According to business experts, marketing deserves five to 10 percent of every enterprise’s operational budget. Small and medium enterprises or SMEs are even advised to allocate a bigger budget for advertising and promotions. Stores or shops in obscure locations or low-traffic areas can benefit immensely from this marketing strategy.
With effective marketing, any business can gain a strong fighting chance in a fiercely competitive industry. When it comes to strategic marketing, it’s all about knowing and implementing fundamental, tried-and-true principles.
Here are seven of these crucial marketing principles:
1. Advertising should be repetitive.
This is one of the top rules in marketing. Repetition is vital when it comes to establishing familiarity and ensuring recall. The idea here is simple: People do not remember promotional activities and efforts that they only see once. For a new and smaller brand to stick, it’s a must to create several positive impressions.
Therefore, when you publish marketing paraphernalia, it’s often better to print smaller ones that you can distribute to more people and places. Also, make sure to invest in high-quality design and printing.
For example, you’ll be handing out flyers for the opening of your store. Choose a design that’s uniquely yours and print it out in a way that the design pops. Whether you use express flyer printing services or other methods, the important thing to keep in mind is that the flyer is beautiful, flawless, and high-quality, and therefore memorable.
2. Research your target audience carefully.
Clearly identify the people or organizations that you want to reach. This will help you determine the best medium through which to target them.
For instance, if your business is all about catering to other companies, the best and most affordable marketing item to use is a business card. Meanwhile, if you have a store that caters to the younger generation more, you can appeal to them better with YouTube, TV, and radio ads.
Likewise, think about the niche products you sell. For example, if your store sells baby products, consider advertising in a women’s or family magazine often.
3. Maintain a consistent look or theme in your advertisements and marketing paraphernalia.
For any printed material, use the same colors, typefaces, and layouts if possible. As for video and radio ads, use the same voice-over and jingle. A consistent look and feel can help significantly in developing brand awareness.
Tip: If you want your marketing materials to be consistent despite making a few necessary changes due to seasons or trends, keep a binder of all your printed advertisements. By doing so, it’ll be easier to maintain the dominant visual elements that automatically remind people about your brand.
4. Keep track of all the responses to your ads.
This is a marketing activity that’s not always easy to do because it usually involves manual documentation. However, if your establishment has a POS or point of sale system, you’ll be able to keep track of the coupons used, free gifts, and even when people bring up the ads.
Keeping track of responses will provide you with abundant data on which marketing tactics have the power to boost sales and which ones secured repeat transactions. This will offer you the opportunity to hone your marketing tactics further and develop your products better.
5. Work with your community.
Partnering with other business entities in your area will ensure that you get more out of your conservative marketing budget as a small business. For example, try creating print advertisements that promote your business and a partner. One approach you can take here is to include information about the stores where your product is available.
One other tactic to consider is to use a “donut” (a type of commercial where the beginning and end are the same, and there is a “hole” positioned in the middle that allows space for changing copy). When you use radio spots with open spaces, you also highlight partner businesses.
6. Avoid cramming too much information in your marketing products.
Most businesses tend to cram as many details as possible into everything — business cards, brochures, flyers, and posters. This may seem like the practical thing to do considering the price of developing marketing products, but it’s a counterproductive tactic.
People only process what they believe is essential, and gloss over other details. So, it’s best to keep most of your marketing efforts simple and direct to the point. Also, by holding back on specific information, you create the opportunity for actual business and potential client interaction.
7. Promote when times are good and bad.
Marketing strategists always advise businesses never to stop promotions. Do it when the business is thriving and do it when the company is struggling. Studies shared by Colonial Tin Works Incorporated show that small and medium enterprises have everything to gain in upholding this principle.
SMEs that continue their promotions during difficult times have a higher potential of bouncing back by gaining the share of the market that “weaker” players have abandoned.
These marketing principles lay down a solid foundation for any kind of business. With all of these in place, you can boost your chances of ensuring longevity for your operations.
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About the Author
Michael Gribben specializes in Marketing and Product Development at King Printers Co. Ltd in Osaka, Japan and is the spokesperson for Print Arabia, the first Japanese online printing company in Dubai, UAE. Print Arabia offers hassle-free offset and digital printing, as well as large format, novelty and T-shirt printing services.