Today businesses regardless of size, realise they need to have a dedicated marketing plan, and budget for both offline (outbound marketing) and online (inbound marketing) initiatives. Online channels used for inbound marketing include social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, websites, and blogs. Traditional offline or outbound marketing includes business cards, print advertising and banners. Today, to reach the broadest of audiences to grow your reach and customer base it pays to use it all not just online or offline so what can the start up or small business do to make the most of marketing?
Marketing Initiatives for Start Ups & SMEs
What’s common amongst startups and small businesses is they don’t have huge advertising budgets, and this results in big business monopolising the airways like trivago adverts do on TV. This means the startup or SME needs to work smarter on their marketing campaigns and focus on cost-efficient yet effective solutions that are less risky and have a higher success rate. Of course, get started as a business requires a website or online store and definitely a blog. Then there’s the SEO and setting a quality presence on social networks. Growing your online presence takes time – lots of time, so instead of becoming impatient marry your online strategy with outbound marketing.
Trade-shows, for example, are good for reaching lots of real people in real time face to face. Your business stand or pitch would have a professional visual presence i.e. posters and printed banners that wows attendees and it can be reused time and time again at each event. A professional banners printing service that does the lot i.e. not only banners but also other printed marketing materials like business cards and brochures will make light work of providing the perfect brand presence. What’s important is to make the most of every minute at these events so while you’re handing out your business information also request permission to send emails. Data protection is on everyone’s lips these days so make sure your business is compliant when collect data and the opt in for your email marketing campaigns. It’s easy to see how online and offline marketing works hand in hand.
Quality Then Quantity and Consistency
Once your business has the online (website, blog, social media profiles) and offline (print advertising, brochures, banners etc) quality brand presence it’s happy with; the focus needs to shift to quantity i.e. getting found. You don’t want your business being the best kept secret and you’ve invested in the whole process from selecting your unique colour scheme, photo choices, fonts, and text as well as your preferred service providers for online and offline banners so add to your marketing plan the list of tradeshows and events your business will attend throughout the year. The hardest part is the planning, but once it’s locked in being visible at local events so your brand and marketing message are on proud display the rest is easy.
Finally, with all thing in business marketing takes time and commitment and also consistency. The message your business is communicating must be relevant to it’s intended audience and consistent or synergistic, across the various mediums, with your offline banners and brochures aligned with the message your business is sharing online.