Update 19/06/2019: This post has been updated with additional issues faced by small businesses in online marketing on a daily basis.
Online marketing for Small businesses, such as startups, are the key drivers of any free-market economy. They are, collectively, by far the largest employers and also generate plenty of taxes that are necessary for the smooth running of governments and funding of social welfare programs. For these reasons, their success and productivity are sacrosanct and should, therefore, be treated with the utmost importance. Find more enterprise resource system for your small business.
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The aim of the discussions is to highlight the issues that a small business will face with marketing on a daily basis and illustrate how they can find solutions in automated online marketing for small business software and mobile software with both free and paid solutions.
Common Online Marketing Problems that affect Small Businesses
The following are some of the common issues that a small business will face with marketing on a daily basis:
1. Poor Marketing Strategy
Effective marketing requires a very comprehensive and well-crafted marketing strategy. This feat can only be achieved if a competent and professional marketing/advertising agency is hired. Small business lacks the financial muscle to hire such companies and therefore end up crafting strategies that are not effective in reaching out to a target market as expected. As an SMB owner, every effort should be made to create both long and short term plans, each campaign should build on the last.
2. Limited Financial Endowment
Small businesses generally have limited financial net worth. This puts them at a considerable disadvantage as pertains their capacity to launch and carry out effective marketing initiatives. Finding cost-effective tools is essential for growth. Adapting to the Internet technology and CRM software enables the business owner to gather information on their clients and suppliers and focus marketing and service down to a personal level.
3. Small Marketing Sphere of Influence
The term “sphere of influence” refers to the territorial extent/geographic region which a small business may directly impact. Small businesses have relatively small spheres of influence. The existing means of communications such as broadcasting tend to favor larger and well-established firms. They are however more expensive and way out of the reach of the ordinary small businesses.
Expanding business through branding and use of national and international marketing online can widen the sphere of influence.
4. Intense Competition
The field of small businesses is generally flooded with numerous players each dealing in more or less similar goods and services. Gaining a competitive edge in such a crowded field is not easy. This contrasts sharply with the case of large businesses that have relatively fewer competitors and are highly specialized too.
Even in the smallest towns, there may be two or more competing salons. Working with your customers to give them what they want in your own unique way will separate your business from the competition. Focus on different aspects of the marketing mix and position your self according to price, place or promotion. Stand out from the crowd.
5. Market Analysis Incompetency
Generally, most of the small business owners lack the skills and experiences of taking advantage of market analysis. They may have the statistical report with them but still would lack the know-how to analysis the data. They can even misinterpret the data, or to make things worse, draw the wrong data in the first place.
And it’s not even surprising if you find companies who don’t even have historical data, to begin with. Thus, they have no basis for comparison.
To solve such problems, you can rely on multiple external sources. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.
6. The Burden of Time Investment
When you run an online marketing campaign, it can take a significantly long time to pay off the returns. For instance, for the SEO content strategy to take off, it will take several months before the effort finally starts to show.
Or if you are working an external partner or agency, it can again take several hours to plan, execute, and understand a marketing campaign.
That’s why the time burden can be significant for small company owners. Especially for those businesses who are in need of more immediate revenue.
The other way to overcome these problems rests in the adoption of appropriate software for mobile solutions and automated online marketing for small business.
7. Automated Online Marketing Software
Basically, a computer program or technology that is designed for the purpose of marketing on multiple online platforms such as social media e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr etc, email, and websites simultaneously. They include tools such as Massplanner and Hootsuite for general purpose. These software programs are very handy because they automate and simplify repetitive tasks; are simpler to master and operate; generate immediate results; are very cheap to acquire and maintain in the long run, and negate the need to hire skilled personnel to man them.
These do not require the hiring of skilled manpower on a full-time basis to operate; are easy to use and get started; are cheaper to acquire and maintain and therefore grant small businesses the power to compete at the same level as big businesses and in so doing, manage to cope effectively with the intense competition that is imposed on them by the latter. Furthermore, their ease of disseminating information means fewer inconveniences and generally faster response time.
Whereas these technologies may be pretty effective owing to their extremely cheap nature as well as ease of access. Also as it may be concluded from the foregoing discussion, they ought not to be used single-handedly due to the fact that small businesses have a relatively small sphere of influence which is better off covered by traditional media of communications such as brochures and pamphlets. An integrated approach is therefore for all practical purposes more preferable.
Jennifer splits her time between Dublin, Ireland and New Jersey USA, where she works for www.phorest.com/us as an online content manager. In this job she works with salon owners and marketers to help improve their online marketing.