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Marketing for small businesses 2012

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This is a presentation om my website on the basic principles of marketing from a small business perspective. It is argued that marketing strategy is basically very simple, it is the tactics which can …

This is a presentation om my website on the basic principles of marketing from a small business perspective. It is argued that marketing strategy is basically very simple, it is the tactics which can be complicated.


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  • I have been giving this presentation for 3 years now. I laugh when i look at the original version “effective websites for small businesses”Such is the rapid changeCome complete circle on some issuesOnly an Introduction – not a how to!Small Businesses perspective onlyRe engineered it in the light of past comments and made it an overview only. Taken out a lot of detail to get within 1.5 hoursAbout apprcistion “know what you dont know” rather than “how to” education.
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    • 1. Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses: 2012 Richard Masters1 11/10/2012
    • 2. Marketing Strategy Whether or not digital marketing is right for your depends on if it fits in with a clearly thought out Marketing Strategy2 11/10/2012
    • 3. Why Marketing Strategy?  Marketing tends to be dominated by a considerations of marketing tactics.  Digital Marketing is, in essence, just a host of new tactics enabled by the internet.  It is patently useless, for example, to pursue a Facebook marketing strategy if none of your customers are not present on Facebook!  Similarly, the best tactics available to a major multinational brand are very different to those of a small business!  To be able to select the most appropriate tactics to deploy it is therefore essential to develop an3 appropriate Marketing Strategy as a framework.11/10/2012
    • 4. The principles of marketing The best place to start with developing a marketing strategy for your business is with a basic understand of what marketing is all about.4 11/10/2012
    • 5. Principles of marketing  Most marketing discussions are about marketing tactics. These can be very complex and expensive experts abound  It is my contention that the principles of marketing are in fact very simple- especially for small businesses  To develop a successful marketing strategy (combinations of tactics) you have to get the basics right.  This section looks at the basic principles as they apply to small businesses.5 11/10/2012
    • 6. Definitions of Marketing  Heidi Cohen asked eminent marketers for a less than 5 line definition of marketing.  She got 72 very different responses ranging from the very simple to impenetrable, buzz word filled gobbledegook!  I have selected the few that, i think, are most relevant to small businesses. These are shown on the next slide......6 11/10/2012
    • 7. My 4 best definitions!  “Marketing is defined as: we help people sell more stuff.” Joey Iazzetto  “Marketing is helping people buy your product or service.” Jason Falls  “Marketing is helping your customers understand how much they need something they never knew they needed”. Doreen Moran  “Marketing is discovering what the prospect wants and demands and delivering it more efficiently and effectively than the competition”. Paul Kulavis7 11/10/2012
    • 8. Core Elements  The forgoing identify that there are 3 key elements that are core to marketing. Understanding these is therefore vital to developing a successful marketing strategy: 1. Your Products and Services 2. Customers and Clients 3. Markets and Competitors  How to approach the analysis of each of these for your business is covered in the subsequent8 11/10/2012 sections below.
    • 9. Marketing Strategy: Key Drivers9 11/10/2012
    • 10. 1. Products and Services Understanding your products and services from a customer perspective is vital to a successful strategy10 11/10/2012
    • 11. The Customer Perspective  Most businesses perceive their products/services from a components and features point of view. This is understandable because this is how they design and put them together!  The customers perception of your products can be very different because they see them from a different perspective!  Customers view product/services from the perspective of what benefits they will bring to them  It is vital to turn this through 180 degrees and get11 a customer centric view of your 11/10/2012 products/services.
    • 12. Customer benefits  Traditionally, it was assumed , ultimately, there were only two real customer benefits: 1. Saving Time 2. Saving Money  More recently, it was acknowledged that some people get genuine utility from being associated with brands/groups and a third has been added: 3. Image12 11/10/2012
    • 13. Articulating benefits  A simple tool exists for small businesses to help with identifying customer benefits: FAB Analysis  This involves converting Features. firstly into Advantages, and then into Benefits  A link to download it are contained in the resources section  Clearly, all of your marketing messages should look to demonstrate how your products/services provide these customer benefits ( and are better than the competitions!)  If you have different groups of customers then you may require different sets of marketing13 messages! 11/10/2012
    • 14. Customer Value Proposition(CVP)  A useful way of summarising and understanding your customer benefits is to construct a Customer Value Proposition (CVP).  This describes the unique mix of product and/or service attributes, customer relations and corporate image that a business offers.  A downloadable pro forma for a CVP is contained in the resources section  In conjunction with an analysis of your competitors market positioning (see 3 below), this allows the identification of which benefit messages to use in your marketing activities. This is called your Unique14 Selling Proposition (USP) (see below). 11/10/2012
    • 15. 2. Customers and Clients Once you have fully understood your own products and services, it is vital to gain an in-depth understanding of your potential clients.15 11/10/2012
    • 16. Types of Customers/Clients  In order to be effective in marketing you have to target your marketing activities at certain groups of individuals.  This is often refereed to as Target Marketing and the groups identified as Target Markets  For small businesses it is useful to look at four types of target marketing: A. Personas B. Socio Demographic Groups C. Hybrid Types D. Local16 11/10/2012
    • 17. Customer Types: Schematic17 11/10/2012
    • 18. A. Personas  Personas are “fictional representations of your ideal customers” ( Wikipedia)  They help you build a picture of your ideal customer in terms of understanding his needs ,wants and behaviours; and therefore, how to present your products/services benefits to greatest effect  I find it useful to imagine these as Cluedo like characters, where the characters embody all sorts of assumptions about their behaviours......18 11/10/2012
    • 19. Personas as Cluedo Characters! Colonel Mustard Miss ScarlettColonel Mustard is the stock character of Miss Scarlett is the resident femmea great white hunter and colonial fatale in Cluedo. She is typicallyimperialist. He is usually a military man portrayed as young, cunning, andboth dignified and dangerous. highly attractive.19 11/10/2012
    • 20. Personas: Typical profile Info.  Demographics  Needs/Wants/ “Pain” points  Behaviours  Where they typically “hang out” (frequent)  Where they typically get their information/influence from  How computer literate they are ( important for digital marketing)  See an example below....20 11/10/2012
    • 21. Example- Social Media Persona Types http://socialmediatoday.com/node/56440921 11/10/2012
    • 22. How to use personas in your marketing strategy  Decide which of your benefits are likely to be most important for each persona type  Tailor your marketing messages to be most relevant to them  Select the most appropriate tactics! If your target clients are not online then Digital Marketing is a waste of time & effort!  Target the media they use to find out about things  Persona types are particularly important if you want to target new customers for your products. It helps you to understand them and what22 messages are most relevant. 11/10/2012
    • 23. B. Socio Demographic Groups  Before Personas became popular targeting was often done by reference to Socio Demographic groups  The logic behind these types were that they were classifications of people into groups who showed similar patterns of behaviour.  Classically these have been classifications such as Social Class or Social Economic Groups (SEG’s)  More recently Generational Groups have become more widely used. These are outlined23 below. 11/10/2012
    • 24. Generational Groups  This is recent approach based on the premise that birth date is a key behavioural determinant.  This believed to be the case due to the rapid, and increasing, pace of change in society leading to successive generations showing different behaviours  These Generation Groups are believed to be differentiated particularly in the attitude to, and use of, technology. This is because the sheer pace of technological developments and its implications over the recent past.  The table below summarises the various generation groups and their characteristics from a24 11/10/2012 marketing perspective.
    • 25. Generational Groups25 11/10/2012
    • 26. C. Hybrid Types  These are neither pure groups nor individuals but, more, ad hoc groups (or typologies), defined for target marketing purposes . These tend to be based upon a combination of demographics and behaviours.  The most famous example is the first Obama presidential campaign who identified “Soccer Moms” and “Nascar Dads” as key groups to develop specific messages for.  More recently groups such as “Smartphone Moms” , “Social Junkies” and “Techno Geeks” have been used to effect.26 11/10/2012
    • 27. Use of Hybrid Types  Hybrid types have been proved effective in target marketing- especially where it has not been possible to identify ideal personas. However there are some limitations: 1. By their more general nature they allow less specific message targeting. 2. They are not comprehensive like socio demographic groups. 3. They tend to be very geographically and culturally specific. Are Smartphone Moms or Nascar Dads relevant outside the US?27 11/10/2012
    • 28. 4.Local  Local, can be regarded as a particular “persona”, rather than a type of its own. I treat it separately, as it is a very important and distinctive customer type.  Generally speaking, if your business caters for mainly local customers/clients, then you approach to marketing is dominated by this fact.  Examples of businesses where local is pre-eminent includes: local shops, coffee bars, restaurants and other local service providers.  A list of potential marketing tactics are on the next slide.  This is a very specialist area and a link to an28 introductory resource paper appears at the end 11/10/2012
    • 29. Local Marketing tactics Traditional Digital  Word of Mouth  Local search listings  Local Networking  Google Places/G+  Local Advertising  Online Directories  Leaflets & Flyers  Foursquare  Local Newspapers  Local deals (Groupon)  Support local events  Location specific  Physical directories adverts.  Mobile website/offers29 11/10/2012
    • 30. Summary on Customers & Clients  This section has presented a number of different methods of looking at clients in order to understand their characteristics in order to target your marketing messages.  Generally, the more specific and personal you can get the more focussed and effective your messages can be. Personas are therefore the preferred method.  Generation groups provide a useful context and Hybrid groups can be useful in some contexts. Beware national cultural differences  Where Local is the overriding factor, this largely determines your approach to marketing.30 11/10/2012
    • 31. 3. Markets and Competition. Marketing is not undertaken in a vacuum but in a highly dynamic environment. It is vital to understand this to develop an effective marketing strategy.31 11/10/2012
    • 32. Importance of Market Intelligence  In my experience this is the area that a large number of marketing strategies fall down upon  Marketing strategy cannot be constructed in isolation. Understanding the wider context, such as the dynamics in the marketplace, and in particular of the activities of your competitors, is absolutely vital  Market Intelligence is looked at below under two headings: 1. Markets32 2. Competitors 11/10/2012
    • 33. 1. Markets  It is vital to understand what is happening in your overall marketplace as context to setting marketing strategy  Generally growing markets provide more opportunities as the number of potential customers is growing and competition is less.  Declining markets are the reverse with falling demand where a number of legacy suppliers are competing for less business. Price is likely to be more important.  A third important market type is a market where a major change is occurring- often called a market33 discontinuity- as this provides an opportunity for11/10/2012 new products and services to succeed.
    • 34. Marketing Opportunity34 11/10/2012
    • 35. Marketing Information  Perhaps the simplest, and most overlooked, method is to simply ask your potential customers what they want. Alternatively you can describe your product and ask them if they would buy it.  Over and above this, there are many publishes sources of information. These provide invaluable information and intelligence on markets.  The table below summarises some of the main sources and the resources paper contains further more in depth information and links etc.35 11/10/2012
    • 36. Markets: Information Sources36 11/10/2012
    • 37. 2. Competitors  Understanding who your competitors are, and their competitive positioning, is vital to arriving at your own.  It is also useful to try and anticipate their future strategies as well. Never forget that they are actively planning at the same time you are!  I suggest you try and pull together an implied marketing plan for each of your major competitors!  Fortunately, in most industries, information on competitors is fairly easy to come by!  The next few slides looks at some sources of competitive information.37 11/10/2012
    • 38. Sources Of Competitive Information38 11/10/2012
    • 39. Social Media as a Competitive Source  Twitter  Follow to identify: Marketing messages and tactics, Customers: who they are what they are saying, hash tags (#) used etc.  Facebook  Identify Company Pages: Key messages and promotions, numbers and characteristics of followers, customers views of offerings.  LinkedIn.  Company Pages. Identify the core products and services and the value proposition. Contains numbers and roles of employees, marketing messages and blog posts. Slide Share presentations  Google+ Local( ex Places)  Location (Maps), opening hours, Customer Reviews, Customer References  YouTube.  Identify video marketing strategy  Pinterest  Identify image marketing strategy39 11/10/2012
    • 40. Marketing Grader  Tool provided free by Hub Spot  Very valuable for assessing you own digital marketing strategy  In addition it can compare your online presence with your competitors.  Number of pages, numbers of inbound links and where from.  Summary of social media activity on major platforms  Assessment of comparative weaknesses and strengths of inbound marketing strategy40 11/10/2012  More information in resource doc.
    • 41. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)  The culmination of the marketing strategy process described above is the formulation of your USP’s  Your CVP may well be similar to your competitors. The USP attempts to capture what makes you different from your competitors. A definition is: “The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition”  This is the driving force for all of your marketing messages  The resources document contains guidance41 details on how to put these together. 11/10/2012
    • 42. Summary: Marketing Strategy  Marketing strategy need not be complicated for small businesses.  You do need to have an understanding of:  Your products and services and their customer benefits.  Your customers, and potential customers, needs and wants  The wider marketplace trends and your competitors strategies and tactics.  Based upon the above you can select your USP’s and the marketing tactics most likely to be successful for your business.  Digital Marketing tactics may, may not, or have only42 limited applicability to your business. 11/10/2012
    • 43. Downloadable Resources Document Link Products & Services Resource https://www.box.com/s/xirhcdxani33dmz2lf3c Doc. FAB Analysis Pro Forma https://www.box.com/s/q45tzkarn73s1utyzgvd CVP Pro Forma https://www.box.com/s/nvs1355pquoecixsjni3 Customers & Clients Resource https://www.box.com/s/gcgjge3xvbdfdjyme1ek Doc. Markets & Competitors https://www.box.com/s/5xm6ktqbx2oa6fdyuqo Resource Doc. k Competitor Analysis Pro Forma https://www.box.com/s/2sfyw0k34ake369z1l3 o43 11/10/2012 Localisation Resources Doc. https://www.box.com/s/p1nl29m2ffqeqhbw9m
    • 44. Further Information/Contact  Email: richard@rjmasters.co.uk  Website: www.rjmasters.co.uk  Linkedin: http://lnkd.in/vTp8Kw  G+ :http://www.google.com/profiles/richardmasters.richar d  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richardmastersj  Twitter: www.twitter.com/mastersassoc44 11/10/2012