Small Business Marketing in the Digital Age

5 Steps to Success in 2021

Step 1: Analyse the Competition

We need to be aware of the competing brand’s style, their product line, and their marketing efforts. If we understand this then we’ll be able to identify incoming threats to our sales and opportunities to differentiate from our competitors.

Step 2: Audit the Brand

No matter the background, every business owner needs to be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business and brand. A SWOT analysis it’s a great exercise that will provide us with real insight and define what makes us different from our competitors.

Step 3: Define Marketing Objectives

We must first ask ourselves two questions: “What are my short-term sales goals?” and “What is the long term positioning goal for the brand?”

In other words, how much do we want to sell this quarter and how do we want to be known as a brand five years from now?

Every brand goes through the same growth curve. It begins at brand awareness and product launch and it culminates on customer retention and brand advocacy.

Depending on where the brand is currently positioned the short-term sales goals are going to be one of the following:

  • New Customers: the most complex and expensive marketing objective.
  • Repeat Sales: The sweet-spot when aligning business objectives to marketing goals. It allows brands to take advantage of the low cost of digital advertising and generate brand loyalty.
  • Upselling To Regular Customers: The most cost effective way to market and boost revenue, however it requires we already have a customer base.

Step 4: Define your Marketing Budget

Marketing budgets come in all shapes and sizes. Some business models have only relied on word of mouth for years, while others rely heavily on expensive traditional advertising or a paid sales force.

No matter where your marketing budget is, we must take advantage of all the digital tools and cost-effective advertising available to us in 2021.

I want to give you specifics; we must be ready to invest about 7% to 15% of forecasted sales into a marketing budget.

If cash flow is an issue but we have a more established brand in the community, we can stick to the lower end of that range and replace advertising spend with creativity and a deepening customer relationships. 

It takes money to make money: a minimum of 15% of forecasted sales revenue is a solid place to start. However  a new brand with the hopes to pass more established competitors will need to reinvest more into marketing at the beginning to build brand awareness while also boosting sales, something more like 20% of the forecasted revenue.

Step 5: Plan a Strategy

Brands must focus on the business’ strengths and opportunities when deciding which mix of digital channels to use. Expert help will also guarantee your are maximizing the impact of the marketing budget.

Digital Ties Marketing is the only agency that guarantees the maximum return on every advertising dollar spent. How? 

The digital marketing agency industry is made-up of 99% of developers and web designers who understand expensive web design and SEO as the only marketing tactics

In 2021 digital marketing doesn’t mean a website, instead, every small business needs a sustainable marketing program that clearly yields revenue growth and customer loyalty.

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