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Marketing Strategy

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Beat Big Business

Big Business, in spite of their big budgets, seldom do online well. With an emphasis on campaigns and branding, they forget the essentials of being found online or have a specific inbound lead generation strategy in place.

Recalling my 7 years working in the marketing department of a big NZ corporate, any online or print marketing was always about branding. In spite of the large amount of money spent, we could seldom attribute particular sales to an actual marketing promotion. This it seems, is the norm… With just a few notable exceptions, companies with 100+ staff often struggle to get things done in a quick and efficient manner when it comes to online or advertising. The sweet spot for online marketing, it appears, are those smaller companies with just 10-35 employees.

Branding Doesn’t Get You Much Website Traffic

Promotions and marketing for branding alone is a luxury small business cannot afford. Small business must get a return on every dollar spent and hence need to look at online marketing quite differently from their bigger competitors – Be more focused upon results and customer service. This flexibility means it’s becoming common for small businesses to do great online if they plan it well. They can end up with many more sales leads from being high on page one of a Google search result – their far bigger competitors at the bottom.

Corporate email promotions have the wrong emphasis too, with poor content and very low conversion rates. I’ve long programmed my email system to put these in the trash. They’re still in the old world of ‘push marketing’, not customer engagement. This presents opportunities for nimble small businesses to do better, on a limited budget – Propel them past their bigger competitors.

Here’s the quick summary on the six key areas small biz should focus on to get more leads and sales in 2012:

  • Write weekly, engaging website content. (Provide helpful stuff, not just product promos. Use WordPress. Hire a copywriter.)
  • Have an SEO strategy – Adhere to modern practices. (This is a vital, but complex area – Get me to help set it up)
  • Dump the Yellow Pages – Use Google Adwords (Done well, AdWords has 5-10x the return of Yellow, Finda or Gopher)
  • Monitor Website Analytics to help tune your promotions (Critical – I can provide you easy-to-understand weekly reports)
  • Build up and engage with your Facebook community (Several tutorials available, or outsource to specialists)
  • Build mailing lists – Have weekly mailouts with a follow-up strategy (Easy way to boost sales and leads. In-house or outsource)

Follow-up is the Key

That last item where I mentioned the term ‘follow-up’ is perhaps the hidden gem in all this. Few companies, large or small, do good follow-up. (Ourselves included). Today there’s lots of ways to track who opens your emails and visits your website. A strict follow-up strategy via personal emails and phone calls is one of the most cost-effective ways to turn visitors, into lifelong customers.  Read my recent ‘Salespeople – Be Gone’ article for some more common sense ideas on this topic. (click here)

If you want details on how to implement all this, give us a call on 09 889 0785 or email zn.oc.gnitekramizenull@nivek

Discussion

One comment for “6 Ways Small Businesses Can Beat Big Business”

  1. Great article Kevin. Our job needs to include sharing our knowledge and making sure our customers understand the basics for effective seo and search marketing! All of the above :)

    Posted by Kent Routen | January 4, 2012, 11:04 am

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