The big corporations of the world seem to have endless resources to force smaller companies into submission. They have in-house marketing teams and hire advertising agencies to create marketing collateral, websites, messaging, advertising, direct mail, and email campaigns. They test and retest, conduct quantitative analysis to measure market share, develop new creative messaging, focus on brand development, and more! They hire the best and brightest out of business school and pay them hefty salaries. Marketing budgets are in the millions. TV advertising budgets alone are in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Small firms, for the most part, have none of these things. So how can small businesses possibly compete, and more importantly, survive, and get the word out? Is it a losing battle from the beginning?
The answer is that, of course small businesses can and do get the word out about their products and services – but not in nearly the same broad way that the biggest companies do. In fact, big business is taking a page out of the small, grassroots marketing plan today because they are looking to reach their prospective buyers more directly. So how do small businesses compete without the resources of Goliath?
1. Focus on one or two target markets. You don’t need to reach millions; you need to reach buyers most likely to buy. Who are your most probable targets?
2. Concentrate on commonsense marketing that does not cost millions, in particular: referrals, your web presence, social media and public relations. In fact, the best marketing can be nearly free! What free marketing are you using?
3. Unlock the power of your employees. Marketing is an everyday, all of the time effort for small businesses. Everyone in a small business is involved in marketing the business because they are the business. It is easier for prospects to connect with a business they know. Small businesses are easier to get to know. Does your staff present the company well?
Marketing is the effort of getting people to buy. For small businesses, keeping a tight focus on what really matters eliminates the need to have the millions of resources of the biggest firms.