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    24 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2016 6:14 PM by moderator_lisa

    What type of marketing works best for your small business?

    SBC Team Guide

      Marketing.gifSocial media, mailers, email marketing, advertising.  What has been most effective in promoting your small business? 

       

      Add your voice to the discussion and share your best tips with the community.

        • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
          saron Adventurer

          I would say, even though its a bit old fashioned, but direct mail marketing has always done the work. Especially for newly started small scale business, its the best mode for promotion. But off course, its only a good option initially. Better and bigger promotional options need to be opted, in the later stage of business.

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          • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
            Scott Navigator

            As a marketing consultant that works with lots of different business, I can tell you that it totally depends on the business itself. All of those can work well for many businesses if done correctly.

             

            And saron is right; direct mail works well, especially if it's targeted correctly and uses good marketing strategies, but it's not just a good option initially, it's a very good ongoing option. There's very good reason why you constantly get direct mail from internet and mobile phone providers, and postcards from dentists, HVAC and window companies, just to name a few. They wouldn't constantly send them if they weren't generating a good ROI.

             

            Every one of those types of marketing can fail miserably. It's all about experienced know-how for any marketing medium.  

             

            Scott

              • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                moderator_lisa Pioneer

                You also make some really good points, @Scott. Depending on the season, direct mail marketing has been very effective in prompting me to take the next step, sometimes even placing an order or making an appointment. Roofing estimates, yard work and landscaping, senior and family portraits, tuxedo rental all spring immediately to mind.

                 

                Too much unsolicited junk mail is still annoying, but sometimes there is a treasure among all the recyclables.

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              • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                wdcj1949 Adventurer

                I repair sprinklers and do electrical troubleshooting and repair

                 

                Website works well

                 

                I also canvass real estate offices and landscaping companies

                • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                  Barky Dog Tracker

                  Two words: Blimp advertising!   Just kidding. 

                   

                  Actually, for me email is still the most effective way to market.  It can be a little expensive upfront to buy or rent a targeted list of potential customers, but the return on investment is usually just a few new customers.  Of course, it depends on your products and the quality of the list.

                  • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                    videopete56 Tracker

                    I like the guy spinning the sign out on the sidewalk

                     

                    What works is is what the analytics show so if direct mail is making $5 for every dollar spent and paid search is making $2 for every dollar spent I would invest as much as possible to ramp up my direct mail.I would also continue to do paid search and test to see if I could get my numbers to improve,Google is not going away.

                     

                    Social media ads are inexpensive but are they a good fit only way to know is testing,the quality of the customer /spend maybe less 

                     

                    Here's the big problem very few companies know how much money it cost to get a customer or the lifetime value of a customer. So marketing to many is an expense and the reality it is a science and once you get dialed in you can grow a business like wildfire, amazing the things that can happen.

                     

                    The answer to the question would be determined by the time it takes for the numbers to be crunched and how big you're willing to test. 

                     

                    Statistically the bigger the number the more accurate the statistics. 

                     

                    I know it's not an answer that people were looking for but there is no from the hip knee-jerk answer every business is different every market is different no silver bullets.

                     

                    Thank you

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                    • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                      videopete56 Tracker

                      One other piece of marketing magic for local businesses relying on google as their source of advertising for new customers is the google 3 pac and maps listing.It baffles me how many businesses do not claim and optimize the google business listing  it's free and if done correctly can be a home run for new business.

                       

                      The first step is setting up the name address phone number exactly the same as it is for your business across all your sites (these are directory sites like city search,manta,yp pages,yelp) and your website there are hundreds of these type of directory listings and they all have a link back to your website.

                       

                      This is a great source of free traffic if done correctly.

                       

                      getting a 3 pac listing is golden and add 5-star reviews to your listing it puts everything on auto-pilot new customers calling pre-sold and wanting to do business.

                       

                      There is a downside not all search terms provide a 3 pac listing no worries though the one that do will be a big plus and another amazing thing that can and does happen is you may by just setting it up correctly create a new 3 pac where there was not one before we call that a double bonus.

                       

                      Hope this helps

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                        arkhanian1989 Pioneer

                        First of all it all depends on the nature of the current business that you are in and your target market,demographic,competition.All of the above marketing methods are already proven their success for many small and big businesses. But the key to the success depends on many important factors that if you don't follow them no matter what you do you may fail. So my advise to you is  before doing anything first find out your needs,disadvantages and most importantly your advantages as far as compared to your existing competitors. So the easiest way to start is to determine your budget for marketing , next thing would be to do little homework and find out average cost of each qualified lead from all of the above mentioned marketing sources, then figure out your projected revenue from  each qualified lead. For instance it may cost you $30 to get an qualified customer through Facebook but the goods you are selling are ranged from $5-20( it means even though the campaign will work for sure) you are not gonna be able to profit. And the other hand you can do mass mailing for 0.50-$1 per flyer and hoping to get 1 customer out of 10 which will be at least a good start up for you. On the other hand if you are lawyer,realtor,doctor or in other high paid profession obviously for you Facebook might be better choice.

                        2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                          arkhanian1989 Pioneer

                          Also I would like to suggest to all small businesses before starting a social network marketing campaigns, to find out their abilities of being able to handle double,triple or more busines after going public online. In other means if you won't be able to satisfy your new customer's questions and needs you might have an negative impact on your company's new image(bad reviews)since i believe in the theory of First (impression,experience,satisfaction). So the best way would be to try it small and different tactics first,  before going massive,also you will be able to get ready on upcoming changes and impact on your business.

                          1 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                              moderator_lisa Pioneer

                              This is a truly excellent bit of advice. If you're not ready to meet an increased workload, maybe it's not time to launch that far-reaching ad campaign.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                                goolclub Tracker

                                I totally agree, that building a good reputation is very hard , but you can lose it so quick.What  is your goal ? more volume or excellent customer satisfaction? are you planning to get community's trust or just hit and run? Basically you have to ask yourself important questions in order to have right plan.I have followed a lot of start ups for many years and came to conclusion that majority of extremely fast growing companies end up having faster downgrade VS  on slowly but surely growing companies. Two  of the many reasons are lack of experience and missing business plan in place.Working on getting more business is one issue and being able to keep them satisfied as you currently do,can be dramatic.For instance business is  growing so fast than expected , things start  getting out of hands and control so fast. I know that everybody's goal is to have more clients,sales but are you ready to handle more ?That is why it is important to predict the outcome of the new changes.(always ask to yourself "WHAT IF").

                                Create a lot of questions for yourself using What if Method, for instanse what if after running an ad campaign for one week we will get 40 extra customers, what will you need to keep them satisfied, do you have enough Staff to service them , do you have enough inventory, do you have enough driver's for delivery, enough installers, enough technicians and so on depending on your needs. And start answering to each question with the proper solution.After having  right answer to the final question , you will easily determine are you ready for the change ?when will you be ready?What you need to do?

                                Wishing all of you success .Social Media Marketing - where to begin? !

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                                  • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                                    arkhanian1989 Pioneer

                                    Basically I compare small business to either a newborn child or as patient with some decease.Explanation is very simple and is gonna take us to the all of the above points that were made on almost on the all of the above posts, which you can start medical treatment to your patient without determining their decease, since providing a wrong treatment can harm the patient and  can even end up to deathfull results. Another good example I always mention to my clients is.

                                    that patient gives an visit to his doctor with the stomach pain complaint , Doctor without doing any check ups or  tests is deciding that they have to remove client's left foot.

                                    I am sure that all of you got  my point .....So check the  blood pressure and start your treatment today. I am going to start an new topic which will cover benefits of adding  consumer financing VS social media or any other marketing campaig. Everybody is invited I guarantee lot of helpfull contents.Sales & Marketing !

                                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                                  videopete56 Tracker

                                  Look at social media as a topping to a sandwich if your buying cycle requires information and time to digest all the details social media can be used to develop a relationship if you're in an emergency type of industry probably not going to get your phone ringing.

                                   

                                  My roof leaks I am not going to facebook to find a roofer or twitter or linkedin

                                   

                                  Just not happening

                                   

                                  My advice is stop worrying about social media get your website and seo in order look at paid search as add-on feature and dial those in then start the social media game

                                   

                                  This does not mean ignore social media just use the platform to start building your companies credibility and let the world know you're real, get some likes and tweets and pins on your pin board

                                   

                                  People search on google because they want to buy or get info to make a buying decision.

                                   

                                  Hope this helps.

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                                  • Re: What type of marketing works best for your small business?
                                    mirright Scout

                                    Event marketing turned out to be the most effective for my business. It's easier to count what kinds of marketing I haven't tried. Finally, all these presentations, exhibitions and promotional strands arranged by the professional marketing agency worked absolutely fine for my business.

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful