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A truism: To remain operational, most businesses need to not only meet the needs of existing customers but also attract new ones.

To do this, you need to market. Small business marketing today is much different. Now, your focus should not just be on sales and promotions, but on building a brand, creating a social following, and interacting with your clients and customers. To do that, you need a comprehensive marketing plan.

Before you can create such a plan, you need to know who your most likely customer is. What are the demographics for your most likely customer? It’s important to answer questions such as:

  • Who is your most common customer?
  • What is their income range?
  • Are they men, women, kids?
  • Are they from a certain educational background?
  • Are they local or global?

Once you determine who your target customer is, you can craft a strategic marketing plan that targets those individuals. Simply ask yourself, who are the people most likely to purchase your products or services? The Small Business Administration offers a great deal of free support and information to help you with targeting customers.

Creating a Cost-Effective Small Business Marketing Campaign

Most small businesses cannot launch large-scale, expensive campaigns. If your marketing budget isn’t unlimited, you’ll need to be creative in how you target your customer. Consider these tips.

  • Interact within the community. Get in front of the media for something positive. Work with vendors and other businesses to promote important local events. Sponsor a fundraiser for people in need. Get your name out.
  • Utilize social media marketing. Lesser expensive and with a large reach, this type of marketing allows you to use the Internet to interact with your current customers and reach for new ones. The key is to build a brand image and interact, not just sell, to your customer.
  • Take full advantage of existing customers. Send them direct mail or email newsletters (if they’ve signed up for them.) Offer them in-store incentives to come back another time or to share with friends. Word-of-mouth advertising is still powerful.

Small business marketing doesn’t have to cost a great deal of money, but it needs to be front and center during every component of your work week. Take the time to build a marketing campaign that addresses your unique needs and customers.

by Bruce Worrall, Oct-8-2015

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