Small Businesses need to develop competitive marketing strategies in order to establish their position in the market; however, market development strategies is not an easy task, as it requires a meticulous study of what the competitors are doing and how successful they are; it is important to understand external and internal environment, political and legal factors, as well as the positioning of those strategies in the current market; however, regardless of your level of experience in this field, there are a few steps to consider in order to be successful.
Regardless of the size of your business and the length of time that has been operating, it is important to establish a web presence as this is the marketing of today and a tendency that will only grow in the future; many companies have completely reduced their presence in the high street in order to concentrate on internet marketing; a strategy that has paid off by reducing overhead and personnel costs as well as increasing profits by reaching a higher number of clients.
This marketing strategy is not difficult, as many of us already know how to use the tools needed to create your online presence, one of the most popular is the use of “social medial sites”, the most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace. Once your business profile has been created you must promote it; how? The answer is simple, online competition is an excellent way for people to get to know your product, the technique is simple: a prize, which should be related to your business is offered to people who “like” or “twit” or recommend to their friends your site. This is a highly effective and cost effective way to market your business as other people are working for you as promoters.
Viral marketing with “word of mouth marketing” is highly effective and extremely cost effective but difficult to achieve, as it requires your own customers to work as the communication tools between your business and potential buyers. In order for people to offer any kind recommendations, there are a few factors to consider:
1) High quality products and services must be on offer;
2) Special promotions: buy 2 get 1 free or half price for limited time;
3) Products or services must be unique or different to others in the market;
4) Build a reputable brand with excellent customer service.
5) Make it simple to promote: you must facilitate the tools for them to communicate, as explained in the previous point; social media is the way to go.
One of the biggest challenge for many companies is to increase sales or at least deal with the sales problems (reduction) by offering solutions to sales marketing problems and the true is that after the recent economic meltdown, many people are aware of the importance of money, looking for the best deals in terms of quality and price.
One of the most common problems for many small businesses is that customers want value for money, which in many cases involve competing with big companies offering heavy discounts in order to increase their sales and reduce competition; however, you can use this in your advantage by offering discounts as well to a certain point: put your best product on sales up to a certain point (just before breaking even); this will attract people to your store or online shop and eventually make them buy more.
Another product is that people don’t really know what your business is about, probably they haven’t even heard of it and don’t know what you offer or the quality of your products, then again, creating an effective online presence in the market will help you deal with this problem and let people know you are the best in the market.
Internet marketing has become one of the most effective ways to promote your business and if you know how to maximise this marketing strategy by using software robots you will succeed in your goal; by using software robots we don’t mean creating more spam of what we already face at the moment; simply the use of automated web marketing tools that will help with the market penetration of your products and services. One of the best examples is the RSS submission tool, which effectively propagate new content in your site to a higher number of people; another excellent example is the use of Press Releases; as they are normally extended to a vast number of new people.
Any marketing development strategy must be directly linked to financial strategies. The idea of creating an effective marketing department is with the goal of achieving better financial results and although some of the most effective marketing strategies is price reduction in order to achieve market penetration; your financial statements are more important at the end of the day – they are normally requested by bank lenders and financial institutions if you have any capital commitments with them or if you have an expansion project for your business.
Innovation is the marketing tip number one for any management consultant. New products or services that stand out from the crowd is important for any company as this will create a viral effect in customers and potential buyers; however, the way this products are marketed is probably as important as the product itself – if people don’t know anything about the product, how will they try it and confirm it is good? The strategies that management consultant use in order to promote the company should nowadays be based in the use of social media, internet marketing as well as word of mouth marketing and other traditional strategies such as radio and TV.
Marketing development strategies are important for any business regardless of their size; however, they are critical if you are a small business or just started trading, as they will determine the future of your company and the long-term running of your business. The first step you must consider is the creation of a database, which should contain current customers and potential buyers.
The use of traditional marketing such as newspapers, TV and radio is also important; however, this will depend on their size of your company as well as the products and services being offered; however, internet marketing should be considered by any business indifferently of the sector they are working on, size, products or any other factor; this is the new product marketing tool that must be optimised for any business in order to be successful.