The Missing Element
June 22, 2021
Small business or large business, rural area or big city, retail or service...one element is so often missing...effective marketing! There can never be enough written or said about marketing and, especially, effective marketing. Businesses cannot grow without effective marketing, yet this is frequently a missing element for small businesses and SMEs. Effort might be put into operations but without effective marketing, the most efficient operation will not see an increase in sales.
Marketing Is More Than Advertising
Marketing and advertising are many times used interchangeably, but marketing is much more than simply advertising products and services. Marketing:
- Promotes a business
- Builds a demand for products and services
- Reaches a target market
- Encourages customers to connect, buy, and return for repeat purchases
Therefore, marketing certainly includes direct advertising but also includes various other components all working simultaneously.
Marketing components might be:
- A website
- Discount offers
- Email campaigns
- Event sponsorships
- Loyalty programs
- Social media
- Logo branded merchandise
Not Just One Component
It is not just one component that produces effective marketing but numerous components. While one component might be effective for one customer, another component might be equally effective for a different customer. What is important is that an effective marketing program is active...numerous components always working to promote the business rather than simply a website or bright signage.
A Few Probing Questions
Operators of small businesses and SMEs should ask themselves a few probing questions:
- Who is our typical customer?
- How do our customers learn about us?
- What is the most effective way of reaching potential customers?
- How do our competitors market their products and services, and how does that compare to how we market?
- Are we using all available components to market?
- Do we capitalize on our current, loyal customers and make the most of word-of-mouth referrals?
What Any Business Can Do
Basically, any business can market and any business can sell. That doesn’t mean every business will have effective marketing, however, or that every business will sell, be highly profitable, and see continued growth. The superior advantage goes to the business that also understands why their customers purchase and why they purchase from them. Although a business markets its products and services, it sells benefits and solutions that satisfy a customer’s desire and needs.
So, by combining a variety of marketing components, knowing customers, and understanding their needs produces effective marketing. When there is no effective marketing, most likely there is no real business growth. On the other hand, effective marketing produces tangible results that is necessary for small businesses and SMEs to grow and succeed. Effective marketing should not be a missing element in a small business or SME.