Having a marketing mindset makes good business sense for an entrepreneur but unfortunately it is not a frequent business practice. Small business owners are quite like a juggler that tries to keep his objects from falling to the ground. Two areas that commonly start to lower themselves in the juggling hierarchy are accounting and marketing.
The purpose of today’s blog is to talk about marketing and leave the accounting for another day.
First, let’s be clear. Marketing is not selling. Marketing makes people aware of your company, products and services. It is the mechanism to help bring potential customers or leads to you.
Selling is turning those leads resulting from your marketing into paying customers who will come back to you over and over. Once you make the sale, marketing then starts all over again, with a customer satisfaction process or even better, a customer loyalty process.
Marketing is everything your company does to touch a potential lead. Such things as signage, price, employee appearance, the design of your website, how the phone is answered, your advertising plan, your brand identification, and any other number of items consist of marketing.
For a marketing plan to work you need to identify the company’s target market. And your best prospects are your current customers. Many times they are left off the list of demographics and are taken for granted in the quest for new leads.
Successful small business owners usually determine a unique attribute for their company and focus their marketing efforts into this niche. Developing uniqueness apart from your competition will narrow the scope and budget of the company’s marketing efforts and allow the small business owner to start building a brand. This is just the opposite of mass marketing. Just like doctors and attorneys develop specialties, the entrepreneur should develop a specialty niche for the product or service that can be communicated effectively.
The six most popular niche areas for a small business are: the owner’s expertise, the exclusiveness of the product or service, the efficiency of the business, customer satisfaction, loyalty, and a unique buying experience. Your business should fall into one or more categories to be a niche marketer.
Finally, develop a marketing mindset or habit. Try to think of three to five new marketing ideas, or refine a current marketing process, every day. Put marketing on your to-do list every day. If you can answer these two questions: “How am I building awareness with my prospects and clients through all our marketing? How can I make it better?” you will develop a marketing mindset, create demand for your product or service, and develop leads.
Contributed by Mike Daley, Senior Small Business Development Consultant
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