It’s time to put marketing high on your priority list

This post will take Estimated reading time: 4 minutes to read Marketing

Running a small business is tough going. Most business owners wear many hats and often bite off more than they can chew. It’s not their fault, there is lots to do. Sales to manage, orders to process and bills to chase up. And after all that – they must market their business!

It’s not uncommon for marketing to come off second best in terms of priorities. But it’s marketing that will deliver build awareness of the business and more consistent revenue from new and current customers.

Marketing shouldn’t be low on the priority list, but we find that when businesses are struggling to generate business – this is often the case.

The marketing challenges of small businesses

The most common marketing challenges we see in most small businesses are:

1. Understanding who their ideal customer is
2. Finding the time for marketing
3. Generating regular, high-quality leads
4. Knowing what marketing strategies and tactics to use
5. How to be visible online and produce content consistently
6. How to use social media and which platform to use.

Most of these challenges require the business owner to have some experience or skills in marketing. But not all business owners do. Surprisingly though, many will try to do it themselves and most will fail. Then they think marketing doesn’t work when it fact it was their execution that let them down.

I’ve never understood why so many small business owners try to do their own marketing. I often ask those that do – would you represent yourself in court? Would you try to build an extension on your house with no building skills? Of course you wouldn’t, you’d use a lawyer and a builder. The same rules apply for marketing. Either get some training on how to do it correctly, employ someone to do it or outsource it.

What are the first steps in marketing?

At MarketingHQ, when a new marketing consulting client comes on board, the process is always the same. We don’t just head off blindly, implementing marketing campaigns without a clear plan and analysis.

Our first step is to develop a buyer persona. A buyer persona is like the concept of the target market but aims to ‘humanise’ the ideal customer of our client. We give the person a name, identify some demographic information (age, sex, marital status etc) but also find out their pain points and motivations that will trigger the need to buy the products or service of our client.

Understanding the buyer persona allows us to craft better marketing messages. If we have a picture of who our customer is, we can create marketing messages and content that connects with them. You need to show you understand the customer and their issues – only then can you show them how you can help.

The next steps are often depending on the needs of the clients. Often, the buyer persona process highlights the need for a re-brand, or if that’s not required we move to the development of a unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing plan using a customer journey model.

Ultimately this process aims to implement a marketing system that delivers consistent, high quality leads through a well-structured, well thought out and well-implemented marketing plan.

Which social media platform to use if any

In this age of digital disruption and digital marketing, it is also important for business owners to keep up-to-date with what’s happening not only in marketing – but in technology.

Technology, and social media can influence to decision to buy a product of service. Customers use social media to ask for product recommendations, to check out reviews and of course to provide positive (and negative) feedback about a business. Social media is also a great marketing research tool.

Some business owners I’ve met don’t like to read what people say about their business – they are scared to read something negative. But sometimes a negative review can highlight something you can easily fix. You’ve got to take the good with the bad – but most importantly you have to listen to you customers and social media is an easy way to do that.

Where to from here?

The first thing we want small business owners to do is recognise that marketing must be a high priority. When done well it will drive revenue growth and ensure the success of the small business.

The decision to then make is, how will it be managed. The choices are either to keep doing it yourself (and do it poorly), employ someone (someone with experience will be expensive) or outsource to a business like ours who can give you the benefit of high level marketing expertise, without the high cost of employment.

Where is marketing on your priority list?

About the author

Chris Dale Chris Dale is the founder and Managing Director of MarketingHQ. He is a Certified Practising Marketer with over 15 years senior marketing experience. He helps small and medium sized businesses create great marketing strategies and systems that grow their businesses. You can connect with him on or on LinkedIn.

You may also like