Marketing tactics for small businesses

Small businesses are not known on the market, have little assets and resources, but a huge need to do marketing. Here are a few suitable, inexpensive and easy-to-implement marketing tactics for small businesses:

1.Popularise your mission

The mission is a brief definition of why the company exists. When ask „What you do“ you should be able to answer immediately with only one or with a maximum of two sentences. The explanation should include what products you manufacture, or services offer, on which market and what are your customers.

Make your mission visible on your site, insert it in brochures, company profiles, official correspondence of the company, e-mails of employees, business cards… Each reading will bring information about what you are doing and the one who needs you will seek you out (just remember to tell him where!).

2. Practice world-of-mouth marketing

Although your customers are still a few and are probably they are small businesses like yours (or maybe just because of that), turn every customer into your business ambassador.

Easy to say, hard-to do, I know…

What can you do to motivate your customers to recommend you to their friends, colleagues and acquaintances? Firstly – make them happy with your products and services. Know each customer personally. Call your customers on personal occasions. Send them small useful gifts (just be careful not to be very trivial 🙂 Of course – don’t forget to ask your existing customers make you a favour and recommend you, because they hardly will do this by themselves. And look for a way to reward your customers for this hand given – by giving them a special discount at the next sale, for example, or connecting them to your acquaintances to offer their products.

Give and you will receive back.

3. Organise user contests

User contests are a suitable tactics to gain popularity.

Just a few ideas 😊 A company that sells computer aided design software (CAD) can make a competition for students in architecture by awarding the first three with a license for their product. A company that sells bicycles can organize a competition for the fastest young cyclist with its brand.

Competitions for users is a tactic that is not often used by small businesses, but can seriously increase the popularity of a company and its products, especially when combined with the appropriate PR.

4. Send newsletters

Newsletters are periodicals that are distributed through a direct mailing campaign. Many mid-size and large companies already apply this tactic. It is especially useful for the small businesses.

You need to be careful your mailing not to be treated as a spam. A good approach is to use marketing of permission. Send an issue or two of your newsletters to your potential customers asking them for permission to make them regular subscribers. Give them an option to refuse receiving your newsletter and do not suffer from this.

5. Use guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing means using of non-standard tactics with little means, but which are different, memorable and quickly increase sales.

I remember a user consent for a car on a Bulgarian TV channel, in which a child had about 100 000 letters to withdraw the winner. The kid took the only blue envelope from the big pile. That was a pure guerrilla!

Search for guerrilla tactics and use the ones that seem most appropriate to you.

In conclusion – every smart and unusual tactic, which makes your business popular and creates interest in your products and services, can be used. All you have to do is let your imagination fly!

This article was initially published in Bulgarian on 5 February 2009 here.

 



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Pavlina D. Kozarova

Pavlina has worked for 20+ years as marketing specialist and business development manager in several Bulgarian and international IT and consulting firms. Her expertise is in the fields of project planning and management, business development, marketing & sales, innovation development and commercialization. Pavlina runs consultancy business with www.primavera88.com