Marketing for Small Business: The Basics Can Yield Big Results!

marketing for small businessMarketing pros at big companies know how to design and deliver integrated campaigns that produce revenue. But for most small businesses, this is a struggle – many focus on one marketing tactic at a time, trying different approaches and hoping something works.

Small businesses usually don’t have the budget or the sophistication to design and manage integrated campaigns, but they probably have a greater need for them than do their big-revenue counterparts.

It’s a catch-22 that most small businesses struggle with.

Marketing for Small Business

Stacey Ackerman, Director of Marketing for Small Business Builders, knows this well. Small Business Builders provides professional marketing advice and planning for “mom-and-pop” retailers and small B2B companies.

For most clients, Stacey and her team produce a written marketing plan and meet face-to-face each month to keep the plan on track, and they create quarterly action plans and action item calendars.

Producing results with small marketing budgets is tricky. Many of Stacey’s clients don’t have the funds to invest in profitable campaigns, and they don’t have the time to manage them.  Frequently, they push marketing to the bottom of the pile when more urgent business concerns arise.

Simple Concepts Can Yield Big Results

The bright side is that, for many small businesses, tying together some basic marketing concepts with campaigns can often yield big results. Stacey’s approach is to initially apply bigger business marketing thinking and strategy, and then pare it down and simplify it so her clients can manage it (and afford it) with minimal guidance.

One of Stacey’s recent clients was a start-up commercial construction company that opened for business in the terrible current economic climate. Since most of their competitors chased business “the standard way ” — waiting for and bidding on the same RFPs — Stacey’s team recommended that the client differentiate their company by showcasing their work and using outbound campaigns to dig up new business opportunities.

Here’s what Small Business Builders recommended:

  • Designing a new website featuring continually updated project showcases
  • Creating a presentation portfolio that builds with each completed job
  • Featuring completed project case studies in email marketing campaigns
  • Focusing quarterly advertising campaigns toward associations
  • Training company owners how to convert sales leads to projects

While the market continued to tank, Stacey’s client did not, and they hit their Year One revenue goal of $1,000,000. Stacey’s plan was pretty basic for most mid-level marketing managers: two sales tools, two marketing campaigns, and a little sales training.

The basics made a big difference for this company.  Delivered properly, they can make a big difference for your small business, too.

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