There are many marketing lessons a small business can learn from a large one. Although large businesses have bigger marketing budgets, they also have more complex processes. Learning which tactics can be effectively scaled can allow small businesses to effectively implement best marketing practices and techniques.
1. Work to the brand experience
Making your business memorable is what branding is all about. Big businesses allocate large marketing budgets to give their companies a personality, to tell their brand story, in other words – to engage with people on a more emotional level. This also helps to make their advertising and their business memorable and differentiates them from other industry leaders.
The focus for small businesses marketing has often been to state their available services and provides little differentiation compared to other companies in the industry.
Small businesses need to understand and clearly communicate what makes them unique. It can be their approach, or their philosophy, it could be certain manufacturing or delivery processes. Having clarity around who they appeal to, why they are in business and how they can help their customers, will allow the business to communicate a more compelling and consistent marketing message.
2. Push a unique perspective
Big businesses constantly analyse data from sales and customer engagement. They market to particular segments in different ways and aim to engage their audience in targeted advertising campaigns.
Small businesses often attempt to appeal to everyone who could potentially need their services. While this can be tempting, it makes it difficult for the business to differentiate itself. Focusing on a particular market segment can seem like you may be losing out on potential sales, but it is important for small businesses to understand who their ideal clients are and where they are making their profit. Armed with this information the business can then create targeted marketing, designed to engage with the ideal consumer.
3. Focus on the outcome
Every large business marketing campaign starts by examining what the business hopes to achieve through it. Measurable targets are set, the target audience identified and only then is the platform, media or deliverable considered. For example, a brand looking to engage teenagers may decide to run a series of social media competitions supported by YouTube videos. This ensures the best fit between the marketing campaign and the desired outcome.
For small business, marketing efforts should follow the same process. First the business should identify who the marketing material will be targeting. Then identify the desired outcome this marketing material will produce. The last step is to decide what form this marketing should take – for example a new brochure, a website or a presentation.
4. Build a community
The internet has shrunk the business world and it is far easier than ever before for organisations of all sizes to increase their visibility. Don’t forget – you need to sell the same way that you buy. If you were selecting a vendor or supplier, chance are you would ask for recommendations from your network and look up companies on line. The same applies to your customers. Even if your company has been recommended chances are they will seek your business out on line to see what other people are saying about it and how the business represents itself.
It is important to build a community through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks as it enables customers to connect not only with your business, but with each other – creating an online community. Your community can also help to amplify your message and help to establish your business as a trusted advisor.
Small businesses can scale many successful large organisation marketing tactics and apply them to their own marketing efforts. At the heart of these should be an understanding of who the business is marketing to and providing a compelling reason for the consumer to connect and ultimately buy from, the business.