If you have recently set up your small business, you will have a million different things to think about and you can’t be an expert in everything. What you need are some guaranteed business marketing ideas to get you up and running – well here are some tried and tested ideas that will help give your business the edge.
What Is Marketing?
First of all, what do we mean by marketing – is it the same thing as advertising? No, it’s not:
- Advertising is the business of drawing public attention to goods and services;
- Marketing is the way you create value for your customers and build strong customer relationships, so that you can get value from your customers in return. So Advertising is a form of marketing, but marketing is much more than just advertising.
What Makes Marketing Effective?
- By creating value for your customers you increase their desire to buy from you and, just as important, you increase the likelihood they will return to buy again and again.
- Hence you need to employ business marketing ideas which are cost effective – which create great value for the customer but at low cost for your business.
- By satisfying or delighting your existing customers, you increase the chance they will recommend you to others, thus bringing even greater vale to your business.
So What Sort of Business Marketing Ideas Can I Employ?
- What do your customers really want? A group of yachtsmen called in at a hotel on a small Scottish island for a meal and asked if they could use the showers while it was prepared. The meal was great, but unfortunately there was no water for the showers. The yachtsmen were very unhappy. The hotel manager was baffled – “but the chef prepares everything to order, the chips are hand cut, the meat is fresh“…he really hadn’t understood – it was not the meal the guys were buying, it was the chance to get a decent hot shower! To know what your customers really value – talk to them. You may be surprised at the real reasons they are choosing your products. You can then concentrate your efforts (and money) on the things that actually matter to your customers.
- You will need different business marketing strategies for different products and different markets, so ask yourself 3 questions: Who am targeting? How will I reach them? What will I offer them?
- Improve the visibility of your business:
o make sure that all your vehicles (even your own car) carry suitable promotional material
o be well known in your local community by sponsoring local events, running competitions, writing for the local newspaper or speaking on local radio
o make your premises available for local weekend or evening events
o make sure flyers for your business are available in as many locations as possible where there is a good footfall of suitable potential customers: the local libraries, health centres, fitness clubs, shopping centres
- Capitalise on your existing customer base:
o offer a loyalty bonus for repeat purchases
o offer incentives for existing customers to recommend their friends
o offer rewards for filling out a short survey on your business (you will gain information and customer loyalty)
This is just the tip of a very large iceberg of possibilities. Why not try brainstorming some more ideas? The best business marketing ideas are the ones that you think of yourself and tailor to your business; these have been just a few to help you get started.