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Marketing stragegies for small businesses

Marketing Strategies for Small



BUS 211_Mrktng&Advtsng S
pringl 2006

This Certificate Confirms the Successful Completion
of 12 Small Business Short Courses by

Sue M. Patzer
at Solano Community College:
Starting & Managing a Small Business Business Budgeting

Starting a Home-Based

Financing a Small Business
Business Financial Management
Managing Credit & Collections

Small Business Recordkeeping
Marketing & Advertising
Risk Management—Insurance

Planning for Profit
Selecting Employees
Employee Relations

Charles D. Eason, Director, SBDC
John T. Urrutia, Dean, Business Division
Solano Community College
Solano Community College


Strengths (of the business, or yourself)
Weaknesses (of the business, or yourself)

Opportunities (in the marketplace)
Threats (in the marketplace)


3 R’s of Target Marketing

• Researching Your
• Reaching Your Market
• Retaining Your Market

Promoting Yourself
Is Your Net Working?
• 20 second elevator blurb
• Present Your Business Cards to
the people that you think could
use your services
• Collect business cards from the
people whose services you could
• What will you do with those
business cards?

Hint: Start a Customer Database!

Implementation of Marketing
Strategy: Useful Small Business Strategies
• Differentiation - Your business is made to appear different from
the others (think in terms of a yellow page ad)

• Location – think of as geographically, “virtually”, and in the
“minds” of your clients (like, Fredericks’ of Hollywood)

• Specialization - Being specialized helps in a “saturated”

market, for example, a bookkeeper that “specializes” in contractors, or
a automobile repair that specializes in BMWs, or certain imported

• Positioning - More likely (often) used by larger corporations i.e.: THE other Phone Company

• Substitution - Attract customers by offering one product or

service & a low price and then sell an additional product at a higher
price. A good example is the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, or a hair salon that has a
$39 perm special.

Implementation of Marketing
Strategy: MORE Useful Small Business Strategies
• Niches

finding a segment of the market that is
untapped and grab the customer’s attention.

• Star

First, where you are a star, or partner with
one (a local celebrity). Second, when you use the
name of a star to draw attention (ex: George Forman

• Benefit

People don’t buy features, they buy
benefits! Remember to market the BENEFITS! Tell
them the Benefits
Overnite Web Design
Clean as a Whistle Janitorial

Most small
use two or

What is in a Name?
The name should:
 Contain the Marketing Strategy
 Describe the business
 Show a Benefit for the
 Be an attention-grabber
 Be easy to remember

Eat at

E. Colis’
Good Fo

Selecting a Slogan (or tag line)
• Often, the name is not enough to grab the interest
or to “tell the story”
• Add a slogan to emphasize the benefit or grab

The Bookkeeping Company
For Timely Financial Statements
Business Perspectives
Business Consulting from insight to action

• Takes planning, time, persistence
and money!
• Image / Identity are developed
• Determine the most appropriate form
of Media

Involve the audience
Inform the customer about the benefits
Illustrate the benefits
Always track your advertising response
for effectiveness

Tracking Your Advertising Dollars
You need to know which advertisement pays

• Develop an Advertising Worksheet to plan a
targeted advertising campaign.
• Systematically TRACK your referrals through an
Advertising Response Record
• Ask your clients how they were referred to you,
and/or by whom. Thank the referrals.
• Many small business owners join Leads groups to
help stimulate referrals.

 One of the most common forms of advertising
is the Yellow Pages
 When people look in the Yellow Pages they
are ready to buy… But, ask yourself when do
you look in the book? Do you look for a
massage therapist? How about a plumber?
 We need to use a Marketing Strategy in the
 Size is not always the biggest attention
grabber..it is the message!

Service Directories & Classified
 Service Directories appear in most newspapers,
before the classified.
 Many papers will have “special sections” or
special inserts for certain industries. Call them to
find out.
 Solano County is unique due to the many local
 The advantage of a Service Directory is that you
can change or drop the ad at anytime
 Classifieds are also like Yellow Pages, where you
are listed alphabetically.
 You can test the effectiveness by advertising
once (Sunday) before paying for a whole month, or

Door to Door Flyers
 Still one of the most cost effective methods of
getting the word out.
 Take the time to design a “professional” flyer..it
can be the standard 8½ x 11.
 “Test Market” the flyer with one-hundred copies.
See if you get interest and at least one customer.
 Think of the appropriate:
• Location, Message, & Timing
 Be familiar with zoning practices.
 Remember, door-to-door works for some
businesses and not for others!

Direct Mail Techniques
→ Direct Mail means you send out a brochure, flyer, catalog or
cover letter to a prospective client(s).
→ The real success lies in your database of potential clients
→ The more you know about them, the more you have an
opportunity of grabbing their interest and action is taken.
→ There are “mailing lists” that can be purchased for as low as
$250 per 5,000 names. The more ‘targeted’ the higher the
→ Starting your own Database Marketing is critical
(ex: start today with the members of the class)

→ Many small businesses will “grow” their own lists through
chamber mixers, trade shows, etc.
→ Follow-up is a critical element. Keeping the contact
information up-to-date is essential too.

Alternative Marketing:
Other means to get the message out!
 Displays at Trade Shows or Community Events

 Community Involvement:
ex: sponsor a Little League team, or an informative class

 Sponsor an Athletic Event or a Fun Run
 Telemarketing
 Utilizing Networking or Leads Groups: Letip
 Promotional Gimicks: Fobs and magnets

Marketing on the Internet
 E- Marketing is Hot!, but it is Not for every business!
 Before you dive into e-commerce, e-marketing and
becoming a pure “click” business do your research!
 Ask the questions:
What message do I want to deliver?
How do I want to format the material?
Who do I want to reach?
Do my customers have access?
Is it cost effective?
What other marketing pieces direct the clients to this
webpage (is your email or website on your brochure)?

 Publicity has been defined as “free advertising”
(unfortunately there is little control over it)

 You need to be able to present a “Unique Angle”
on your business to get a Press Release printed or
a PSA (Public Service Announcement) aired
 Get involved with the community and annual
 Become a “specialist” in your community
 Time your Press Release and/or PSA at least 2
weeks before an event
 Speak to classes or publicize your unique
service at a Rotary Meeting, etc.

Promotion - the Power of this P
• Many business owners only buy-in to advertising
when they consider promoting their businesses.
• Remember PROMOTION is any and every way
– Get the word out about your products or services
– Generate referrals and interest for your business
– Present your image

• Promotion includes advertising, marketing,
networking and publicity.

The Pro’s & Con’s of PR

PR is cheap or FREE,
but it can be worth a lot!
You can save a copy of
the article and show it
again and again!
It builds credibility and
promotes your image!
It can be used to
enhance your
There is always a
publicity angle!

• Most small businesses make
the mistake of not adding it
into their marketing mix.
• Most small businesses do
not target their Publicity.
• It can be an one-time shot.
• Often times it is not
• BIG Media isn’t always the
best channel.
• Publicity is like selling..it may
take a lot of leg work!

What is Publicity?
Public Relations, aka PR…”public” =
any group who might have an interest
on the ability of your company to
achieve its objective.

PR is a variety of programs designed to
promote or protect a company’s image.

Publicity Includes: Press (Public)
Relations, Product Publicity, Corporate
Communication, Lobbying, Counseling

The Final R: Retaining Your Market
Customer Satisfaction
 The customer may not be the KING,
or always right, but the customer is
always the customer!
 Customer Satisfaction is the Heart of
 RETENTION is the heart of staying
in business and growing (and profiting)
 Customer Relationship Management
is a key element in our Growing for
Sales & Profit Class.
 For now, remember to focus on the
customer (internal & external)!

“80% of your
business comes from
20% of your

• Comments
• Questions
• Please turn in your suggestions
• Please turn in your group work

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