For a small business owner, marketing is an important tool in your arsenal that will not only help you grow your business, but help retain your current customers. Though traditional marketing strategies can still work, the electronic age has spawned a variety of marketing tools that you cannot overlook. Many small business owners fail to develop a successful marketing strategy, because they don’t take the time to evaluate which tool produces the greatest return.
Traditional marketing strategies have been signage, phone book advertising, flyers, direct mail, print advertising and press releases. These methods have their place, but they are not always the most cost-effective method in the age of the Internet and mobile phones. For example, according to the Missouri Small Business amp; Technology Center, a decent direct mail campaign can cost $1.25 per piece. If you use an email campaign instead, it can cost next to nothing. If you spend money on a marketing method, you must find out whether it generates enough sales to justify its cost. Direct mail coupons afford a measurement of direct mail, but short of a survey, it’s harder to assess the impact of, for example, phone book advertising.
Though not everyone has Internet access, enough people do that it makes sense to have a website, particularly if your customers can currently order your goods by phone or through a catalog. Shopping around can buy you a relatively inexpensive website and a service that will handle your merchant services, such as credit card payments. Sign-in features, such as email addresses, or site meters that track traffic to your site, provide you with a method of tracking its cost effectiveness. Site meters also reveal how a visitor arrived at your site, information which you can use for search engine optimization.
Print advertising and flyers, even signage, can be replaced with social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. New products, sales, special events and coupons can be placed on your Facebook or Myspace pages. Twitter can announce special events, sales or holiday hours. These services are free and can grow exponentially with some effort on your part, but with a zero outlay of cash. LinkedIn can be productive if your business offers a service, because you can be found in a search performed by industry, which could result in a new customer. Direct mail campaigns can be replaced with email campaigns, in which you can offer coupons to draw in new customers and rewards for existing customers, and have no outlay of cash. SEO services in San Diego, CA will be the best choice of the person for the websites. With the increased rankings, there will be keyword searching facility available for the person.
The most important element in any marketing campaign is first to know your target market. Your target market reflects the characteristics of the people that buy or use your product. Once you define your target market, you must then clarify their habits, how they look for things, the tools they use. Most of this is general knowledge. For example, if your target market is people over 70 years old, they likely found you in the yellow pages. Internet marketing would reach very little of that market. On the other hand if people in their twenties are your target market, using only the yellow pages to reach them would generate very little return. If you’re not on the internet, they probably won’t find you.