You can’t run a business in today’s competitive marketplace without investing in digital marketing. Even if your products and services are a notch above your competitors, you will have a hard time selling them without engaging in promotional work. This is easier said than done, especially if you are running a small business operation with limited resources. Every penny and man-hour counts, and marketing can be a costly endeavor, especially if you go about implementing your strategy in a haphazard manner.
Fortunately, most of the risks associated with small business marketing can be mitigated with proper planning. With a well thought out marketing strategy in place, you can promote your business in a more systematic way, which is vital for long-term growth.
Check out our short primer on why it’s vital to start with a marketing plan.
1. It Helps You Manage Your Budget
The most tangible benefit of having a marketing strategy is that it allows you to manage your budget more effectively. Without a strategy in place, keeping track of your marketing spending would be next to impossible. And if you don’t know much you’re investing, you can’t determine what you’re getting in return. A good marketing strategy should specify how much you’re going to spend on each campaign and its estimated ROI.
2. It Helps You Stay Organized
A marketing strategy is vital for keeping organized. It ensures that all of your marketing efforts work towards the same goal. Otherwise, you risk finding yourself in a situation where the tactics you employ end up working against each other. For instance, your attempt at using chatbots on your website to keep customer service costs down can work against your attempts to provide a personalized experience for each customer. Having a marketing strategy in place is also vital for ensuring that everyone in your company’s marketing team is on the same page at all times.
3. It Helps You Understand Your Audience
Developing a marketing strategy will give you an opportunity to learn more about your target audience. Every small business starts off with a particular ideal customer in mind, but it’s hard to know at the outset how well this picture represents reality. It can easily turn out that your actual customers bear little resemblance to the ones you imagined, forcing you to rethink your entire marketing approach on the fly. This can be counteracted by proper planning and research, which are fundamental to creating a successful marketing strategy.
4. It Helps You Understand Your Competitors
In addition to giving you an opportunity to get to know your customers, a marketing strategy can teach you more about your competitors. Marketing is a competitive endeavor by definition – you are always trying to steer customers away from your rivals and towards your own business. And to do this successfully, you need to be keenly aware of the marketing tactics they employ, as well as the strategy guiding them. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t in their approach and respond accordingly. If they use content marketing, create better content. If they’re neglecting their social media marketing, seize the opportunity and ramp up your own SMM efforts.
5. It Helps You Flesh Out Your Brand
Branding is the ‘subjective’ side of marketing. Its role is to cultivate an image and an identity for your company, which you can leverage to give your promotional efforts deeper meaning. Developing a marketing strategy is a great way to work on your brand. Branding involves strategies like aligning your brand image with your logo, creating content that aligns with your brand values, and raising brand awareness through social media. Branding can be tough to handle for small business due to the extent of the work involved, which is why most businesses tend to hire professional branding companies to assist them with the task.
5. It Helps You Create Content
Content is the cornerstone of all marketing. Without it, you will have no way of connecting with your audience besides explicit advertising, and that approach has limited effectiveness. Having a marketing strategy in place before you start making content will ensure that your narrative remains consistent across all marketing platforms. For instance, if you decide to create a marketing strategy focused on growing your audience, this will determine the kind of content to post for various marketing channels such as your website, blog, and social media profile.
6. It Helps You Develop Products and Services
Marketing is inextricably tied with product and service development. The products and services you offer will determine the kind of marketing approach that works best for your company. Conversely, your marketing capabilities will determine what kinds of products and services you can sell effectively. This means that if you develop your marketing strategy in tandem with your product development strategy, you will ensure that they remain synchronized at all times, increasing the effectiveness of both endeavors. Marketing research will also help you come up with new products and services, thus facilitating long-term growth.
7. It Helps You Choose The Right Marketing Tools
Creating a marketing strategy is ultimately about choosing the right tools for the accomplishment of your marketing goals. In practical terms, this involves choosing a set of marketing approaches such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and others. It further involves choosing which marketing platforms you will target, such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc. Finally, there is the choice of technological supplements that will make the implementation of your strategy easier, which involves email automation software, data gathering tools, chatbots, and more.
So What Now?
If you are running a small business, creating a marketing strategy can involve a lot of work, but your efforts won’t go unrewarded. With a marketing plan in place, you will be equipped to handle any challenges that come your way with speed and efficiency, while saving you a lot of money down the line.
Don’t have the resources to tackle digital marketing on your own? We’re here to help! Contact TrustWorkz for a personalized digital marketing strategy that will make a major impact on your business.
Daniel Bishop started off as a content consultant for small SEO and web design
companies. Online consulting was perfect for him as he is very social and loves to travel. Settling down
in Europe for the time being, he finally found his place as a junior editor for Design Rush, a B2B
marketplace connecting brands with agencies. Always searching for new opportunities, he loves sharing
ideas with other professionals in the digital community.