What Are the Best Marketing Tactics for Growing Your Small Business?
By Stacy Karacostas
Lately, it seems most entrepreneurs are looking for a marketing "silver bullet" that's going to take their sales--and their business--through the roof. And plenty of folks are willing to sell you one.
Unfortunately, there's a fatal flaw with always thinking about your marketing in terms of tactics, and trying this one or that one...
You are totally relying on luck of the draw!
It's like stuffing quarters in a slot machine and pulling the handle over and over, hoping this time you'll get some money out of it. Sadly, customers aren't likely to come pouring out of the bottom of a one-shot tactic while bells ring and orange lights flash.
Besides, running a business is nothing like playing slots. And you simply can't afford to rely on lady luck.
Instead you need a specific plan and strategies for taking your business from where it is today, to where you want it to be tomorrow. And you need to be able to track results. That way you can continue to improve on your marketing efforts down the road.
Otherwise, at best, you end up doing twice as much work for half the reward. At worst, your business limps along or grows too slowly for you to achieve your personal, financial and business goals (Remember those? You did have some when you started your business, right?).
The bottom line is...
The best marketing tactics in the world aren't going to do diddley-squat to grow your business unless they are part of a bigger strategy.
To make an impact you need every piece of marketing you do to work together strategically to create what I call "Critical Marketing Mass".
This is the point where your ideal customers see or hear your name and core message so often, your marketing takes on a life of its own. Soon half the people you meet have already heard of you. And those that haven't quickly understand who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you instead of the competition.
Sounds great, right? Then clearly you're ready to quit pulling the handle and throwing away money on different marketing and advertising tactics, hoping something brings in customers.
That means it's time to do a little planning.
What you really need to know before you choose any marketing tactics
In order to choose the best marketing tactics for your business, you have to carefully consider: your target market, your business and sales goals, your brand, market position and USP (that's Unique Selling Proposition, or the reason they should buy from you instead of the other guy), your strengths & skills, and your available budget versus the potential return on investment.
This sounds like a tall order, but if you've already got a marketing or business plan, you should know a lot of these details. And if you don't, there's no time like the present to start.
Once you have the details down, it's just a matter of doing your due diligence to make sure your marketing is going to make the right impression (reinforce your brand) on the right people (your ideal customer).
And then doing some basic calculations to make sure the tactic you choose is likely to make you more than it costs.
Of course, even the best marketing strategies and tactics won't grow your business if they aren't written write. So don't make the costly mistake of thinking you can just sit down and write a money-making ad, sales letter, Website, or anything else.
You either need to learn the art copywriting yourself, or hire a proven sales copywriter to do the job for you. Only then can you feel confident that the odds of success, and sales, are in your favor.
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