A lot of small business owners are struggling in these difficult economic times. But if you ask them if their marketing communication strategy is working all they do is give a blank expression. This article is meant to explain the role of the marketing communication strategy and how to turbo charge it for successful small business marketing ideas.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing points out the importance of marketing saying, “One of the foundational secrets to success in business is to invent, discover and connect what we are doing with a since of purpose that drives the entire enterprise”. The point is to do what you are passionate about and connect it to the business by delivering your message with passion based marketing.
Your marketing communications is the key to delivering this message in an orderly way. The most important aspect of business is creating sales and the traditional method is through advertisement, but everyone with a small budget tries to drive sales this way and something is lost in the message that lands flat at the feet of your targeted customer. Why? I think its because we are overwhelmed with advertising. We need to find ways to communicate in a new and exciting way with our targeted customer that helps them to see the value in what we provide.
Offer an Extraordinary Product or Service
Obviously the first thing is to make sure to offer an extraordinary product or service. Something that is hard to match quality wise that enables you to connect with your targeted customer.
My wife owns a business called Moms Table, which sells prepared foods. One of the items she sells is Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad. She has spend a lot of time trying to create an item for her targeted customers that they can’t get anywhere but Moms Table. She came up with a secret sauce that brings the taste of the chicken salad to another level. Her ideal customers love it and word has spread so everyone, not just her targeted customers, comes from miles around to buy a pint of her now famous chicken salad.
The point I am trying to make here is that marketing communications compliments an extraordinary product or service. No matter what you do you will not succeed if your product or service is average or below average.
Offer Availability Consistently
Nothing irritates customers more then loving a product that is hard to get. Builds a colossal amount of frustration. During bad economic times customers are looking for good experiences that make them feel good.
Most small businesses deliver on availability as evident in a survey by The Pew Research Center that found that most people trust small businesses more then their churches or government. As a matter of fact small business was number one on the list of most trusted by the public. Take advantage of this and communicate your marketing message to everyone you know, see, or meet, but remember to make sure you have your product available.
Marketing Communications Strategy
When you have an extraordinary product and can deliver it consistently its time to put together a marketing communications strategy that leads to small business marketing ideas.
First who is your targeted customer? Are they young single college age adults or older retired senior citizens? Maybe it is other businesses? What or whomever needs to be sorted out. It is like fishing you need to know what kind of fish you are going after so you bring along the right bait.
Email marketing may be an excellent way to communicate with the younger crowd but it may fail miserably with the seniors. In the above example my wife has a chalkboard were she list her Mom’s Famous Chicken Salad and puts it out by the street so busy people with no time to cook or make chicken salad can see it. This is a very viable marketing communication tactic that she uses successfully.
Next is to decide what your message will be when you do communicate. Its important to entice them but not to give to much information. They need to be curious to approach you and when they try your extraordinary product or service it brings them back for more. Then they can’t wait to tell their friends, relatives and associates. My wife gives free once ounce samples of her chicken salad to entice her customers to buy.
How to Find New Creative Marketing Ideas
A great way to come up with new creative ideas for marketing is to take a day cruise around town talking with other small business owners about what they have found that is successful. If you smile and phrase your question in a way that makes the owner feel like he or she is helping you will almost always hit pay dirt for new ideas.
Another creative way is to hang around the magazine rack at your favorite bookstore and rifle through the throngs of business magazines on the rack. You might just find someone else who enjoys being creative and is looking for a similar contact to exchange ideas or an article with a clever and creative way to market your product.
Be sure to take a notebook and pencil to record all that your learn. You will find that once your creative juices start to flow they become like a river overflowing its banks so be sure to list ideas to contemplate over time.
That really is all there is to coming up with marketing communication ideas and forming a strategy. I admit it is harder then it seems, but these ideas and concepts should help you formulate some creativity in your marketing communications strategy.
Duct Tape Marketing, by John Jantsch, http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor- April 18, 2010 http://people-press.org/report/606/trust-in-government