Marketing a small business has become overwhelming with all the online platforms, tools and strategies. There is so much complexity with all of your choices, how do you simplify marketing so it eliminates confusion and enables you to focus on what is important? Whether you are a new business or one that’s been around for a while, it is a good idea to get back to marketing basics to help you make intelligent decisions on where you should spend your time and resources.
The first step to simplify marketing is to narrow your focus by picking a niche within your industry sector. The more focused you are, the more likely your business will be visible, not only to those you are purposely targeting, but to others that may feel your services will help them solve their challenges as well. Service businesses such as marketing, business coaching, construction, IT, home improvement, legal or financial services benefit from creating a niche that you can dominate and become known as the expert. Being too broad makes it difficult to find a viable target audience and craft messages that resonate with that audience.
Are you an organizer or do you help simplify the lives of your clients so they have more time to enjoy each day with less stress? Determine what your business really sells, the experience you create and the value that your customers get from your products or services, and you have your foundation for your marketing plan. When you speak precisely to your target audience, you simplify marketing because you are extremely clear about the value you offer and why your ideal clients should work with you. Knowing exactly what your ideal client wants or needs and how to best reach them makes your marketing more effective and saves you money by not wasting it on activities that don’t make sense for your business and the clients you serve. Once you know what makes you different, incorporate it into your core message about the benefits of working with you.
Your core message is a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship.
Your core message creates credibility and relevance for your ideal client, explaining how you help your ideal client, the value they will receive and the end benefit to their business. Pricing and packaging is an important aspect of marketing that needs to be carefully planned and executed. Are they value priced so that you get more money for your time but your ideal client feels good about the value these services provide? Be unique and offer your services in a way that makes you stand out from your competition to make your business memorable and credible. With all the hype around digital marketing and social media, business owners forget that online is simply a new channel that helps you reach your ideal client.
Free Marketing Plan TemplateJoin the thousands of people who have created a winning inbound marketing plan. When I was in my 20s, I was taught the relationship between marketing and sales over a bonfire. Over 30 years ago, before the arrival of the personal computer, there were desktop computers called office workstations. As the company’s revenues skyrocketed, Convergent started a new division to make a multi-processor Unix-based mini-computer. Since this new computer was very complicated – it was a pioneer in multi-processing– I concluded it needed an equally detailed data sheet. The day the datasheets came back from the printers, I sent the boxes to the sales department in Convergent’s corporate headquarters, a separate building across the highway, and sent a copy to our CEO and the new VP of Sales. Heading to a meeting with the VP of Sales, I almost walked past the crowd into the building  until I heard the VP of Sales call me over to the fire. I stood there stunned as I realized that my 16-page carefully constructed, brilliantly written, technically accurate datasheets were being destroyed en masse. As the adoption of smartphones grows, consumers are becoming more confident in the technology.
In a survey conducted by PayPal and Ipsos, 46 percent of respondents said that they would make a holiday purchase online using their mobile device. This trend towards increased smartphone ownership and mobile internet usage has an impact on the direction that online marketers need to take if they want to reach their customers via the internet.
Users must be able to read and access a website on a mobile device without losing vital functionality. The key to successful functionality on mobile devices is remembering that users will be pressing the screens with their fingers.
Google have identified that 1 in 7 searches carried out on its search engine are from a mobile device.
Using the GoMo Meter, you can carry out an analysis of your website and obtain a customized report advising on how to make it more mobile-friendly.
For any retailer without a mobile-friendly website, the message is clear: consider the experience of mobile users or risk losing access to a potentially lucrative segment of consumers. Welcome to the Marketo Blog!Be sure to sign up to receive updates on the latest trends, best practices, and strategies to turn your marketing into revenue. Seasonality is critical for consumer marketing because it’s easier to gauge your buyers’ interests as they express different, seasonal needs during specific times of the year.
Even if you think your product or service doesn’t have anything to do with summer (after all, you’re probably not selling ice cream), you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover the untapped potential summer marketing has for your brand and industry.

Marketers know well that consumers shop around and celebrate special occasions, especially around the end of the year. Holidays are also a great time to display your company’s values to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
If you think that it’s too early to start your back-to-school marketing in the summer, consider the fact that reports that 30% of shoppers start their shopping at least two months before the start of school. Summer marketing opportunities are endless, and the value of it extends beyond a short-term spurt in consumer activity; it develops into long-term relationships with your new and existing customers. Effective summer marketing ultimately boils down to what your consumers do, where they are, and how they feel about your brand. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Monthly email from April Vermillion about how to make the most out of your online marketing!
So, what have we learned? Remember, when you’re writing online, reach for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll be among the stars. Sign up for weekly updates, and learn to create content that will boost your online authority and your business. What’s the secret to choosing the right platforms, tools and strategies to maximize your web presence and drive qualified inbound leads? It is much easier to explain what you do and why to a group of people with a specific need. The business you are in is more about the experience you create and the result of your efforts. Think about your business from the perspective of what you enjoy offering your clients and how you add value to them. Is there a group that would better appreciate what you do and make your passion come alive? This clarity attracts the right audience, which empowers you to turn away those clients that drain you of energy. Have you written goals that are specific, quantifiable and aligned with your business purpose?
Setting realistic and measurable goals helps you focus on efforts that produce the results you want, eliminating activities that waste time or direct your attention elsewhere. A captivating core message speaks directly to the needs of your ideal client, allowing you to connect with them.
The tradeoff between what you charge for a service and what your ideal client thinks it is worth is a careful balancing act. You want a prospect to be able to quickly and easily understand what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors. Before you can get the digital channel, or any marketing channel to work for your business, you need to get back to marketing basics. Marketing is changing so fast, it’s easy to get our heads turned by new, high-tech developments and this article is a great hint to start basics as sometimes we need reminders of ultimate importance to help clarify our focus. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Designed around the first generation of microprocessors, these computers ran business applications like word processing, spreadsheets, and accounting. Convergent had assembled a stellar team with founders from Digital Equipment Corporation and Intel and engineers from Xerox PARC.  And once we went public, we hired a veteran VP of Sales from Honeywell. I had joined the company as the product marketing manager and now found myself as the VP of marketing for this new division. In fact, when I was done, the datasheet describing our new computer, proudly called the MegaFrame, was 16 pages long. For web sites with an ecommerce component, the site itself is supposed to both create demand and close the sale. If buttons and links are too close together, mobile users may find that they accidentally navigate to the wrong page, leading to frustration and the potential for lost sales. To help website owners work out how their website looks to mobile users, Google has developed a new initiative called “How To Go Mo”.
With case studies and helpful hints, this Google initiative makes it much easier to adapt your website to the mobile market. There are plenty of opportunities during the summer for consumer marketers to drive revenue creatively and build relationships with their customers. While marketers are familiar with the importance of seasonality during the end-of-the-year holiday season, the summer season isn’t half as saturated. For example, Memorial Day is a special day of remembrance for soldiers who died in service to the United States.
While there are obvious opportunities here for the travel industry, companies with products and services that can move with consumers are also at an advantage. It’s not about just investing in mobile marketing, but also integrating it across channels to make it easier for consumers to connect with your brand—wherever they are and whenever they want.

And along with these milestones come a host of new chapters: first full-time jobs, honeymoons, new apartments, new cars, and new furnishings.
Companies with products that appeal to students, parents, or teachers can all benefit from this.
As you plan your summer marketing campaigns around these opportunities, map your objectives to the customer lifecycle to make the most of these relationships.
While you can’t predict these conditions, you can certainly guide consumers in the right direction by listening to their behavior, reaching them across all channels, sending useful and relevant content to them, and measuring and optimizing your campaigns as you go. When you subscribe to our email updates, you understand and agree that Marketo will send you email invites and updates, ranging from events, webinars, new content, and more, based on your settings.
She has been content marketing since the sixth grade, when she created a neighborhood newspaper to build her babysitting authority. Goals also help you make decisions about whether to spend resources on a marketing activity.
As a service business, people pay you for what you know and how you apply what you know to solve their problems.
Debra did much more than build a site, she optimized the website using highly refined search engine optimization techniques. They were an improvement over the dumb terminals hanging off of mainframes and minicomputers, but ran proprietary operating systems and software. I fact-checked the datasheet with my boss (who would be my co-founderat Epiphany) and the rest of the engineering team.  We all agreed it was perfect. As I parked and walked closer I noticed a crowd of people around what seemed to be an impromptu campfire.  “What the heck??” As an ex Sales and Marketing VP, our CEO had a Silicon Valley reputation for outrageous stunts so I wondered what it was this time -  a spur-of-the-moment BBQ? Website designers should consider dropping unnecessary graphics, which may take up valuable space and slow down the loading time. By logging on to this user-friendly website, you can view your website as if from a smartphone. Many companies take the time to recognize them on this day with a special note of appreciation and thanks. Depending on what industry you’re in, you could promote your mobile app, cloud hosting services, Bluetooth headsets, or USB drives.
Get the right content in front of consumers to show them how your products or services can help make these transitional phases easier. Have specific content and campaigns that build brand awareness and increase search rankings, engage your customers with content that resonates with them draws them in further, and turn existing customers into loyal customers through loyalty and referral programs. People of all ages are constantly sharing hilarious eCards, witty Instagram notes and flowery images with inspirational quotes and daily doses of motivation. Quotations take on new meaning with great design – and there is a lot of great design out there right now. Quotations support universal truths and sentiments, or give advice that is overarching yet easy to apply to specific situations. If the activity doesn’t get you closer to your goal, look spend time elsewhere that does.
They will be interested in you if you can solve a problem, improve a process, increase sales, cut costs, find new clients or open new markets.
How your ideal clients perceive the value of your services is a critical component to being paid what you are worth. My third startup, Convergent Technologies (extra credit for identifying the photo on page 2) was in the business of making these workstations. A marketer for 5 years, I thought I knew everything and proceeded to write the data sheets for our new computer. We’d left no stone unturned in answering every possible question anyone could ever have about our system. If you’re in the financial services industry, you may think about highlighting long-term investments and life insurance plans or mortgages for newlyweds, or advertise low APR rates for credit cards for new graduates. This is a good point to remember in your writing – write in a way that allows your audience to make your words their own. They’re a reminder that when it comes to evoking emotion, it’s better to be simple, authentic and honest than profound and complex.
When you see your friend post a great quote, you know exactly how they’re feeling at that moment – and if you’re feeling the same, you instantly feel a connection. In fact, reading these, the only thing your datasheet will do is give a prospective customer a reason for saying “no” before our salespeople ever get to talk to them. Great storytelling makes us feel like we are all part of a shared narrative, as if we are not alone in our suffering or happiness, our anger or confusion.

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