marketing

Marketing strategies are constantly changing with the times. What was a good promotional plan for last year may be out-of-date when it comes to connecting to your target market, and reaching the right demographic profile for your product or service. Now is a great time to reevaluate your small business marketing options. The New Year has had enough time to define its own styles, public opinions, and trends.  This means that it’s also a perfect time in which to define a new marketing strategy for 2017. Below we will offer several different modern advertising tactics that will help you decide what direction your small business marketing plan will take you in the future.

Mobile Madness

One marketing tool that is actually gaining ground on the all-mighty laptop, especially when it comes to being a top consumer shopping outlet, is the ever-present, much-loved, and can’t live withoutable Mobile Cell Phone. Any small business that has not created a mobile website yet for their business is, I’m afraid, way behind the times. A small business without a mobile website is just plain overlooking a very low-cost and effective marketing option.

According to Flurry Analytics, 90% of time spent on cell phones is through an App. Now you might say App! –  I’m not big enough to have an application for my business. That’s nonsense! Mobile apps do everything these days from ordering a simple cup of morning coffee, or a late night pizza. Creating a mobile phone application for a small business is as easy as going online and getting a free estimate from established software creators like SurgeForward.com. There are plenty of websites that even offer free Mobile App creation, but, as the old adage goes – “You get what you pay for.”

Ancient E-mail

E-mail marketing has been getting a bad rep lately for being a dinosaur. This actually depends on how a small business uses this tool. No one likes spam, or at least most people don’t. We can pretty much depend on this marketing fact. So don’t spam people! E-mail is a great marketing strategy for bringing in return customers. People may not like spam, but they sure do like discount coupons and online checkout codes. It’s not spam in the consumer’s mind if they have visited your store, website, or mobile App. Especially if they have willingly entered an E-mail address online, or have given it to a cashier.

When it comes down to it, if used right, e-mail marketing can actually be an effective strategy. A small business must proficiently incorporate valuable and useful information that the consumer can use in their e-mail marketing. IE: Links, blog articles covering industry news, etc. Follow these simple steps and your small business can easily squeeze another successful marketing year out of what some critics prematurely call, an old-school advertising relic of the past.

Data is King in 2017

Successful marketing is always based on accumulated relevant data. The data should target a certain group, age, area, or financial demographic. This forms the foundation of good advertising decisions. Great ones, of course, are even better, but bad marketing decisions are usually financially devastating – this is why building up a proper data bank that includes both last year’s customers and this year is detrimental to a worthwhile working strategy.

Now small businesses might feel that big analytic software is out of their league and way too expensive. That may have been true a decade ago, but today there are plenty of economical software packages for small businesses that would perfectly fit their needs. Be sure to also include the human factor into your decision making. IE: Proven knowledge, employees, partners, and associates alike, plus, don’t forget your customer’s input (This is where online e-mail surveys come in handy). Don’t ever rely on a machine to run your business.

Social Media and Consumer Data

Anyone in the modern age that owns a computer, laptop, or mobile device should know what an important marketing tool social media is. It’s the main purveyor of social hysteria as well. There is nothing better for a small business than to have a positive post about their product or service go viral on the World-Wide-Web. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, LinkedIn….plus an endlessly growing list. This is a trend that will continue to grow – not a passing fad.

Facebook recently started expanding their marketing value for the small business owner. Online stores like Shopify can offer your products on Facebook for a mere $10 a month. Analytic consumer tracking on Facebook business pages is also available, which can tell you exactly how many people your posts are reaching. The other popular social media websites listed above all have their unique marketing perks. Make sure to use all of them for the best advertising results.

The rise of Social Media Videos

The old ad-based TV commercial has fallen to the wayside in the consumers’ mind. It has been replaced by content-based interactive social media videos. Studies have shown that 60% of consumers prefer watching videos online over reading text. They have also shown that website visitors stay longer when the web page has a video. This is what makes your add memorable – Social media mental stimulation – The kind of consumer interaction that makes you want to share it with your friends.

Marketing strategies are never sure bets. You’re basically gambling on the public’s perception of what they want at the time, balanced by what they actually need. Not always an easy task. As with all forms of gambling, it’s usually better to play a game that you know, rather than one that you don’t. This is where all of the marketing strategies listed above; when properly balanced and combined, help to increase a small businesses chance of winning the marketing game.  Remember, though, consumers can be a fickle bunch. The best marketing plan should always include continuously checking to see if the latest market trends, fads, and of course, the overall local or national economic status has changed lately. As it always does!