I have a different definition of Marketing to what the textbooks say. I think the main aim of small business Marketing should be to create top of mind awareness in the minds of our customers and potential customers. When a client is thinking of using our product or service, he has a literal ladder in his mind where he probably has a list of up to about 7 providers. It should be our aim to be in the top three places in our client’s mind. If we are not, it is highly unlikely that we will get the business. The problem is that our competitors are doing everything they can to get to the top of the same ladder in the minds of our clients.
We need to have a variety of methods to keep in touch with our clients and reach them in a variety of ways. The most effective marketers have a plan and they are consistent. To be a great marketer, we need to do enough marketing. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect, rather just make the calls, visit your clients and make things happen. Have a whole bundle of marketing tools to choose from and vary them so that you don’t get bored. Play to your strengths. Which marketing tools do you love to use? Use those so that you have some enjoyment.
Grow your network! Research on small businesses in South Africa shows that the main determinant of success for small business is the size of one’s network. Attend the functions, become a referrer and be credible and a person of integrity. Remember, it is not who you know but who knows and trusts you.