How Can You Know if Marketing Will ‘Work’ for Your Small Business?

You want your small business to reach a new audience — or to reach more of your current audience. Or perhaps you want to introduce a new product or service. But how do you know if the marketing campaign you’re going to invest in will actually work?

Honestly, you can’t know, and I can’t know. With marketing, you must employ a large chunk of faith, an equally sized chunk of strategy, and a tidbit of common sense. And I ensure you, your small business will see return. How much? We’ll see. And if the return doesn’t hit a high enough mark, we’ll adjust.

Though we can’t ever know the outcome of a marketing campaign or tactic until that said marketing campaign or tactic is in action, we can take a number of basic steps to ensure it will “work” for your small business.

1. Instill consistency:

In your brand, in your voice,in your visuals, in your marketing timing, in your customer service and product quality. Everything. Has. To. Be. Consistent!

When you eat at Greasy Bob’s Burgers, you expect your fingers to shine after you finish off that quarter pounder. When you see a Coke ad, you expect that bright cherry red. When your customer signs up for a monthly newsletter, they expect to get a newsletter every month — yet brands sometimes let these things slide. Sometimes we aren’t seeing enough clickthroughs or interactions or opens, and we think a marketing tactic doesn’t work. But marketing takes time. And small businesses that wait these marketing strategies out will begin to see an incline in return, be it interactions, opens, sales, shares and more.

When your brand is consistent, your small business garners trust among its target audience

2. Know our target audience:

Who are we talking to? How should we talk to them? Where can we best reach them? When? Are we putting our customer before our small business? All of these things will help your small business’ marketing messages resonate better with your target audience.

Barney’s Kids Clothes won’t find its audience of mothers on a platform like LinkedIn likely. HealthNut Foods wouldn’t be blessed to blog about high-sugar dessert recipes. And Zales would be wasting its time marketing to pre-teen and teen boys (though wouldn’t that be an interesting campaign?).

When your brand speaks to the right people, in the right spots, at the right times, your small business begins to bring customers into the buying journey.

3. Track progress … but don’t give up too soon:

Perhaps you’ll have a mailer discount your customer will have to turn in, which you can then count. Maybe you have a special URL or free phone number set up just for the campaign, so you know that customer contacted you because they saw your marketing. Or it could be a microsite they land on, which you can track with Google Analytics.

Determine a reasonable timeframe for your marketing campaign’s success or failure. If you’re using a strategy like blogging or e-newsletters, know that you’re in it for the long-term — and you likely won’t see large results for a while. But they are coming. Whereas, if you run a promotion in the local paper, you should expect results to be in a smaller window.

When you track your progress, your small business can either continue on the road to success or build a new path to get there.

Want to start a marketing campaign that’ll work for your small business? Let us know!

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