This has been a year of forced changes. The global pandemic has forced us to change the ways we live, work and interact. It certainly has given a push to everything digital. Online shopping, online classes for kids, webinars, video calling, online doctor consultations. The shift in consumer behavior towards digital needs an identical shift in business strategies. It has been so for the past few years. However, digital will play an even bigger role in sales and marketing. How to plan your small business marketing strategy in 2020.
Check out the 5 digital marketing trends to watch for in 2020. This is another great post on 5 essential trends for small business marketing strategy in 2020.
Both these and any other research on this subject would emphasize on the importance of digital as a key ingredient for planning your small business marketing strategy in 2020. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbots are being recommended by all marketing experts.
As you are already sold on the idea of digital playing a key role in marketing, this post is about some tips and tricks you should follow.
Marketing is a specialist’s job
You may say this is not a tip or trick for planning your small business marketing strategy. Yes, it is not a tip. However, it is a mistake a lot of small business owners make. While they expect good returns on the marketing budget, they undermine the importance of having a specialist lead the initiatives. Whoever you choose to lead the strategy and initiatives should have a skill for marketing. Either a knack of marketing or previous experience and qualification. If you do not have someone in your team, it is a good idea to hire an agency or freelance professional.
Focus on market and customer segmentation
Offline marketing has one clear advantage over its digital counterpart. It enforces geographical and demographical boundaries quite easily. A café owner in South Mumbai would never use her budget and resources trying to promote her café in the suburbs. It does not make sense. She knows that. However, when it comes to digital, the ease of reaching out to anyone anywhere tempts you to make some mistakes.
Establish very clear geographical and demographical boundaries for your target customers. Who, when and where needs to be targeted? Be extra cautious. Don’t promote pizzas with extra meat toppings to a vegan couple.
Digital media has amazing segmentation abilities. Use it to your advantage.
Plan an omni-channel marketing campaign
The offers that you may promote on your email campaign must be listed on your Facebook business page. Your Google My Business listing must have the same offer details. If a customer visits your website, the same offer needs to be available there too.
Same goes for the marketing message, slogan, graphics. Give your customers consistency across all channels.
Make customer interaction easy
There have been instances when I come across a web ad about a product. As I click on the ad and visit the landing page, there is an usual intro video followed by some more description. I have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the contact information. The worst is that the chat option is either missing or offline.
I understand that companies want to educate prospects about the product or service before an inquiry is made. However at times it becomes too much information. There needs to be some room for ambiguity. I may be unsure about some feature and would want to talk or chat to someone. If all the information is made available, I may make up my mind without any intervention.
Make it easy for a prospect to get in touch with your sales team. Live chat, call and WhatsApp integrations are easily available.
Have clarity of purpose
A marketing campaign may have different objectives. Not all campaigns and promotions are to sell a product. If the objective is not clear and well defined, you will not be able to measure the success of the campaign. What do you want to achieve? Is it a brand awareness campaign? Are you planning to generate new leads? Is it a remarketing campaign to connect with existing customers? Are you planning to sell dead stock? Do you want to increase subscribers for your monthly newsletter?
Have a clear objective. Set measurable goals to monitor effectiveness.
A bad example: we need to increase conversion on our ecommerce website.
Why is it a bad example?
If the campaign helps you increase conversion from 1.25% to 1.42%, how would you rate the effectiveness? Is it a good enough improvement? You did not set clear goals for the team and the campaign.
A good example: we need to increase conversion for our new home furnishing collection from 1.75% to 3.00% in the next 3 months.
Why is it a good example?
You have set clear measurable improvement goals. There is a clear product and segment focus for the marketing team. It will thus be easier to measure the success and evaluate the results.
Regardless of the medium you choose, these 5 tips for planning your small business marketing strategy in 2020 will give a clear direction to your team. It will let you focus on a well-researched and targeted customer group. Planning while keeping these in mind increases the chances of achieving the objectives. It also provides key learnings for future marketing campaigns.
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