Most when it comes to developing a marketing strategy for their small business, believe that they’re at a disadvantage, this when it comes to going up against the big brand giants. It’s expensive to create brand awareness, as what they lack is the manpower and the advertising capital.
Most small businesses can’t match the larger chain stores when it comes to reaching the same demographics, let alone compete with their prices. These “big brands” can theoretically squash their corner store like a bug.
But it’s found that some large corporations actually wish that they had same the marketing advantages that the small businesses enjoy. This so they don’t need to spend massive dollars just to find what their customers want, what they like, who they are.
For the small business owner to find out how engaged their customers are when it comes to meaningful experiences, all they need to do is open up their doors, and then just talk to them one on one. As a result, they grow naturally closer to them, reacting to their exact pulse.
This is something that the big box stores can’t or don’t have the time to do. They need to conduct large focus groups or perform nationwide surveys to get the same answers.
From Your Customer’s POV
Unlike the big box stores, small business owners have the ability to directly witness what their customer’s reactions are once they enter their business. The advantage being that they can track their entire shopping experience.
Then they know what they have to improve on, what they need to change based on they’re reactions. They can immediately find out where the bottlenecks are, where the opportunities are, this when it comes to creating a better shopping experience. This is what makes for easier marketing.
Understanding Your Market
What this close intimacy with their customers does is it allows them to become a lot more familiar with their market quicker. They have the ability of react to their customers behavior.
Their market is directly in front of them, so all they need to do is observe. If they want to test something, or have a new idea, they can just ask them directly. Talking and testing can be performed in a natural, accurate, and easy way.
You Know Them They Know You
What the big businesses know is that they need to somehow relate closer to their customers on a one to one basis, at a local level. Any small business is part of the fabric of the community, this since they themselves lives and shops in the same neighborhood as their customers do.
Another advantage is that since small businesses are connected with the local community, along with the other businesses on their block, they can all work and support each other to build their individual businesses.
All of the repeat customers becomes their friends. What their store becomes is one of the pillars of the community, a staple where repeat business then becomes easy.
Personalized Individual Experiences
Small business owners have the ability to offer a personalized meaningful experience for all of their customers, which creates a “wow” experience for them, one that the big box stores can’t offer.
It’s known that customer service for larger brand name stores is close to nonexistent, while small businesses are able to rise above all that without costing anything more.
The Small Business Advantage
Extend Yourself Online
Small business owners can also personally connect better with their customers by creating an effective social media strategy, this by applying that same service that they do personally, and then extending that online.
Offer a mobile site experience as an extension of your store. Make sure that you keep it concise, by just using an image, a short paragraph, and a visible call to action to your offers.
Going online becomes a social experience which can also generate and inspire the best ideas and tips from your customers. Things they don’t like. Allow them to ask questions and submit their feedback and criticisms.
Then what you’ll have is a constant flow of ideas on what they want and what you can improve on, this rather than you giving them what you think they want.
So make sure that you ask all of your customers who steps through your door for their email address, and that they connect with you on social media. Ask them to “like” you on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Make Yourself Visible
Once you develop a social media presence, then make sure that you post something relevant daily, such as a coupon, sale, or an opinion. Also use SEO so you can be found on the search engines and all the social media platforms.
Make sure that you remain genuine, this since these are the customers who you know. Continue to build the same relationships with them online, this by constantly communicating with them. What they’ll then begin to do is follow the breadcrumbs that you leave which leads them back to your business.
Networking With Your Contacts
Once you have a loyal base of customers, then begin reaching into their networks, their contacts, the people that they know. Reward them with a fee or a discount if you need to for their referral. What you’re doing is cross referencing these individuals, as they most likely think similar to them.
Your current customers direct network then becomes your next generation of prospects. What you constantly want is to always be targeting for a new audience, and there’s no one better targeted and more relevant than who your customers know.