14 Steps to Market your Business

Jun 25, 2021Marketing

1. Organize Market Research

The main reason for marketing is to promote your business to potential consumers. Market research is a key part in developing the strategy of your small business. Collect information that provides insight on what potential customers are looking for, selling and buying patterns, and more. 

This type of research can help identify potential customers, learn more about existing customers, inform certain decisions, test new markets, and identify performance, pricing, and promotion opportunities. 

Monitoring marketing trends can help any business keep up with what is currently popular with consumers. This can also help keep an eye on what the competition is working on as well as understanding their marketing strategies.

2. Identify your Target Markets

We all know promoting one’s product or service can be a costly and sometimes ineffective procedure. Grouping the type of potential customers that are expected based on certain characteristics can help focus any marketing efforts. 

Segmenting future clients is usually based on factors such as geography, demographics, behavior, and lifestyle. 

Geography pertains to a location, like what are people looking for in a local business.. Demographics are age, gender, education level, income, and occupation – anything related to the characteristics of the human population. Behavior is based on loyalty, attitude, readiness to purchase, and usage rates. And lifestyle applies to social class, personality, and values. 

3. Develop Your Brand

Every business, no matter how big or small, has a product or service they provide that defines that business. Brands are made up of that product or service along with a business name, logo, design, and slogan. 

When it comes to what a brand has to say and look like, the two have to coincide. There’s a reason why this product or service is being made, right? Make sure the brand of any product has a look, an identifiable design that expresses a business’s purpose in a unique outlook. 

Whatever product or service is chosen, make sure that the brand also connects to the targeted audience your business is trying to reach out to. 

4. Set up Goals and Budgets

Any sort of preplanning and preparation towards marketing ideas will help succeed in long-term goals. There’s an acronym to help achieve the right goals for any business. That acronym is SMART, standing for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

For each goal that is made, make sure it falls into each category. This will help obtain goals that will benefit your business. 

Along with setting goals, there need to budget as well when deciding on marketing activities. Some activities could include website development and maintenance, search engine optimization strategy, branding design, prints of promotional materials such as business cards and signage, advertising, donations, and employees. 

To make sure there is enough money from profits to put towards the business, 3%-5% of the business’ expected annual turnover should go towards marketing. When starting up a business, a higher percentage may need to be arranged considering marketing is what helps get a business off the ground. 

5. Craft an Elevator Pitch

Continuously marketing wherever you go should be a top priority. Make sure whatever the pitch is to help advertise your business, make it a good, yet short one. 

Researchers have found that the average attention span of an adult is about eight seconds compared to a decade ago where it used to be twelve seconds. That means, your pitch must be grabbing, memorable, and makes your audience want more. 

Your pitch should engross your audience which will give you about a minute to advertise and sell your product or service. When started off with a high-quality, well-informed, and enticing pitch, it will pay off in the long run as more future customers are intrigued. This will result in more referrals which will then create more buyers to purchase from your business. 

6. Influence your Community

When thinking about marketing efforts, think locally. Your community is your biggest supporter when it comes to your business. You need to show the ones closest to you in location what their area has to offer to them. 

Advertise where your company would fit best. Whether it’s sponsoring a local food drive, community youth sports, or craft fairs, sharing information about your company during local gatherings will grab your community’s attention. 

This will involve banners, bookmarks, brochures, posters, and more printable items which will give a message out to the people without having to constantly tell everyone what your business is. 

7. Work Together

Collaborating with other businesses within the same niche can assist in advertising for both with half the amount of work. This also shows unification between corporations, creating peace, kinship, and balance where both parties succeed.

By advertising through coupons, bundle promotions, fliers, and social media platforms, your audience can see how two of their favorite businesses are working together to create a great service, making more people interested in the product. 

This can also help in reaching new people other businesses have corralled, expanding your search in areas and communities you haven’t been able to touch. 

8. Network

Networking is where someone interacts with others in exchange for information, developing professional contacts. It’s a great way to get to know potential clients, business partners, and future collaborations. 

Networking requires commitment and it, unfortunately, does not provide instant gratification. It is a process that takes time, effort, and patience. The more you network though, the more possibilities could happen. 

Some great places to express networking are conferences, social events, and social media. Conferences are exceptionally helpful because most of the people you meet are in the same line of work. This can lead to even more social events which can lead to more meet and greets and successful partnerships. 

9. Give a Speech

Conferences aren’t just a great place to meet others in your field, it is a wonderful platform to talk about your company to the entire group. 

Giving a speech as a qualified expert can educate others on your level of credibility and professionalism. It can also advertise what your business has to offer, its success, and productivity. 

Even if you aren’t an expert in your field, but you know well enough on what you are talking about, others will see a professional in your field and will possibly go to you for advice or mentorship. 

10. Create Gossip

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to inform others about a business. It’s an old-fashioned technique, yet is still practical and helpful. 

As people hear through the grapevine, they will want to find out more about your business. Most will search your business name, look into your website and social media platforms, and read what reviewers will have to say about your product or service. 

Hearing from others through conversation will encourage potential clients to purchase from you. When hearing a positive reaction from a friend, coworker, or family member will only entice potential customers to buy your product or service even more. 

11. Ask for Reviews

Asking for reviews from your customers is not bad or shameful action. How else is an online business going to know how they are doing without hearing what their customers think? 

Most clients and customers are very willing to type out a review on their experience. This helps others interested in the product or service know what the business is like, what they provide, and how the customer service is. 

Without reviews or referrals, it’s hard to know the success and quality of a business’s brand.

12. Build Connections

Establishing strong connections between your business and your customers is what keeps your existing clients coming back and referring you to their friends and family. Building relationships helps you continue to succeed by creating mutual respect and continuous business. 

One way of keeping in touch with your current clients is through email marketing. Emails are a great online marketing tool to let your subscribers know when special promotions are happening, what discounts they can apply to purchases, and receive certain specials based on holidays. 

To achieve a customer’s email, ask them when they visit your store or website. You can do this on your website either with a landing page or at the end of their purchase. 

13. Offer Discounts

Coupons and discounts are a smart way to attract current customers on continuing to purchase from you and intrigue new customers. 

Research has shown that 64% of consumers wait for a product or service to go on sale before purchasing. If an item isn’t on sale, 59% of consumers will seek out promotional or discount codes. 

Discounted rates are what bring people back. They like to know that they’ve saved a few bucks here and there. It helps them know you aren’t exactly blowing a ton of money on a particular product or service which gives them a reason to go back and purchase more. 

14. Monitor and Review

Always keep an eye on how your marketing ideas are doing compared to sales and reviews. It’s good to know what activities work and what doesn’t help avoid future marketing mistakes. 

It’s smart to review current marketing plans every three months to keep up to date on which activities are supporting your strategy. Once your review plan has been established, your business can introduce a new product or service. This can help by expanding your company, going beyond the competitors, or keeping up with demand.