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The key to a good small business marketing strategy

Some companies expect results by just buying clicks or throwing money into advertising on billboards. These are not necessarily the companies that make it in a crowded marketplace, and their investment is unlikely to be of much value if they don’t get the basics right. The ticket to grab more attention is a well-considered marketing strategy that’s built on your strengths, and your customers’ satisfaction.

Your customers only look for products and services that address their needs or problems. For example, a car insurance billboard may not work in a train station, just as the opening of a children's clothing store in a business district may not be super busy. There are several steps to increase your chances of standing out from the crowd, for example: Develop a clear, unique message for your offering; always place your customers first; let everyone know about your good work and your wins and let your personality, or that of your business, shine. Two points, however, really stand out here as the foundations for success:

Find your unique selling point (or USP)

You may sell the same or similar products or services as hundreds of other businesses, but there is a particular reason why you started your own company. Think back on how you began and find out what makes you different. Lead with that as your primary guiding philosophy.

Your product may save time for consumers, or you may have a wealth of experience and expertise in your team. Develop and support your strengths early on, and then stick to them. Once you have done this, evaluate your competitors to ensure that there are no' USP clashes,' or at least to ensure that you can better communicate them.

Believe that you have the best customer service

With an efficient and friendly customer service team, you’re able to strongly differentiate your business from competitors. A recent survey revealed that 45 percent of consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not dealt with quickly, or if customer service representatives repeatedly transfer them from pillar to post. Make sure calls are answered within 30 seconds, and issues are addressed by the same person if possible.

As part of this customer service focus, the personal touch offers something that big companies cannot compete with. This extends far beyond a physical location, such as a shop, and includes every point of communication between your customers and your company. Build as many customer connections as you can because this is ultimately what keeps your business going. Get to know them by name and contact them regularly. Built to operate efficiently on a scale, larger companies cannot or really struggle to provide this particular level of service.

Keep an eye on your social media channels just as you would when helping a customer who enters your store. An hour is the most a customer will wait on platforms like Twitter to hear from a company who they’re frustrated with or who they need to ask something of. Invest in regular customer service training for your entire team or, if you can, create a dedicated customer service team. Either way, make sure they know your products and services inside out and make sure your customers know this, by making yourself available at every touch point.

Whether you've been in business for years or just starting out, it's essential that you make sure you have a solid strategy to get your message out there and to ensure that you stand out from the crowd!