This is the first article in a four-part series on the dos and don’ts of marketing for small businesses. Make sure to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates on the rest of the pieces in this series, as well as other marketing tips, news, and insights for your small business.
Have you ever stumbled across a clever print advertisement, and thought, “Wow, that ad will attract customers like crazy!” Or, on the other hand, have you ever witnessed a store employee clad in a furry mascot costume, and said to yourself, “Yikes, couldn’t they think of a better way to spend their marketing budget?”
If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you’re not alone. There are plenty of truly awesome marketing strategies for small businesses out there, but there are just as many blunders. And oftentimes differentiating between good and bad marketing isn’t as obvious as a guy in a chicken costume.
To help you better understand what qualifies as “good” marketing, we’ve compiled a list of useful do’s and don’ts that every small business should consider when developing an effective marketing strategy.
* DO know your target audience. If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get in-tune with your customer demographic. After all, the most impressive marketing efforts in the world won’t do any good if the right people don’t receive them. The more you know about the types of customers you’re trying to reach, the faster you’ll see sales grow.
* DON’T try to get away cheap. When it comes to marketing collateral, like signs, welcome/media kits, or brochures, don’t think cheap; think reusable. It’s worth your while and money to pay a little more for quality graphics and content that you can repurpose again and again.
* DO stay fresh in customers’ minds. It’s crucial to keep your customer base continually informed of all the new and exciting things happening at your business. Think a postcard mailing that invites customers to try an new service, or a Facebook post advertising a coveted product that you now have in stock.
* DON’T underestimate the power of a strong marketing program. We understand that small businesses have small budgets. But, businesses that skimp or, worse yet, do away with marketing efforts all together are bound to suffer. A well thought-out marketing program that incorporates print, web, and social media may just be the key to your long-term success – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.
* DO ask customers for testimonials. Know of a customer that’s been incredibly impressed with the service or products they received from your business? Don’t be shy, ask him or her for a brief recommendation that you can place on your website or feature in a newspaper advertisement.
Some final words of advice when it comes to the dos and don’ts of general marketing for your small business — stay away from the furry animal costumes. While this tactic may be effective at grabbing the attention of unsuspecting passersby, it is less likely to actually drive these individuals to buy your product or service.
Want to learn how Mischa Communications can help your small business develop a budget-friendly marketing strategy? Give us a call at 202-596-7804 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.