Key Marketing Advice for Small Businesses

Last week I talked about why small businesses need Marketing.

I started down this path by asking small business owners.  “Do you do any Marketing?”  Most small business responded by saying “I have referrals, thus marketing is not needed at all!” I then listed five reasons why small businesses should have marketing: referrals will not last forever, clients are looking for more than names, the web is a big influencer today, social media is influencing buyers’ decision and, small businesses need to differentiate themselves from competitors. The responses to this post have produced some additional comments that need to be mentioned:

Relating to the “referral” position, Jay Weinberg ( stated that one needs to "widen the funnel" and that social networking media and web tools can assist in doing this. He goes on to suggest that looking at key words that might indicate a need.  Also, join social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook) where people might need your specific services.  Remember future clients are researching you without you even know it, so be a part of their world and as a minimum know what they are thinking and saying!

 As for the web site and expanding your reach, Joe D'Ambrose ( suggested using RSS feed to automatically link into other social medias like Facebook and Twitter.  Key point here is to expand your reach and expand it into areas where there are common interests. As for the web site being current, some form of a Content Management Tool can be used for updating.

Another item that I think is critical for all sizes of businesses is to know your customer and the benefits that your product or service is providing.   I always state in my classes that while features are important, the value proposition that address the customer’s “pain points” and how they will benefit is far more critical.  This should be summarized in a clear, impactful message.  Then select the media(s) that will best serve the markets you are addressing.  A point of clarification, in today’s environment, it is not the one media that you should select, it is the correct mix, so know which media(s) your audience is using.

To repeat from my last posting, there are many reasons why small businesses need to do Marketing, but they need to understand that the world of selling has changed, and to get customers they must show them that they are out there.  I and other have suggested there is a mix of both old and new marketing tools that can do this in the most effective and optimal way.

So again, what are your marketing plans for 2011?  If you would like a validation of your current or planned marketing plan, CONTACT US about our Marketing Resource Optimizer™ (MRO). 

RHL 10/26/10

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