Do You Need Marketing Expertise for Your Small Business?

Do you have what it takes to effectively market your small business? If you do, that’s great, but if your efforts have so far not been up to scratch, or you would just like some professional help to boost your brand awareness, you might be interested in outsourced marketing services to help in moving your business forward.

Marketing your business is complex in the modern world. Today’s consumers are generally very savvy and well informed, and as a small business owner you need to be on the ball to keep up with them and with changes in the marketplace.

Modern marketing can also take a lot of time – something that many small business owners and directors probably don’t have in abundance. Running a business, developing products and services and supervising employees can be enough of a task, without thinking about how to go about boosting your exposure and market share. This might mean that the task of marketing seems overwhelming or at least very challenging.

You need to think about advertising and promotion, your branding, graphics, website, communications and various other matters. Without the expertise in these areas you might not know quite where to begin.

i.interact’s services include development of marketing plans and strategies, branding and / or rebranding, graphic design and public relations. i.interact also knows that your enterprise is totally unique, and needs a tailored approach to marketing and conveying to your target market what it is you have to offer. We are also aware that your funds might be limited, and can negotiate a program with you to fit within your budget.

i.interact can provide a contact person as well as a team of experts to help you with all the facets of marketing that you need. You will also have the option of using our services constantly, or on an ad-hoc basis – such as when launching a new product line for instance. Outsourced marketing services can help to provide your business with that professional and competitive edge, which in turn can assist you in retaining your clients and attracting new ones along the way.

Marketing Ideas for Small Business

While anyone in a profit-making business is naturally keen to achieve a return on their investment, business experts will often emphasise that the focus of any business owner needs to be not so much on the bottom line, but on providing the best product or service in the marketplace.

Of course this starts with knowing what it is that consumers actually want or need in the first place. This involves listening to your customers, and it might entail doing some market research – through surveys, direct interviews, focus groups or other methods. Even many established companies will conduct market research when considering launching a new product. This is a vital step – as without knowing what it is that people really want, you might find yourself paddling upstream in the wrong direction!

Once you are clear on what customers want, and you have researched the competition and you are clear on your product’s cost and pricing structure, you need to develop some sound marketing tactics to help you achieve your goals and objectives. This is a continual process that involves keeping your eye on the market, measuring your progress through sales targets, and making adjustments to your strategies as required.

Here are some tips for developing better small business marketing strategies:

  •  Take advantage of the free or low-cost advertising opportunities that are available these days, such as social media, or email campaigns.
  •  Consider producing flyers, brochures, videos, press releases, a website, blog, or advertising in industry magazines.
  •  Attend trade shows and give out samples of your product or brochures describing your professional service, and be available to talk to potential clients.
  •  Consider offering special discounts or discount vouchers to use within a certain timeframe.
  •  Network with other small business owners in the industry. Ask questions with the goal of finding out what works for them and what doesn’t.
  •  To increase your exposure consider joining professional trade industry associations and networking with other businesses.
  •  Increase your skills through training sessions, employing a mentor, or attending seminars. Keep your mind open and flexible. Of course as a small business owner, you might feel that you are doing your upmost just to keep your business running, and that you just don’t have the time for marketing or the means to employ someone to do it for you.

This is where small business marketing services such as that provided by i.interact can help, by providing you with professional and expert marketing services when and where you need them – from developing marketing plans, sales and marketing tools, to branding, graphic design and public relations. Our services allow you, the business owner to keep on doing what you love to do, while knowing that marketing and promotion of your product or service has not slipped under the radar!

Outsource your Marketing and Save Time, Money and Stress

As a small or medium-sized business owner, you no doubt have a lot of things to consider each day. This can involve wearing a lot of different hats, which can be a challenge when you’d really rather get on with whatever it is you’re good at – whether that’s developing products, administration, supervising people, or doing the accounts.

It can also make the task of marketing your product or services seem a little overwhelming. And yet without promotion, who is going to know about your great product/service in the first place? After all, without marketing, your business cannot thrive and grow. In this case, you might want to consider outsourced marketing services.

Marketing service experts can help business owners develop top-notch marketing strategies to best promote their brand. This can involve the development of a marketing plan, plus a combination of marketing activity execution, public relations, branding, and graphic design services.

Some of the advantages of outsourcing are:

• You gain access to the expertise of seasoned marketing professionals who really know their stuff!

• It means one less hat for you to wear – allowing you to relax a little and not feel stressed about how to go about marketing your brand effectively.

• Cost savings – rather than the expense and complication of hiring an internal marketing manager, you pay only for the services you need, when you need them.

• You get to decide which services you want and need, and whether to use a consultant on a permanent basis or just for individual projects. This means that you are the one in control.

Ideally a marketing services provider will give you your own dedicated marketing manager, meaning that you only need to deal with one contact person rather than different people for all the various tasks involved in marketing. Your contact person should also be an excellent communicator, keeping you up-to-date with everything they are doing and providing you with regular reports and correspondence.

i.interact’s Virtual Marketing Manager Service includes all of the above, which means you can rest assured knowing that your marketing and your business are in good hands. i.interact can help you meet your business goals, by working with you to tailor a top-notch marketing program involving a mix of activities to suit your unique products/services.

After all marketing services should never be one-size-fits-all! Services provided can include the development and design of marketing materials, sales tools, email newsletters, direct mail campaigns, sponsorship, event planning, branding – depending on what it is you want to achieve. Outsourcing marketing services is really worth the investment if you know it can save you time, stress, costs, and headaches!

Types of Marketing Services for Small to Medium Businesses

Business owners are often experts in their own field, but they are not very experienced at marketing or know how to approach attracting clients. Or it might be that they just don’t have the time to spend developing marketing plans and strategies to promote their products and services.

Engaging the services of a marketing professional can often save business owners time and money by taking the guess work out of the equation. Following are just some of the different marketing services that are available:

Marketing Strategy and Planning – the development of a sound marketing plan that is in line with your business goals can be very time-consuming. A marketing plan involves market research including developing a range of activities and strategies for the promotion of your product/services. Utilising professional marketing services for these high level tasks may involve using a consultant on a permanent or project basis.

Branding and Graphic Design – business owners need to develop a brand that will help them to attract and retain clients. However, this can be a daunting task for someone who does not have the expertise in this area. Marketing services experts can help business owners to develop their brand, and provide graphic design services for their logo, stationery, and advertising materials.

Public Relations (PR) – this aspect of marketing enables business owners to generate more leads and increase awareness of their unique brand. However, even the business owner with the most brilliant product or service might not have the communication skills necessary for promoting it, and some PR expertise might be required. A PR campaign might involve press releases, email campaigns, events and various other activities.

A small to medium-sized business might not have the means to employ a marketing person on a full-time basis, and marketing agencies can be very costly. Using a boutique consultancy, such as i.interact, allows a business owner to access the expertise of a marketing professional in an affordable way. It also means they can obtain the types of marketing services they require only when they require them. Meaning they can get on with what it is they do best – running their business!

Elements of a Good Small Business Marketing Strategy

Effective marketing is an essential part of your overall business strategy. After all, there’s not much point in having a great product or service if no one is aware of it!

Here are a few points to start you off in developing your own small business marketing strategy:

  • A sound strategy starts from having clearly defined missions and goals. This means that you know what it is you want to achieve in your business.
  • You know your products and services well enough to be able to define them in easy-to-understand terms, and to demonstrate the ways in which they are unique.
  • You understand where your products and services ‘fit’ in the market at any point in time.
  • You have determined who your target market is, and done your research regarding what it is they really want and need. This is a vital element as you need to have your market narrowed down to those who are more likely to be interested in buying your product. Researching your target market or potential client base can be done through online research, focus groups and surveys.
  • You know the competition! It’s important to research your competitors, their products and services, pricing, and markets. By doing this, you can determine the areas where you can develop a distinct advantage.
  • You have decided which marketing communication and promotional tactics to utilise.
  • Your strategy can be tested, by measuring the results of campaigns.
  • The strategy should be flexible enough to be adjusted, depending on the results of activities, and on changes in the wider marketplace.

Timing and activities

Your short and long-term goals will also make a difference to your marketing strategy. For instance, your goal for next six months might be to reach out to a new demographic, or to advertise a new product, and this will determine the timing and type of activities you use.

Promotional tactics and activities might include advertising in the paper, in magazines, on websites and through social media, and on the radio, and with media releases, sales promotions involving short-term discounts, or direct marketing through email campaigns, brochures or telemarketing.

Remember, a good small business marketing strategy will aim to get the attention of your target market, and to keep drawing that attention over time.

This means keeping a keen eye on what is going on out there in the marketplace, and on what people are interested in.