WRITTEN BY YAHEL DEMETER
After my lectures or during interviews, the first question I get asked is: What is the most important tip for small businesses? Although I have dozens, not just one, I've assembled some important tips that I think you all can (and should) implement:
1. Good prioritization prevents waste
When you correctly prioritize your marketing efforts, you save valuable time and help increase the conversion ratio from marketing to sales, without wasting money on ineffective marketing channels. In addition, businesses tend to advertise in traditional channels, rather than effective ones, which leads to unnecessary competition among advertisers and needless expenses.
2. The consumers won’t tell you what they want, but they will buy the competitor's brand if you don’t offer it
Consumers have desires, and these desires reflect their need to move across stages through brands. These stages can be daily or ongoing, functional or conceptual, and your goal is to demonstrate to the consumers that your brand is the one that helps them successfully complete the stages they want to go through.
3. “Call to Action” is not just a figure of speech, it's a business approach
Never assume that the consumer knows what you, as a business owner, expect them to do even if they’re already interested in your product or service. This rule also applies to consumers who aren’t yet interested in your product or service, but all the more so to those who are already interested, because losing them is much more painful than losing a potential customer who hasn’t yet expressed interest. To prevent this, make sure that all your marketing includes calls to action, urging the customers to contact, visit, browse and explore. Don’t expect them to do it on their own.
4. Innovation is the Key to Success
An innovative brand coupled with innovative marketing can overwhelm competitors, offer great value to the customer and establish your brand’s status in its market segment. Creating innovation is a very technical process, which requires figuring out what the consumers dream about, not just what they want. The essence of innovation is manifested on two levels: ground-breaking innovation or disruptive innovation. The former offers an upgrade to an existing product that already addresses an existing problem, and the latter introduces a completely new product to solve the problem. Innovation, however, doesn’t just mean finding solutions to an existing problem, but also coming up with solutions to a problem that hasn’t yet arisen, based on the knowledge you have and your experience in the target market.
5. Competition is not always bad.
Competition is good for business for several reasons. First, it raises the level of awareness to your product, and compels you to demonstrate your product’s advantage. Without competition, the consumer wouldn’t get any indication of the quality of your product. You need to know who your competitors are and complement them in the areas where they fail to meet the full needs of the consumers. History shows that brands that prevent competition tend to fail, even if they are successful for a while, because without that indication, the relative advantage fades. Bear in mind that competition changes completely when operating in a market where the consumers' economic capacity is limited. In such cases, consumers switch from consumption based on abundance to functional consumption driven mostly by physical need, while comparing prices and benefits.
Small businesses are naturally associated with low prices and competitive advantages by virtue of being small. This fact should be leveraged to attract new customers that haven’t yet experienced the product or service the business offers, giving them a chance to ditch their old shopping habits for a new one. In an economic reality of abundance, it is more difficult to perform this conversion process.
6. Word of mouth is an excellent advertising channel, but it doesn’t occur naturally, even if customers love your brand
Satisfied consumers will pass on the information about your product or service, but do you know what information they will communicate? To prompt a correct word-of-mouth process, you must grant people the ability to convey accurate information about your product, such that will motivate other consumers to take action. Therefore, imparting effective marketing tools to your customers is a “must” for every business, large or small, and the need to create "viral" content that customers can share on social media as part of their affiliation with your brand and its values is vital.
7. Consumers are the ones who build the brand, and you are the main beneficiaries.
It’s not you who builds the brand, but the consumers, by belonging to a society. The company gives the brand its value, and the consumer brands it according to the same value. Therefore, the very use of the brand exposes it to other people in the society, and this will eventually lead to an increase in brand sales. As the architects of your brand, you must understand how to build it correctly and allow consumers to affiliate with it. You can read more about brand building in this article, or click on the link at the bottom of the page.
In addition to these tips, there's something else I need to tell you. Today, in the global era, when all the information is accessible to everyone, and the channels of marketing, transportation and shipping are highly advanced, it is always worthwhile to consider working with global partners. It’s refreshing, challenging and very conducive to your business development. In this article, I have compiled five stages that my clients go through on their way to that goal.
For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
Video Podcast and Workshops
Biz Like It Is was founded to inspire business owners and entrepreneurs with an authentic perspective over real life experience in a competitive business environment and to equip them with proven actionable insights.
1:1 mentoring to develop your business by analyzing the big picture together, focusing and crafting superior branding, marketing and business development strategies, setting milestones and implementing validation strategies.