How smart marketing can give small businesses an advantage
For many SMEs, the last 16 months has considerably changed their sales and marketing efforts.
Meaning it’s more important than ever to be sure you’re doing everything possible to attract new customers and ensure your brand is in front of those looking for a business like yours.
Campaign Monitor recently surveyed more than 1000 small business owners and decision makers to find out what their marketers are doing to reach the right audience at the right time.
According to the study, most companies plan to work smarter and spend more on digital marketing (78%), social media (73%), email marketing (57%) and event-based marketing (56%) in the year ahead, plus these businesses are also increasing their marketing budgets in the areas that are working best for them.
Interestingly, the survey shows that email continues to drive the results, and another key takeaway from the research includes keeping your communications personal.
According to the data, social media and direct mail reign supreme – and quite rightly so – since these platforms are open channels of direct communication that cultivate authenticity that will help build trust with your audience as well as increasing the likelihood of building brand ambassadors from your most loyal customers.
To give your business a boost, be sure to continuously fine tune your marketing strategy and include various methods of reaching customers, check out these 5 quick ideas:
- Add promotions or special deals for first time buyers, which can be promoted through email or on social media. Perhaps include incentives to share and be sure to cross promote content across all channels for optimum engagement.
- Run a contest to win free items to encourage sign up to your email list.
- Increase your web traffic by promoting your most important and engaging pages – whether that’s online, through socials or through your email programme. Offer readers bite-size content to encourage them to click-through and read more.
- A loyalty program allows you to tell your customers you appreciate them – it has immediate and evident impact on the customer retention rate.
- Include user-generated content and testimonials in your marketing to keep your customers interested and invested in your business.
Smart Marketing Can Give Small Businesses An Advantage In 2021 Forbes
Guides: Small Business Marketing in 2021: Trends to refine your marketing efforts Campaign Monitor
e can’t do this in any other way than using AI and the cloud, you would be in your grave before you’d finished reading all those articles!”, explains the study’s author Jason Brownlee
- The patterns demonstrate different ‘behaviours’ – unlike responses to traditional market research based on clipboards, checklists, questions and multiple-choice answers – which aren’t always entirely truthful
And what’s more technology has even been developed to track ‘unconscious responses’ such as facial expressions!
Market Research has gone virtual
A second report reveals 60% of market researchers have moved all their work online. It’s easy to see how that can be done for quantitative research – Omnibus surveys have been a staple of the sector for some time. But now many businesses are using Zoom focus groups or similar technology for qualitative research.
Zoom groups can allow market researchers to conduct qualitative research by providing participants with relevant stimulus at a fraction of the cost of hosting physical focus groups.
According to the report, the ideal structure is to use a moderator and 3 groups of 8 participants. What’s great about Zoom, or other platforms like Microsoft Teams, is that you can change the settings to record and even transcribe, meaning you can analyse the feedback easily after the event.
How market research reveals what you really think BBC
How market research reveals what you really think Research World