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.

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.

The Benefits of Outsourcing your Marketing

If you’re a business owner reading this, you will relate to having to wear the many and varied hats of running a small business. Marketing just happens to be one of those hats, and as we all know, it takes time, dedication and expertise to get results. If you think about it, the cost of hiring a qualified Marketing Manager can be very expensive and almost impossible, particularly for a small to medium sized business.

Outsourcing your marketing allows you, the business owner/director/general manager to focus your efforts on other important tasks such as product development, driving sales and overall operations. It also eliminates the stress of trying to do it all yourself or delegating it internally to another staff member who doesn’t have the time or expertise to do it justice.

Some other benefits of outsourcing your marketing include:

  • Specialised skills and expertise – benefit from having a specialist on your team that you could not otherwise afford to hire full time.
  • An external perspective – outsourcing eliminates the “We’ve always done it this way” mentality which is the key to changing your marketing habits.
  • One point of contact – benefit from having an individual represent your business and act on your behalf, providing complete transparency.
  • Collaboration and consistency – collaborating on the execution, tracking and measuring of your marketing efforts is priceless. Outsourcing breeds consistency in the marketing cycle.

Imagine having a Marketing Strategy and Action Plan that ticks all of the boxes, while having your very own Virtual Marketing Manager executing all of your recommended marketing tactics on your behalf, while measuring and tracking the results and reporting back to you on a regular basis. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, this is the very reason I started my business, i.interact 3 years ago. This service is available and right at your fingertips, therefore if you are serious about expanding and streamlining your business, outsourcing your marketing is something to seriously consider.

For more information, send us an email via our contact form or phone 0407 079 725.