When it's time to develop a small business marketing strategy, entrepreneurs need to make sure they have a thorough understanding of the market in which they operate. In addition to knowing the market well, a good small business marketing strategy depends on several other aspects. While starting a business can be difficult for a new entrepreneur, developing a marketing strategy can be an equally difficult task.
To help you develop an effective small business marketing strategy, here are some great marketing tips from the marketing experts at PME MTL.
The essence of marketing is to understand your customers’ needs and develop a plan that responds to those needs. A good marketing plan contains at least:
- an analysis of the situation (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- a description of the target market (demographics, demand, motivations)
- quantifiable and measurable objectives
- a strategy and means of action
The way a business sells its goods and services is determined by practices in its industry. So it is important for entrepreneurs to clearly understand their industry, competition, market and products. Here are some questions that the entrepreneur could ask himself in order to improve or develop his marketing strategy.
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are their customers?
- What are their pricing, promotional, advertising and distribution policies?
- Will your response to your competitors reflect market conditions?
- What are the commission rates paid to intermediaries in the industry?
- How big is the market?
- How is the market evolving?
- Is there still room for growth?
- What are your target markets and how will you convince customers?
- Who will produce the goods or provide the services?
- How will the goods or services be offered?
- Will there be after-sales service and guarantees?
- Is there real demand for these goods or services?
Here are some effective tools for any entrepreneur who wants to improve the marketing strategy of their PME.
- Statistics Canada, for data on different sectors of activity
- Montréal en statistiques, for sociodemographic and economic data in Montréal (in French)
7 sales tips
- Assume that sales cycles are long and customers will take a longer time than you expect to say yes.
- Set aside time for sales and business development – lots of time! The best person to market your goods and services is you, the entrepreneur.
- Never assume that your goods and services will sell themselves. You have to invest plenty of time and energy.
- Follow up with business contacts and build long-term relationships.
- Seek help from professionals, business incubators, mentors or a steering committee. There are excellent marketing training programs available, and they are good investments.
- Give customers time to say “yes." It’s a back-and-forth negotiating process.
- Develop a list of potential customers and rank them by the likelihood of making a selling to them.
To receive more information about marketing and commercialization strategies, please contact PME MTL today. An experienced member of our team will be happy to assist you.
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