What are the Five Marketing Must Haves for Small Businesses?

perplexed woman sitting at a typewriter

Perplexed?

Here are the 5 marketing must haves for small business owners. To brand and market your business, you’ll need the following:

  1. A brand identity
  2. An elevator pitch
  3. Promotional tools
  4. A social network
  5. An experienced mentor

Brand Identity

The key to great marketing is asking the right questions. What exactly are you offering and who will you offer it to? Understanding these simple questions will help develop your brand, which is the first step to marketing your business. Think about a brand as the story that informs who you are and what you want to be known for. Will you be a company with outstanding customer service? Or will you be known for high-quality products at a great value? Everything that shapes the public’s perception of your business is part of your brand identity, so all of your marketing efforts should build and promote the story you want to tell about your business.

There are 5 elements you should consider when you start to build your brand identity:

Description: How do you define your business? What is your product or service?  Audience: Who are you specifically trying to connect with? New moms? Urban professionals? Small business owners?  Customer needs: What are your customers looking for in a product or service? What is most important to them? And what are they looking for beyond just the product or service you offer? Is it a great price? The best quality? One-on-one support? Key benefits: How will you fill a need or solve a problem? What is the most important thing you offer your customers? Key differentiator: What makes you different from the competition? Why would a customer be better off doing business with you rather than your closest competitor?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have defined your position in the marketplace and be able to answer the most important question about your business – why should customers buy from you?

Here’s an example of brand identity brainstorming for a fictitious landscaping business:

Description: We provide eco-friendly land care services. Audience: Local homeowners and businesses. Customer needs: Our customers are seeking eco-friendly landscaping and gardening solutions. They want more than just a beautiful garden – they want to know that it exists in harmony with the environment around it.  Key benefits: When you utilize our services, you get both a beautifully designed property and the peace of mind that comes with knowing all the materials are eco-friendly. Moreover, you’ll have access to an expert team that’s capable of educating you regarding the most sustainable land care methods. Plus, organic gardening methods ensure you’ll use less water and fertilizer in the long run.  Key differentiator: Unlike most of our competitors, we utilize pesticide-, herbicide- and petrochemical-free fertilizers. We also source our plants and materials locally and recycle all our waste.

Stay tuned, more information to follow …

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