Creative thinking that delivers results

10 Mar

The one marketing element most SMBs neglect

Category: Marketing strategy
marketing strategy, marketing, SMB

As I’ve said on many occasions, marketing for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) isn’t easy nowadays, in spite of all the tools at our disposal. Add to this that customers have become more demanding than ever before and the result is a much more complicated puzzle. And when SMBs fail to employ a sound marketing strategy in devising their marketing tactics, things can only get worse!

What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is simply the compilation of the various marketing components that enable a business to develop a strategic perspective when it comes to their marketing objectives and tactics.

In other words, it’s things like one’s branding, positioning, target market(s), marketing segmentation, value proposition and strategic messaging that when put together provide a clear roadmap for how a business should communicate with its clients, promote its products/services and the stories or messages it needs to tell.

Why SMBs fall short

In our rush to get on social media, email and build a website, many SMBs jump head-first into these activities with little thought to the marketing strategy that should be the very foundation of these channels and their content.  

So what’s wrong with this expedited approach? Businesses need to understand that a well thought out marketing strategy will provide you and your marketing team with immense clarity - telling you what you should (and shouldn’t) do from a marketing perspective through which channels and with what messages.

Without a strong strategy, businesses are really approaching their marketing blind without a good idea of what will work, how, why and with what tools and resources. Given most SMBs have tight marketing budgets and major time constraints, the imperative to have a solid strategic marketing foundation is arguably more important for them than many larger companies!

Devising your own marketing strategy

At Sydcam Marketing Communications, we understand that many companies don’t have the budget to hire a marketing agency or consultant to create this roadmap. So how can the average SMB do this on their own?

My first rule of thumb is to keep things as simple as possible in order to avoid making things any more complicated than necessary. The critical elements of any marketing strategy are 1) the value proposition, 2) messaging and 3) target market(s).

Once you’ve figured out these three, your marketing strategy should evolve fairly organically over time. You just need to be patient and realize you may have some missteps along the way.  . The benefit of this approach is that if you ever get stuck or have any doubts, you can always contact a marketing professional for their advice and opinion.

Your marketing strategy isn’t static

It’s also important to realize that your marketing strategy isn’t a static item, much like the rest of your marketing. It constantly evolves over time and will change based on changes within the market, including competitors, customers, competing solutions and even things as basic as the overall economy.

Make a point of reviewing your marketing strategy on an annual basis, just as you would complete an annual physical for your health. Ensure any assumptions you’ve made are still valid, review the competitive landscape and tap into the needs and expectations of your customers. You can then determine if your strategy needs to be tweaked or shifted to account for any changes in these factors.

If you ever need help clarifying or even devising your marketing strategy from scratch, we can help. Contact us to learn how we can to put your business on the path to marketing and sales success!

Note: If you would like to learn more about this and other marketing topics affecting small and medium-sized businesses, we’ll be presenting later this month at the Communicators Connection March meeting. Titled “Marketing for Small and Medium Businesses: Putting your best foot forward”, it’s sure to be an informative and engaging seminar for many. Register today!