3 Best Practices for Small Business Marketing

With a MBA in Marketing & Management from Columbia University and nine years in direct mail –  you can surely say that Janet Granger has a lot of experience when it comes to marketing strategy. Janet has been named one of the 20 Most Influential Content Marketers in New England and in 2016, she published the book: Digital Influence for Baby Boomers: Why you should care and yes, you can do this! Here are her 3 best practices for small business marketing:

Small businesses need marketing but often work with a shoestring budget. Knowing that every penny has to be spent wisely, here are the best ways to ensure that a marketing person, team, or outside agency delivers the greatest success and results.

1. Define what’s important to you.

This may sound simple but it’s rare that marketing people start with asking questions. Most often, they start with suggestions of what to do and how much to spend.

Which, if you think about it, makes no sense. There’s no package or one-size-fits-all marketing plan. Every marketing strategy should start with the business results. What do you want to achieve?  For example, if most of your sales come from a conference or event, is your goal a certain number of people at your booth/location? Or is it all about online sales? Or foot traffic into a store? Are you looking to build your brand? Let your marketing team know what is important to you and how you’ll be judging their results.

If you don’t set out the goals at beginning, you’re setting yourself up (and them) for failure. Not sure what you should expect? Ask them what they will be delivering for you. And if you don’t like what you hear, change it.

2. Marketing takes time; don’t expect perfection at the start.

The early part of any marketing campaign is where the marketing person (or team) watches what’s happening and, if they’re good, tweaks the campaign to maximize results.

There’s nothing worse than a business owner seeing the early results of a campaign and shutting it down prematurely. Yes, it’s great to be involved and to monitor. But don’t expect the final results at the very beginning. Marketing is part science and part art. Give a campaign four weeks before you start to evaluate it and two – three months before you decide to change it or pull the plug.  

On the other hand, if the early results show that absolutely nothing is working, it’s time to stop, step back, and assess. This is often a good moment to try something new while still focusing on the same goals (as established in Step 1). 

3. Be sure to have a thorough debrief at the end, to review the metrics from the campaign.

Ask your marketing person or agency to review (a) what they promised you at the very beginning (again, Step 1) and (b) all the data that shows they delivered on that promise. If they can’t do this, they haven’t done their job.

Knowing that you’ll want this at the end of any campaign, it’s good for your marketing person or team to think about what data and results you’ll need before the project even starts. That way, all the metrics are set up properly at the beginning to measure if the campaign was, or was not, successful. 

For more marketing tips and tricks, visit www.janetgranger.com and sign up for my newsletter! 

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