What is small business marketing? From our point of view, it is the precise application of budget across an appropriate mix of platforms. The ability to closely monitor campaigns makes this possible, with pivots in spending or direction possible on a daily or monthly basis. This flexibility, this swift response to market data, is entirely new, and is a powerful asset in the competitive landscape. The article below covers our approach in more depth.
Small businesses occupy a unique niche in the world of digital marketing. The essential challenge in small business marketing is this: How to expend limited budgets across an ever-widening range of options? Firstly, if you build a site, how do you get folks to come? Do you spend your digital ad dollars on Google Adwords alone, or in Twitter campaigns, as just a few examples? What kind of traditional advertising is still relevant, if not more relevant than ever? You hear a lot about the “conversation” on social media, but what capacity do you have to maintain the required output?
At Creative Maneuver we see this dizzying array of questions as a fruitful opportunity to regroup and re-assess your identity at a very basic level, rather than to jump right away into a time-consuming management of multiple digital platforms.
It is comedic how many social media bloggers post about the Six Ways to Grow Your Facebook Audience or Nine Best Tips for Social Media Engagement. Rather than giving any really worthwhile advice, most of these columns simply reflect the pressure small businesses face to produce original and abundant content. And that pressure is well-founded: who said coffee shops or tailors should become writers and poets in order to succeed? Maybe Facebook or blogging is not relevant or even required for your business. But a broad and strong review campaign, utilizing Google Reviews, Foursquare, Yelp, and other free tools, might be just what you need to compete successfully in the online coliseum of customer opinion.
So when a small business comes to us, we start at the beginning and ask the following questions:
1. Who are you? (You’d be surprised how hard this can be to answer.)
2. How do you express your mission and vision?
3. What do you perceive to be your market/audience?
4. How are you reaching them now and what do you observe about those tools?
5. What is your capacity for growth in your outreach?
6. And of course, what is your budget?
This is the “digital Pilates” approach – use the exercises of self-assessment to strengthen your core rather than build unnecessary muscle on a misleading regimen. This review lays the groundwork for an approach to the digital universe of options that is personalized, economical and confident.