Why is marketing strategy is important for small businesses? This is something that I get asked all the time by small business owners. In this blog, I’m going to share with you some crucial reasons why you must have a marketing strategy and things that can go wrong if you don’t. I’ll also share some basic tips on how you can start to develop a marketing strategy for your own business.
Why Have A Marketing Strategy
It’s important to have a marketing strategy, because it is the foundation of your business. Failing to implement an appropriate marketing strategy means that you’re basing all of your marketing activities on guesswork. Frankly, without a suitable marketing strategy, you will be opting for a scatter gun approach to marketing. This could be very costly indeed. Both in terms of time and money.
Without A Marketing Strategy
Without a marketing strategy, your business could end up in a real mess. I’ve come across it so many times when business owners have waded in with marketing messages and ideas that haven’t worked, because they had not taken the time or didn’t know how to develop the right strategy.
Some small businesses have wasted tens of thousands of pounds on ineffective marketing that didn’t yield any return. I’m sorry, but as a small business owner, you simply cannot afford to make costly mistakes like that. So, let me help you prevent that from happening to your business!
Don’t get me wrong, there have been occasional times when small business owners have taken a punt and had a go at marketing without a strategy. Some have done okay. Imagine, though, how much better they could have done with a strategy in place. The ones that did okay just got lucky! What you need to consider is if gambling your financial resources and business future is worth the risk? I’d argue that it’s not!
With The Right Marketing Strategy
With the right marketing strategy in place, you could propel your business beyond your expectations. The emphasis being on having the ‘right’ strategy for you and your business. There is a no ‘one size fits all’ approach to developing your marketing strategy.
Your small business marketing strategy will need to be based on the current state of your business. It needs to consider your overall business objectives, so it ties in with everything else that you’ve got planned for your business. You must have an awareness and understanding of what’s going on outside of your business that may have some impact. This means that you can consider contingency planning and ‘what if’ scenarios, so you know that you’re fully prepared for what may go wrong. Ultimately, it means you’re providing a strong foundation for your business to thrive.
I often use the analogy of building a house. You wouldn’t start laying bricks without laying the foundations first, would you? I’m predicting that your answer was no. So, please don’t do that with your marketing! You need that solid foundation before you do anything else. It’s the first priority when it comes to effective marketing!
How To Develop Your Small Business Marketing Strategy
If you’re wondering how to develop your small business marketing strategy and you’re not sure how, I’m going to share some starter pointers with you here, because I want to help you get you on the right track. Ideally, your marketing must be based on analysis and planning, so that you have strong business foundations in place.
Current State Of Your Business
The first thing you need to do to develop your small business marketing strategy is to assess the current state of your business. A simple SWOT analysis that focuses on your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will be useful for this.
What’s Going On Externally?
Focus on what’s going on externally of your business. What could impact your business in any way? Think about political, ecological, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTLE) issues when you do this.
You must include, but not be limited to, competitors. Who are your key competitors? What’s their marketing share? What is their share of voice online? How do they define their marketing messages? What are their goals? How does your business compare to theirs? You’re not trying to copy them. You want to know what makes your business different and how you can make your business stand out. There’s more about how to do a competitor analysis in one of my recent podcasts, which you may find useful for this purpose.
Collate The Information
Collate the information gathered, so that you can use it to develop the most appropriate strategy for your business. Make sure that you set clear marketing objectives too. This way, the marketing strategy you choose will based on specific, measurable, reliable and targeted (SMART) goals.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
There’s a lot of work involved, but these basics will have you better prepared to develop your marketing strategy. Plus, you will have peace of mind that your strategy will be built on accurate and up-to-date information. It’s not uncommon for business owners to be dumfounded by what they find from their initial analysis. Even if the current state of play is what you imagined, you will have complete certainty before your move forward.
If You’re Still Not Sure
There are more free resources like book reviews, blogs and podcasts available on this website. However, if you’re still not sure and you’re wondering what to do, my advice is to get a qualified and experienced marketing consultant like me to do it for you.
Alternatively, get yourself a marketing mentor to guide you through. Some people like a done it for you approach. Lots of my clients love my marketing mentoring service, because they learn how to do marketing for themselves with my step-by-step guidance.
Myself, Tracy Heatley, and all the other Chartered Marketers, are listed right here on the Chartered Institute Of Marketing Chartered Marketer directory.
Of course, I’ll be happy to help you if we’re the right fit for each other, so do get in touch or give me a call on 07812076946 for an informal chat. You can also book your marketing taster session right here. Whatever works best for you. Once you’ve booked, I’ll contact you to schedule a suitable time and we can take it from there.
Find out more about my other marketing and networking training services too.
I’m Tracy Heatley and I’d like to thank you for reading my blog, which I hope you found useful.
Better Business, Better You!