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Marketing Tips for Small Businesses - Pre Planning

Marketing is synonymous with success in business. You cannot expect your business to succeed without a proper strategy in place to promote the products and services you sell.


Marketing is a really broad and diverse area of business and it covers everything from market analysis, market segmentation, as well as understanding influences on consumer behaviour. Over the course of the next 6 months, we’ll be doling out the very best of our marketing tips for you and your business to use.

Talking marketing spends and SMEs

Our Marketing Manager Lauren Austin says: “These blogs will cover everything from planning frameworks, Digital promotional tools, to general marketing best practice.”

She added, “SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy. They account for 99.3% of businesses in the UK and happen to be our biggest segment. However, marketing budget spend for SMEs is on average £24,000 per year – the same as a marketing executive. This is staggering because for every £1 spent on advertising, an SME benefits 8 times as much as a large firm would.”

As Lauren suggested, there is clear value in investing in marketing. However, only 1 in 5 small businesses view marketing spend as key to growth this year.

Spending shrewdly

Marketing spend doesn’t have to break the bank. Technology company TruRating have enjoyed success over the last couple of years by utilising the innovative nature of their product and marketing it in a smart and cost effective manner. They also shrewdly invested in ERP and CRM software as you’ll be able to see from our case study.

It’s worth noting that ERP and CRM software offer businesses significant competitive advantage and it most certainly is something you should consider. Check out our webpages for more details.

Taking stock

Now is a good time to take stock of everything associated with your marketing. Where are you with it right now? Where do you want to be? Set some aims. Things like: “I want to increase customer satisfaction by X” or “I want to increase sales by X” or “I want to get X customers onto my website.”

Set objectives so you can ensure you meet your aims and can measure your performance. Definitely use the SMART methodology when you set them – otherwise there’s absolutely no chance you’ll hit them!

Analyse your strengths and weaknesses

It’s useful to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your business, because it’ll help you to market more effectively. Use the SWOT analysis framework to analyse your businesses strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities and threats you’ll face. You’ll be able to zero in on what the strengths of your businesses are, mitigate threats and take advantage of the opportunities you’ll face.

It’s an important part of pre-planning that’ll help you get a good idea of where your business sits in the market.

Look at what your competitors are doing

You probably already do this. But if you don’t, we can’t stress the importance of doing this regularly. You want to know what your competitors are doing, what they’re tapping into and how they’re performing generally. Scour companies house for financial details, check their website, social media and gather collateral.

You’ll be able to get a good idea of what they’re doing and they’re performing. I can almost guarantee they’re doing the same with your business too!

And take a look at the wider world too

PESTLE is another mnemonic for a marketing planning framework. This one focusses on scanning the wider environment around your business. For instance, many businesses in the UK are going to be impacted by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. A weaker currency and access to the common market could potentially make importing goods more expensive.

PESTLE is a very important part of the planning process. You’ll need to account for all external challenges your business may face. Depending on what sector you operate in, there may be restrictions or specific criteria that may impact your marketing.

The next steps

In our next marketing blog, we’ll be telling you how to get your marketing plan together. But before we do that, we’ll take a look at how to conduct cost effective and useful marketing research, how to use STP, selecting your segment and a couple of other things.

Learn anything useful from this blog? Let us know in the comments section.