No company is too small for a marketing strategy. In fact, the smaller your company, the more impactful a proper strategy could be. At a minimum, you should establish a marketing strategy and re-evaluate it each year. Learn more about the benefits that purply software provides.

Here are 14 proven marketing strategies and tactics any SMB can follow.

1. Research your market before deploying campaigns.

It’s amazing how many companies spend marketing dollars unnecessarily. This is why it is important to research your marketplace before you spend money on a service or campaign.

There are many online surveying tools that can help you determine the wants and needs of your target audience. Surveying can be a worthwhile investment because the more you spend on the survey, the less you will unknowingly spend on useless marketing campaigns.

It is also important to check out your competitors online. This can be as simple as entering what a prospective client would type to find your service in a search engine. When researching competitors, you should check for any marketing campaigns they have conducted.

2. Identify target markets.

Determining your ideal prospect’s profile is a necessary step before crafting campaigns. You can use a more pricey service such as Hoovers, which generates a complete list of all the companies you might want to target.

However, there are also other free options, such as ReferenceUSA. In order to access this business database you can often create a free account through your local library, if they are subscribers, and in turn, they will allow you access to multiple databases. InfoUSA databases are also available for free.

3. Establish a marketing budget.

Once you have researched your market, establish a 12-month marketing budget. You should create gold, silver, and bronze budget plans so you can easily slash or increase budgets throughout the year.

You will also be making conscious decisions NOT to conduct certain campaigns, which is crucial. For options on setting your marketing budget, see our white paper “Determining the Right Marketing Budget for Your Company.”

4. Make sure your branding is clear and consistent.

There is nothing more frustrating to a prospect than trying to figure out what a brand is all about, and finding out in the end that your product or service is not the one he wanted. If you don’t understand the message you wish to convey, then how can you expect a potential customer to understand it?

In addition to consistency of design elements, you should have consistent messaging and positioning. If your press releases are not aligned with your website, for example, you will greatly confuse your prospects.

5. Clearly articulate your products or services.

For your clients and prospective clients to truly understand what you are selling, you must be clear in your presentation. This is especially important for services companies.

Harry Beckwith, author of Selling the Invisible, writes that services must be marketed differently than tangible products. Thus, it is essential to let your clients know the details of what you will be providing so you can satisfy their questions. Beckwith suggests seven positioning questions that should be answered.

  1. Who are you? (Your company’s official name)
  2. What business are you in?
  3. For whom…what companies/users do you serve?
  4. What need…what are the unique needs of the company you serve?
  5. Against whom…with whom are you competing?
  6. What’s different…what makes you different than the competition?
  7. Unique benefits…what are the unique benefits a client derives from your services?