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Category - Marketing

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1
A 5 Day Marketing Challenge For You!
2
10 Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now
3
Market To The Right Customer!
4
Marketing Is All About Helping Your Customers
5
Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment

A 5 Day Marketing Challenge For You!

If you are a small business owner and you are not marketing, or marketing effectively, then you cannot grow.

Sorry to be so blunt.

Perhaps you will grow to some extent because you have a group of loyal customers, or you have a great product. But at some stage, unless you market your business, you will hit a very uphill slope to grow any further. In the business life cycle, this is called the “plateau” stage, and small businesses that do not market themselves get to plateau a lot earlier than other mature businesses.

The crux of the matter is that even as you grow slowly now, you cannot meet your own expectations – that dream you had for your business when you started it.

The answer is, you have to market your business.

But it need not be a massive project or an expensive affair.

Marketing is all about understanding what your product does for your target market and then telling them in an appropriate way.

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10 Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now

In the last few weeks, I have written about how marketing is really all about helping customers solve their problems. You can go to the blogs at Teik Oh Dot Com to catch up.

However, I thought this week I’d give you some marketing strategies you can use right now.

But don’t get me wrong – these aren’t copy-and paste-strategies, and you do have to do some homework yourself on how you can apply this to your situation. However, if you spend just a little time to fine-tune these ideas for your business, I’m sure that you can use some of these strategies immediately.

Here we go!

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Market To The Right Customer!

Here’s a shocking fact – most small businesses don’t do any marketing!

Hoping for a word-of-mouth referral is not marketing.

Sticking an ad in the classifieds amongst all your competitor’s ads is not marketing.

A sandwich board outside your shop is not marketing.

Marketing is about focusing on what you sell, who you should sell it to, what they like to hear, where they want to hear it from, and how to consistently move them from “interested” to having a “conversation” to being a “buyer”.

Because small businesses who do try to implement some marketing are not focused on this, here’s another shocking fact:

Most are marketing to the wrong customers.

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Marketing Is All About Helping Your Customers

If you have been at the receiving end of a bad car salesman, you would have received an ear-bashing about how good the car is, all the gadgets it contains, how fast (or safely) you can go, and what range of colours you can get it in.

If, on the other hand, you have met a good car salesman, you probably walked away with the car at the end of your meeting.

Why?

Because the good car salesman would have asked about your family and friends, talked about what cars you have owned before, asked about where you live and where you work.

This might sound like friendliness, and might have initially annoyed you (“I’m here to look at a car, not to have a chat!”), but at the end when he showed you the car and suggested how it and its features might fit with your lifestyle, you got to like him or her!

That good salesman knew that he wasn’t there to sell you something but to help you receive a benefit.

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Turn Marketing Cost To Marketing Investment

Often, when I talk to small business owners about the need for them to market their businesses properly, the conversation usually turns to how costly it can be.

People talk about the cost of marketing material, the cost of advertising, the cost of other marketing activities, and if they think to prepare them, the cost of preparing marketing plans.

I prefer to think of expenditure on marketing as an investment rather than a cost, and especially if what you spend leverages into multiple sale volumes.

But this is often difficult to see for a number of reasons:

  • Not many small businesses have focused marketing plans so their marketing activity ends up as a shot in the dark without any significant returns
  • As a result, their marketing is a scatter gun approach so the cost of running marketing activities is not met by significant increases in sales
  • When they do decide to prepare a marketing plan, they hire a consultant, at a significant cost, and the resulting plan is hard to follow because they are not actively engaged in the “advice” given
  • Consultant-prepared marketing plans don’t allow for the business owner to adapt and amend as they roll it out.

What these small business owners (you?) need is a cost-effective way to turn the cost of a marketing plan and its implementation into an investment in finding more sales.

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