How important is marketing for small businesses

 Importance of Marketing for Small Businesses

Small businesses are the lifeline of the local economy and cater to the needs of a very large segment of customers.  Customers do not shop all the time from only the big brands. For many of their needs they have to depend on these smaller businesses.  In several areas, these smaller businesses too feel the same pressures as the bigger brands.  They too feel the pressures of competition and sales. They too are subject to the rules of demand and supply and the economic and legal challenges. The world of small businesses has changed a lot in the 21st century Now, most of them are leveraging the power of technology to generate the best results and to create revenue.  All of them want to attract and retain customers and create long term relationships with them. Mostly, this purpose is served by the marketing function.  While small businesses do not generally have a separate marketing function, they can still use various channels of marketing to expand their customer base.

Even the small businesses need to market themselves. You cannot solely depend on the quality of your products or services and word of mouth. Even your competitors can provide great quality. What if another business down the lane starts providing matching quality and great customer service and your business feels threatened. In such a situation, there are several methods a small business can employ to stay competitive and earn profits. Marketing starts from a brand name and small businesses should have relevant names related to their product/services so that customers can easily recall them when they need. Location has a very important role in marketing and determines the amount of exposure you get and the level of recognition you gain. Unless your business is entirely an online business and all the operation goes on through the internet, where it is located matters. It is why small businesses must start from choosing a suitable location where the customers can find it easily accessible. Accessibility is an important factor and unless customers can access you easily, it is difficult for your business to rise. A good location does not just help you remain accessible and within easy reach of your customers but also helps you market yourself better. It increases your visibility and therefore you may need to push a lot lesser for sales.

Small businesses must always try to remain accessible through physical channels as well as the online channels. It is why having a small website can be good for small businesses. If not a website then at least a small blog or social media presence is definitely required.  It gives your business a face and makes you discoverable.  Marketing apart from making you stand out of the crowd helps you find a unique identity that helps strike a smarter connection with the customers. What would a business do if its prospective customers do not know how to find it. Having a web presence helps your customer locate you easily. There are several effective marketing channels that small businesses can use to market themselves. However, they must focus on both online marketing as well as real world marketing.   Online marketing helps you be recognized and found easily but real world marketing can help you connect with your customers effectively.  Marketing adds real value to your business and also helps it gain credibility. A less known business can be considered less credible by the customers than a well known business. To build further trust small businesses too can focus on the quality of the product or service. It is not just like building a publicly recognizable face but gaining trust by being known and connecting.

Even as a small business you need to get closer to your customer’s heart. The closer you are to their heart, the longer they will remember you and the more repeat purchases they will make from you. To get closer to their hearts, you must focus on all aspects of your marketing strategy.  From price to promotions as well as people and processes, all these are important aspects of your marketing strategy.  How you price your products or services also determines your public image which in turn affects your sales and revenue. A competitive pricing strategy generally helps you gain popularity among your customers and leads to higher sales. Promotions are also important and small businesses must remain consistent in their promotional strategy.  Your people and how they interact with the customers affects your public image and the efficiency of your processes affect your popularity and credibility. Even small businesses need to have a strong customer base even if they are operating in small markets. To grow popular they must focus on all aspects of their marketing and create a strong image.

There are both short term and long term benefits to be obtained from marketing for small business. In the short term, the benefits get evident in the form of higher customer satisfaction. Effective marketing also keeps the business’ and the employees’ morale high. In the long term apart from increased sales and a better image, the small businesses can get bigger returns from their marketing efforts. Marketing can help you fill a bigger gap. Whether you want to be discovered and known or whether you want to remain hidden behind your competitors depends on how well you market your small business. The power of marketing can change the fate of small businesses and can help them grow faster. Now a days, web channels including social media can help you get fast recognition but then you must also stay focused on the other aspects of marketing.  Marketing helps your small business stay ahead of your competitors and helps you achieve your targets. To get closer to your customers, you must use the best marketing tools and techniques available.