Basic Elements of a Marketing Plan for SMB’s

One of the greatest pain points for small to mid-sized companies is making your marketing dollars work.  We’ve all read the Internet leveled the playing field for the small to mid-size organizations, that it’s made marketing free and that you can now measure everything. All are true, and false.  A quick search of the web and you will find that over 98% of content out there is irrelevant because it’s written for large organizations with heavily staffed marketing departments.  So, what do I do you ask? Let’s address each of the above points separately.

First, the Internet does enable most any company to complete any where at any time. But with that opportunity came complexity. Most companies try web marketing, in fact, a lot turn exclusively to web marketing because they feel they can control their marketing.  The only problem is they don’t have the knowledge, expertise or resources and do this correctly and they get poor results. This leads to less and less activity, or worse…none at all.  Sound familiar. It is vital you find someone (an individual or agency) that has experience in marketing. Someone that not only has done it, but is doing it, and doing it for other companies and can show you results.  Then, assign an internal person to act as your contact person with the person or agency.  This person should not be “in-charge” of marketing, they should be a facilitator and manager.  The marketing person or agency should work directly with the Senior Management team because they should be held accountable just like your management team.

Second, web marketing, especially social media and word of mouth is free. Wrong. Social media and word of mouth do not come with a traditional media or space cost. But they doe come with a significant labor cost because it takes consistent listening and responding to make social media work for you. And, yes it will work, reducing your paid media expenditures, while increase impact. Important point: web marketing is not a plan, it’s a piece of a plan.  That’s where your marketing expert or agency comes in, they will help you build a plan that used multiple media to reach your targeted consumer.  Remember you don’t use the web exclusively to research and make a purchase. So why would you expect that potential customers would only use the web.  Get the point?

Third, yes you can measure most any activity you do on the web.  Back to that 98% of content being written for large organizations.  In order to measure your activities as tightly as most articles demonstration you have to have sophisticated, sometimes expensive tracking tools, that frankly you don’t need.  There are great, inexpensive tools for tracking and measuring your web marketing, and all marketing activities for that fact. But you don’t have the time to research, select and use them.  Remember that marketing expert or agency? Use their expertise to your advantage. They will show you the tracking automation that’s right for your particular business and put to work for you, along with the types of reporting they will provide and what the reports will show you.

You should be in control of your marketing, but you should not be managing or worse doing it. Today, marketing your organization is more important than ever.  It will help you sell more to your current customers, generate leads from potential customers, and it will help you identify those fans of your business that love your product or service. Best of all it will turn these fans into advocates that will help sell your product or service.  We do it every day for every one of our clients. You can even ask them about us. Contact us today via our website or at wwhite@9ycom.com and let us show you how to grow your sales.

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