Guest Post by Jason Acidre
Marketing today is not your father’s marketing. It’s much broader, thanks to the internet, and has a vocabulary that didn’t exist 15 years ago; Blogging, Google Adwords, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and so on. These are confusing for the entrepreneur who is hard-pressed to find the most suitable and cost effective tool to market a small business.
Thus, the search for the most effective marketing tool for a local business. However, the answer rests not so much in the marketing tools themselves, as in the related factors to the solution needed. This is illustrated by the following marketing issues:
1. The location of customers and how they discover information about the products sold by the business; through advertisements, word of mouth, or by searching on the net.
2. Are customers single-purchase or repeat? A different strategy is needed for each, which may include non-marketing tactics such as product improvements or repeat-purchase incentives. For one-time customers, the challenge is to convert them to repeat customers. What marketing tool is best for that?
We know that the best source of potential customers is the existing customer base of a business. It is also cheaper to find repeat customers than to win new ones. Is there a marketing tool for that, or is something else needed?
How a Marketing Plan Helps
A marketing plan gives direction and points to the future course of action. The plan has to be formulated according to the target clientele. The plan for repeat customers will most likely have different strategies than a plan to attract a new customer base.
It is only after the plan is in place that the marketing tools can be chosen. Some online tools like social networking sites, Facebook and LinkedIn are free, while other tools like an email marketing service may come for a monthly fee. Should you use those?
Those decisions are irrelevant unless you first put in place the best marketing tool for your business: The Marketing Plan.
Do you have a plan, or are you focused on the tools?
Jason Acidre works as a Web Marketing Consultant for Emobilescan, one of UK’s leading online retailers of handheld barcode scanners.
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