Do you find yourself getting distracted by the newest marketing tactic of the week? Small business marketing can be such a challenge, especially when the list of tactics that every marketing guru is pitching continues to grow by the minute.
Do you know the real reason why you get distracted with tactics? It's because you have no marketing strategy.
It is very common for people to use strategy and tactics interchangeably, but they are two distinct things. They are closely related, but they are different!
This is something I struggled with for a long time because I had a hard time conceptualizing the difference between the two.
Strategy is the "what" and it answers the question, "what are we trying to accomplish?" It's the vision and clear explanation of how you plan to reach your goals and objectives. Here are strategies a small business might employ.
- Dominate a small, targeted market.
We are going to dominate the basket weaving supply market. We are going to dominate the German manufactured car repair market in Denver.
- Create a category by packaging your goods or services like no one else.
Starbucks transformed coffee from a commodity to a splurge item that people are willing to pay more for. Apple is another great example of this. The iPod wasn't the first mp3 player on the market, but the branding and packaging of the iPod were much different than anyone else.
- Become famous for doing one thing better than anyone else.
Facebook started out as the best social network for college students. Amazon started out as the best place to buy books online. They only expanded into other markets once they owned the verticals they were in.
- Cause marketing
Toms (the shoe company) is the "one for one" company. With every product you purchase they help a person in need.
Once you know what your strategy is you can then start to identify the tactics to make it a reality. The tactics are the "how". They answer the question, "how are we going to accomplish our goal?" Tactics are the things you do every day or week.
Here are some tactics
a small business might employ:
- Post on social media
- Facebook advertising
- Speaking for leads
- Establish referral partners
If you want to get off the never-ending hampster wheel of marketing tactics and reach your business goals, you must create a small business marketing strategy before any tactics
. Here's how you do it in 3 simple steps:
- Identify Your Ideal Client
Your strategy must appeal to someone in order to work and in order to employ effective tactics you must know who you are talking to. It's been said many times, if you try to talk to everyone you end up talking to no one. In order to create clear messaging that speaks to people, you must know exactly who you want to speak with.
Once you know your ideal client you need to find a way to appeal to that audience differently than everyone else. When you can properly differentiate yourself, your business will be seen as the obvious choice and be able to command top dollar for what you do.
- Fuse It All Together
The last step is to take your ideal client and your differentiating factor to create your marketing strategy. It's simply a combination of the two!
Once you've created your small business marketing strategy you can outline the tactics that will help you get there. Having an outline for your plan is very freeing because it allows you to focus on THE most important things you need to do to accomplish your goals.
What you are not going to do is just as important as what you are going to do.
When you say "yes" to something you are also saying "no" to something else because you only have a limited amount of time in the day.
When you can say "no" to all the things that are not important in your strategy it allows you to focus on the most important things that will help you move the needle...that is why less is more when it comes to your small business marketing efforts!
If you follow these steps, I think you'll be well on your way to finding small business marketing success.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below or share.
By the way, you might find these small business marketing tips helpful too.
Header image courtesy of Pixabay.