Different Stages of Small Business Marketing
Just like your small business will evolve over time so should your marketing. Whether your company is just starting out or looking to grow, strategic marketing takes time, and good planning and processes will help your marketing efforts succeed.
We were new to Southwest Florida when we launched the Be Brilliant! marketing agency in late 2012. While we had spent the previous 25 years in branding and marketing, and even started our first agency while we lived in Switzerland, we were starting from scratch. It gave us the opportunity to put our experience to work to successfully market our own new, small business.
Our strategic marketing plan focused on three important stages that all businesses, of any size, can go through to get established and stand out from the crowd.
1. Raise Awareness
The first step in marketing for your small business is to raise awareness about your company. This step can begin even before your business opens and will continues well after you official launch.
During this process, a good place to start is to focus on efforts that help create awareness online, such as having an engaging website and establishing a business presence on social media. You can try providing an incentive for followers to check out what your business offers, or run contests to create engagement.
Most customers appreciate a company that is authentic, creative and unique. By focusing on the personal customer experience during this stage of marketing, your business can start attracting a following and begin building relationships with future brand ambassadors.
2. Position Your Expertise
When positioning your business, the best bet is to focus on marketing your business’ specific strengths. Don’t try to market a do-it-all business. Narrow your position to certain expertise or truly unique aspects of your work.
To most successfully position your business in the marketplace, take time to identify your target audiences. Who do you most want to market your product or services to? Before you answer, "Everyone!" stop and think about your ideal customer and aim for those who will be interested in, or benefit from, what your business has to offer.
What are the exceptional services or products those customers can benefit from? Being strategic about tailoring what you offer your target audiences will create a stronger position for your business and help it stand out from the crowd.
3. Differentiate from the Competition
Rolling right out of positioning your company’s expertise, the next stage is to differentiate your small business from its competition.
For many small businesses, there are competitors providing similar services or products. In those cases, the point of differentiation may be more about HOW you do business or the type of business culture you create.
Take the positioning expertise a little further and share the person side of it. What level of expertise do you and members of your staff possess that the competition doesn't? What personal experience can you offer that only you bring to the business?
The answers to these questions will help identify the strengths and uniqueness that will separate your business from others.
Keep Evolving Your Marketing
While your business model may shift and evolve with time, there should always be a familiar theme that keeps your clients faithful and drives them to recommend it to others. Loyal customers should remain a priority when considering marketing because they are a key to your growth.
If you are interested in learning more about these steps and how to implement them into your small business marketing strategy, please contact us.
Be Brilliant!® Marketing is a branding and marketing agency based in Southwest Florida. Our work and experience has taken us around the globe, working for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to global, Fortune 100 companies. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to Like our page. Follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantMktg.
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