If you own a small business, it might seem impossible to create marketing campaigns that can have the impact you need to improve your organization’s performance.
However, that does not have to be the case. Technology and a smart approach can make marketing a possibility even for the smallest businesses.
But you’ll need to be wise with your decisions. Remember that you are searching for marketing that improves messaging, customer satisfaction and provides lasting results. It’s important to keep your eyes on those goals even as you consider the details of a marketing plan.
Here are some expert marketing tips, culled from advice given by top CMOs from various industries.
Expert Marketing Tips: Make Use of Marketing Data
You already have a powerful tool at your disposal – the data gathered in running your business. The use of data has increasingly made marketing more of a science than an art. For example, you can look for patterns in the data to determine which sales leads are more lucrative for your business and also, based on statistics about your customers, what demographic you need to target with your marketing.
Partner with Your Small Business Sales Team
This has been true since the beginning of business and it remains true today. While sales often is the driving force in any business – small or otherwise – the data now available allows those on the marketing side to have a more equal relationship with the sales team. Also, this concept applies across the organization – you must eliminate any “silos” and encourage collaboration between areas such as sales, marketing and information technology.
Use Public Relations
One of the methods of attracting the most attention at the lowest cost is through public relations. Issuing public statements or press releases regarding new products, improved products or your company’s leadership within a market segment is a way of generating attention without spending much.
While you certainly do not have “nothing to lose,” as a small business there is more upside and less downside to taking chances with your marketing efforts. Kathy Bell, CMO of Emerson, told CMO.com that bravery is one of the key components to smart marketing. She said, “To get attention, you have to be brave and take risks when you communicate. And you have to enjoy yourself, or you are in the wrong job.”
Develop a “Human Roadmap”
Ani Matson, former CMO of NEA Member Benefits, the for-profit arm of the National Education Association,advises businesses to create a marketing plan that is human-focused. You must first identify with your customers – which requires deeply understanding where they are in life and how your product or service fills a need. For example, Matson said NEA Member Benefits changed their approach to members based on the circumstances of their life stage – for example, getting married, having children or buying a car or home. “What we’re trying to do is optimize the content at the right gaps of a member’s journey,” she told Social Media Today.
Less Really Can Be More
If you have new customers or people who are joining your organization as members, it can be best to not immediately inundate them with messages. For example, Matson said NEA Member Benefits designed an experience for new members in which they were simply welcomed and shown what was available to them and then left alone. This allowed customers to shop on their own time, which Matson said made them more receptive to company offers.
They also “touched” customers less than before, contacting them on average about six times a year. This “less is more” strategy resulted in a 20% increase in customer participation.
Taken together, these expert marketing tips show you do not need a large budget to do effective marketing. Understanding your customers’ needs, getting the various people within your organization working together, providing your customers with the right content at the right time – without overwhelming them – can all lead to a better experience for your customer and a better bottom line for you.