respond to deadlines. Marketing strategies designed around the idea of limited supplies, temporary price reductions, or other mechanisms that create a sense of urgency can provide a quick influx of customers and can potentially jumpstart a business suffering from a diminished customer base.