Advice Are Marketing Services Right for Your Small Business

465640-email-marketingDo you need extra help from a marketing services organization? Is the technology getting a little overwhelming? Maybe you just can’t keep up with your blogging and social media calendar. If you are the owner of a small business or a franchisee, you work hard every day to provide the best product and service, and for some reason – people are buying from an inferior competitor. What’s the deal? Shouldn’t having a great product be enough?

Here’s the deal. Consumers are overwhelmed with choices and messages about what to buy. Because of this they take shortcuts to decide what to buy and which vendor to trust. But here’s the good news. Once they find a vendor they like, they stick with them.

HOW SERVICES CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS:

Marketing consultants usually make the distinction between traditional and digital marketing. Traditional marketing encompasses corporate identity, branding, telemarketing, PR and similar ‘real-world’ activities. Digital marketing on the other hand includes website creation and landing pages, virtual social networks presence, online press releases, email marketing, blogging, search engine optimization, paid advertising (on services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Facebook) and others.

WHAT IF YOU JUST WANT TO RUN SOME CAMPAIGNS?

Marketing Consultants are smart, and they know you have to start with a great product and an in-depth understanding of your market and target audience before running campaigns. You can pay them to help you with marketing research, or you can simply work with a services organization to build and execute campaigns that drive immediate, mid term and long term results. We recommend this direction if you already have a good understanding of your market and the needs of your customer.

Marketing consultants can help you develop campaigns that span across email, mobile, social and online channels, Here are the most fundamental and effective campaigns you should consider running:

1. Email List Growth Campaign

I can’t stress how important this is. Growing you list can be done in lots of ways, including posting a contest with an email signup form on your Facebook page, in your store or on your website.

2. Referral Campaign

The best marketing in the world is word-of-mouth marketing. A simple, refer-a-friend campaign can bring in new business and it also gives you the opportunity to thank you more loyal customers with coupons and other V.I.P. benefits.

3. Loyalty Campaign

Loyalty campaigns can be extremely complex, with multiple tiers and prizes, or they can be very simple. We recommend you start simple before investing in an expensive system that requires integration with your POS systems. A simple way to get started could be the creation of a simple “loyalty card” that gets punched every time someone purchases something at your store. This is easily forged, but if you keep the “freebie” simple and low cost, your exposure will be low. Once you get some traction and have a chance to test different offers, we highly recommend you start to look at digital loyalty campaigns that enable you to track performance and customer interactions.

These are just a few of the campaigns a marketing consultant might recommend. They are good at not only figuring out what to do, but how best to go about it. The best ones will build the campaign from start to finish, and track the results.

The bottom line: Small Businesses can benefit from services groups, but make sure you get your bang for the buck by working with services groups that know your industry and will execute campaigns, not just come up with expensive ideas.