Faced with growing competition, a small business needs strategic marketing to reach potential customers quickly to win new accounts, sales or contracts. Typically, a small business -- as opposed to industry giants and big corporations -- has neither a department specializing in strategic marketing nor a huge advertising budget. The following is a list of 10 effective marketing tips for small businesses:

1. Keep Your Name “Out There”

While a large company banks on its image, small companies need to market themselves very strategically to stand out from the crowd. Despite a limited budget, keep up an advertising campaign to continue attracting customers. Cheap promotional items, if carefully selected, can promote your company’s brand without costing a fortune.

2. Attract Cheapskates

To reach customers who are more interested in a product’s price rather than its quality, offer a “lite” or “economy” version of your product or service as a cheaper alternative. Of course, the discounted version should offer fewer options and less bang for the buck. But at least you won’t lose as many customers who are just trying to save money.

3. Attract Quality Snobs

Reaching customers who are interested only in the price is not enough. To broaden the scope of your strategic marketing and potential sales, you should target customers by focusing more on quality. It is therefore appropriate to offer a high-end version of your product with a higher price.

4. Think Big, Go Small

Bigger is not always better. A small advertising format is often more effective than a huge poster or billboard. In fact, consumers who are likely to be jaded or ad-blind to large companies’ billboards and such may be attracted to a smaller format. Just be careful to maintain the quality and attractiveness of the smaller message.

5. Partner Up

Why not work with other (non-competing) small businesses and provide partner offers? Each partner can include its own logo and advertise along with you. See if you can interest other members of any business associations you belong to. By joining forces, each company’s offerings will be advertised and distributed more widely. Both companies can leverage their strategic marketing efforts.

6. Keep the Customer Satisfied

Build on your existing client base by keeping customers satisfied. A satisfied customer will make give your company word-of-mouth advertising to friends, family, colleagues, etc. To increase interest, propose a family plan or refer-a-friend sponsorship system, in which both the new and existing customers receive a gift. The number of customers will increase exponentially over time.

7. Reward Loyalty

Bring existing customers back through loyalty cards, birthday and anniversary discounts, or other personalized promotions.

8. Communication Is Key

Use methods of communication with customers that competitors don’t always use: for example, send a follow-up email to find out if your customer is satisfied with a purchase.

9. Celebrate the Holidays

Use holidays and other calendar events to offer a promotion to existing customers and a gift to new customers. To be more strategic with your marketing, be unique with the holidays that you promote: Earth Day or National Grandparents’ Day, for example.

10. Dare to Compare

Register with price comparison sites or sponsored links on Google and other search engines. This may seem like Strategic Marketing 101, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t register with price comparison sites.