Small Business Marketing
Every small business needs marketing help. Unfortunately, not every solution or potential partner actually will make sense for you. In today’s environment, there are so many options. The question is…What do you need? Where do you start? Our small business marketing services are purposefully custom to help your business survive and thrive.
How do we do that? We offer solutions that make sense for you.
The Goal: Making Marketing Work for YOUR Small Business
We frequently get questions about the best marketing strategy for small businesses. In reality, there is no standard answer. Social media is not always better than search, just as the reverse is untrue. There is no simple message or tactic that, if only you’d implement it, could propel your business forward.
That’s because every business is different. Don’t fall for a partner that tries to sell you on their solution, ready-made for all firms your size. Every business is different in some ways. You need a partner who can both find these differences and what makes you unique, and then build a marketing plan specifically for those guideposts.
That’s why we enter the entire process for any small businesses with a simple goal: how can we make marketing work specifically for your goals AND within your budget.
The answer is never quite the same. It will include a discovery phase through which we learn about you, along with an ongoing partnership of optimization and improvements. For every business we work with, that’s the core goal.
You might have built promotional campaigns before, or are just starting to dip your toes into the world of digital marketing. Either way, we’re here to help, working with you to achieve your goals within your budget.
The Process: A Marketing Strategy for Small Business
Our process is designed to find a marketing strategy that fits your company, situation, and competitive environment. That means we won’t just apply a template and hope for the best. We know that every business is different. Even your closest competitors will work with different budgets, audience perceptions, and brand history.
Instead, we go through a process designed to understand exactly what you need, and where you can benefit.
That process consists of three phases. But don’t think of them as entirely linear. Even if we focus on learning about your business at first, that learning process never stops. As part of our ongoing partnership, we will always look to keep optimizing on your behalf.
We don’t consider the initial consultation a formality. For us, it’s a true information gathering session to better understand your business and market.
It starts with a formal questionnaire that helps us get the basics down. We then follow it up with an open discovery session in which we hope to learn more about the answers you put down on that questionnaire. In that process, we look for a number of cornerstone information pieces:
- What’s your company’s history in the marketplace?
- Who does your company consider to be your target audience?
- What are your marketing goals and larger business objectives?
- What marketing initiatives are you currently doing, or have done in the recent past?
All of these and the various other points we’ll focus on and help us better understand you. That way, by the time we start to build your marketing strategy, we do so with your point of view instead of our own. We don’t have to build from a template, but have the information needed to start from scratch.
As part of the discovery session, we won’t just determine your goals and situation. We also try to understand your capabilities of reaching those goals within the right context. That allows us to build a marketing strategy that matches your budget and goals equally.
Of course, the information we get from you at the start of the process is only that – a start. We also do our own research of the marketplace and your competition to find out all the details we need about a potential marketing strategy.
Then, we’ll make specific marketing recommendations for an initial 90-day strategy and present them to you. That doesn’t just mean showing off a few individual tactics, like search engines or social media. Instead, it’s a detailed plan — completely customized for your needs rather than simply finding ways to spend your money.
This is a collaborative effort. Our initial recommendations help us work with you to determine the specifics of that final strategy, including the specific audience segment that’s most beneficial for you to target with this plan.
A note on target audience: Unless you have a limitless budget, and most small businesses don’t, you can never reach everyone. Your best bet will always be to determine exactly which segment of your market is most likely to actually respond and become your customer. That way, you don’t waste a significant chunk of your budget on people who have little to no chance of conversion.
The marketing strategy includes:
- Building out your marketing strategy based on what we learned in the Discovery phase
- Creative ad concepts for your approval
- Ad optimization
After you sign off on our marketing strategy, we will get to work right away. That includes multiple months of messaging, so we can keep the content fresh for your audience. That way, we can optimize the campaign for you over time in a way that minimizes effort on your behalf.
Your marketing strategy is the blueprint for what we will execute. That’s what the third and final phase of our small business marketing process is designed to do.
Based on our plan, approved by and optimized together with you, we will begin to build the final campaigns that makes its way in front of your audience. The content will be informed by all of the research we did in the first stage. This is where it’s worth reiterating that no two marketing strategies should be identical. Your messaging should be designed specifically for your business, not based on some templates that are supposed to work everywhere.
Both in the strategy and execution phase, keep one thing in mind: it’s never about a specific tactic. You might think that social media will work better than display ads. Don’t get too hung up on that. Instead, our goal will always be to focus on finding the right messaging, and the right marketing channels, for your specific situation and audience.
What Happens Between the Three Phases?
Once the campaign is live, the three phases will begin to interact with each other:
- As we begin to execute various promotional tactics, we may learn more about your business and its audience that will inform the strategy.
- As we work together, we will naturally learn more about your business that we begin to infuse into our plan and content.
- Throughout each phase, we will discuss your monthly reporting, analyze the data and make adjustments where needed.
In other words, the three phases continually inform each other. That sounds complex, but don’t worry – much of that process happens in the background. After all, we aim to be your partner, the marketing experts by your side that know your business well enough to keep working on the nuances even as we keep pursuing your big picture goals.
What your small business needs is not just another vendor looking to take advantage of the fact that you need external marketing help. When you work with us, we can guarantee you that we will be a partner throughout the process, and that your business goals will become our own goals as we optimize your promotional efforts over time.
Part of that process is a monthly reporting schedule to keep you up to date on what your marketing budget is actually accomplishing. We send our partners a monthly status report, updating them on all of their tactics. In addition, we’ll look to get together with you for status meetings monthly to discuss, optimize, and improve our marketing efforts.
It’s just another way of making sure that we never fall into a template approach. The work we do with each of our clients is different based on their unique needs and situation. That’s influenced by many pieces and allows us to build truly custom solutions for every small business we work with.
That partnership becomes beneficial for your budget, as well. We don’t believe in building a marketing strategy for you that doesn’t actually take your budget into account. And if we know that budget but don’t think it’s enough to meet your marketing goals, we’ll let you know. We’d rather walk away than work with a client to get their money with no chance of success.
What we do believe in is making sure your plan is custom, informed by years of experience in helping small businesses build their marketing and the nuances that come along with it. Work with us to dip your toes into the digital marketing realm, and maximize your opportunities in partnering with us.