Essential Marketing Skills for Small Business Owners
The gap between small business and big business marketing is closing as the world gets smaller and smaller each day. Just a few years ago a small business had no means to reach the type of audience as a big business. Now the smallest business in the world can find a global market in no time flat. Using these three marketing skills, you can develop skills that will lead to great things for your business.
Going with the flow has always been a major part of marketing, and it always will be. However, in 2013 and beyond, adaptability will be more crucial than ever. We live in a constantly changing world, one with a ton more opportunities than your marketing ancestors had to contend with. Just keeping up with the new technology can be a headache.
Your audience is in a constant state of flux, and they’ve always got something else going on in their lives. They’re buying new phones and tablets, they’re trying out new areas of town, and they’re trying out new things because a friend from high school recommended it on Facebook. If you’re not taking advantage of all these things you’re missing out on potential sales.
Coca-Cola started out going door-to-door selling the drink to shops and anyone else who wanted it. It worked in the 1800s, sure, but sticking to that plan didn’t make them a worldwide brand. Changing with the times did.
Learn how to make videos, even if it’s just with your built in web cam. Get on Pinterest and Instagram. Learn the right way to run a Facebook sweepstakes while staying on the right side of the law. All of these things are marketing skills unique to the here and now. Time to adapt!
The age of the faceless business is coming to an end (if it hasn’t already). If you don’t have at least some web presence then many consumers get suspicious. Furthermore, if that web presence doesn’t include something about the company’s story, it can also further ostracize customers.
Don’t take this the wrong way – if you don’t have a good product or solid business practices you’ll be called on it, no matter how good your story is. But if you’ve worked hard on starting up your company – saving pennies and learning your trade over the years – people want to know about it. They love hearing success stories and yours is interesting, Don’t go off the deep end with it – make it short, snappy, and fun to read. No matter how great your story is nobody wants to read a novel before they buy your wares.
Figure Out Why People Need What You’re Selling
A long time ago I worked for a company that sold entertainment items – books, movies, music, etc. My manager Dave told me the greatness of the store was “we don’t sell anything here anybody actually needs.” Unfortunately, they went out of business a few years later.
I liked Dave but he was dead wrong on this approach. Sure, in a Pavlov’s Hierarchy of Needs-sense nobody needed the latest Backstreet Boys single. In a different sense, though, they absolutely did. There are many stories of people rushing into the store looking for a song they just heard on the radio they “have to have, right now.” Sounds like need to me!
Don’t think of the items you sell as “want vs. need.” Assume your customers need everything you’re selling. It may not be food or water, but they need it nonetheless. You just have to figure out why so you can remind them of that fact every so often.