Small Business Trends Report
Top 5 Small Business Marketing Challenges Tactical challenges can most often be solved with a little strategic planning and focus. content, networking, public relations will do well and even search, advertising and. Relationships, Marketing and Small Business: An Exploration of Links in This leads one to suggest that it may be useful to reconsider relationship marketing as a facet of entrepreneurship. .. every stage of the traditional marketing process, whether strategic or tactical, formal market So if any technical problems arise. Most owners, when they hear the words Strategic Planning or Tactical Planning, get a focusing on: strategy, marketing, starting a small business, writing business The plan should reflect both perceived challenges and the expected end.
Digital marketing tactics and tools Small business owners continue to leverage the power of social media in their marketing efforts.
When asked which tools they use for marketing, almost half 49 percent ranked social media management as their primary tool. Additionally, more small business owners up almost three percent from last year are using a customer relationship management CRM tool, indicating a growing awareness and necessity to use tools like a CRM to achieve growth.
Twenty-three percent said they use a CRM and website analytic tools to help them with their marketing. When asked about marketing tactics they plan to use inalmost half 48 percent of the business owners said they plan on using social media. Running a successful small business is challenging, and failing to invest in marketing, or having a marketing plan in place, will make it harder to survive in a competitive market.
We recommend going through an annual strategic planning exercise to prepare for the upcoming year. Small business owners surveyed this year said they plan to boost spending on social media with 30 percent planning to increase their budget in Other areas small business owners plan to budget for are website analytics 14 percentCRM 13 percentand email marketing services 13 percent.
However, there are steps small business owners can take to successfully market their business on a small budget. There are free software solutions and low-cost ways of marketing that can help small businesses with limited resources.
The only downside to using multiple tools, is that it can lead to challenges with productivity and proper management of customer and lead information across multiple platforms. CRMs help contain the chaos which can quickly creep into a small business juggling various tools. More and more business owners are realizing the benefits of using a CRM. As we mentioned earlier, 13 percent plan to increase their investment in Unfortunately, many small businesses encounter this problem and leave numerous missed opportunities on the table.
Asking for contact information in person or on the phone came in as the next top response with 24 percent of business owners saying this is the method they use. As in past years, small businesses rely heavily on in-person or phone interactions to collect contact information from their leads, especially service-based businesses.
Social media marketing strategies Small businesses continue to see success from social media and it still ranks as the top method of content small businesses acquire new customers.
The cost-savings alone is worth the time and effort that goes into content marketing. In fact, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times more leads.
Content marketing continues to prove its value intoespecially for small businesses with a small marketing budget. For three years in a row, Facebook remains the top social media platform small businesses regularly use. This year, 47 respondents said they use Facebook, followed by 24 percent saying they use Instagram. Notably, Pinterest usage dropped almost 50 percent from last year down to seven percent saying they use it regularly.
Facebook continues to be the number one choice for small businesses despite the increase in new social media channels because it offers the largest platform for consumers. It just makes business sense—businesses that use social media are able to reach a broader range of potential customers, connect with their audience, and share relevant content. If so, you need to set better goals.
Take a look at the top seven sales goals for Trends Struggling to find time and resources is the biggest challenge hindering small businesses, which is a clear indication that small businesses need to find ways to improve efficiency and adopt changing technology and tactics.
Trends like AI, machine learning, and voice technology can be extremely beneficial and are becoming more accessible by being built-in to the backgrounds of apps and tools small businesses already use to run their business.
What I see happening in revolves around one word: With the use of AI, things like automation will become easier to use because the technology is automatically doing the work people once had to do and spent hours on end trying to figure out.
Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Now, the data is simply there driving smart automations that perform the right task at the right time. By choosing products with AI built into them, small business owners will be able to save time and take a more targeted approach to marketing because they no longer have to spend hours trying to hunt down the data or try to make sense of it—AI is managing it all for them in the background. Additionally, things like voice technology have changed the way we search for just about everything.
I recently read a report stating that digital assistants will reach more than 7 billion devices by Voice combined with AI will help small business owners become more efficient and organized while on the go. Capabilities that were once impossible without opening up your laptop, like logging an important note while on a service job or sending an invoice to a client, can all be taken care of by speaking into your mobile device—and as a result, have more time to focus on other areas of their business.
Relationship marketing: Strategic and tactical challenges for SMEs
Using a good customer relationship management CRM software product will help small businesses take the next step to leveraging new technology the right way. This type of technology will help small businesses deliver more personalized service, create raving fans, and obtain more referrals in and beyond.
Marketing can be a technical job, right? Some days can feel like an endless parade of spreadsheets, analytics, and checklists.
The Most Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
And of course, those things are part of any good strategy. But when we focus too much on them, we over-systematize our marketing. As a result, we lose sight of the deeply human reasons that motivate every buying decision. The best marketing is overwhelmingly human and speaks to the emotional aspects of our decision making. What challenge do you help your customers overcome? How are you helping them become the person they want to be? When we answer those questions, we invite customers into a story!
And if the marketing aspect of your job feels uninspiring, you may have lost sight of this key truth. In my book Building a StoryBrandI teach readers how to clarify their message using the proven methods of effective storytelling. The same formulas used to create major motion pictures can be used to create dynamic marketing that resonates with customers.
Strategic and Tactical Planning: Understanding the Difference
Know the formulas, and then create something that is unique to your brand. And use question based selling strategies to build your sales approach. Use this sales story example to mentor others in your organization to recognize the importance of relationship marketing strategies and selling.
From the shipper, to the customer service representative, to the receptionist, and others in your organization: Also encourage those with sales responsibilities, to put their lessons learned in writing. Sales training activities need to include the importance of building relationships; and of using question based selling to find out more about the client and the client's problems. Business plan outline and development can take those lessons learned and translate them into action items for reaching sales goals.
This Sales Story demonstrates why small business owners always need to do the right thing: I got to my prospect's office during lunch time - there was no one up front. I hung around, waiting. A few minutes later, a relatively short, well dressed woman hurried into the office lobby. She was carrying an overflowing armful of papers and packages.
As she turned around the front office counter to put her papers down on the desk behind the counter, a number of papers slid forward and out onto the floor.
The rest of her arm-load was 'de-stabilized' by this and within seconds, the floor was covered. I put down my briefcase and leapt to help her. We spent the next 10 minutes picking up papers and re-ordering them.
As we finished, an older man came in to the lobby from a back hallway and walked around the counter and sat at the desk. He was the receptionist and he asked me who I was there to see. I told him I actually wanted to know who the Managing Partner was because I wanted to book an appointment with the partner.
The short, well dressed woman I'd helped, turned around from sorting out her papers and said, "that's me". Strategic Planning Process To understand the differences better, here are some notable points to consider, with respect to strategic planning. When doing strategic planning, you need to determine, specifically, what outcome you want to achieve These are your Objectives and how you will measure the results.
In addition, you need to establish a realistic baseline or starting point. Where are you now? Include in your planning a picture of internal and external realities that will impact your plan.
This dictates that you do relevant research competitive, market, etc. You will then need to craft an aggressive action plan to take advantage of opportunities discovered during your research. This will include a listing of your defined strategic objectives, with the tactics you expect to use to achieve them. The plan should reflect both perceived challenges and the expected end results in order to be complete. To ensure support for the strategy, it is advisable to conduct consensus-building exercises for the company.
You might include Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and other personnel inside and outside your organization.