Many smaller businesses have the ability these days to maneuver below the radar in ways that larger companies can’t. And while their advertising firms or in-house marketing departments may be restricted in the sheer scale of marketing initiatives given the smaller budgets and limited brand recognition – they can certainly make up for those challenges with speed and agility and trying out new and unique strategies to push the proverbial needle.
While many bigger brands take a riskier “all in” or nothing approach to their marketing initiatives, smaller companies have to be careful and test their concepts and measure results so as not to spend limited resources and suffer the consequences if a campaign falls short of expectations.
They have the flexibility to test new marketing strategies that some of the larger brands would never do. They can be more patient and change directions if something isn’t working without causing irreparable harm to the brand.
One great example of flying under the radar was the infamous Dollar Shave Club and its viral video that became a smash online sensation. The company had the flexibility to begin with a subscription-based model – one that a bigger brand could never do but after the smaller company proved the concept could work, Gillette followed with a similar program.
It just proves that even smaller and unknown companies and their marketing departments should concentrate on the strengths that separate them from the larger brands instead of taking them head-on. With that in mind there are at least three ways you can outpace the larger brands to move ahead.
(1) Prepare a marketing budget from the start
It does no company any good burning through all their capital from the start to hone a product and service to make it more valuable when afterward there is little left to prove the concept through marketing initiatives. Without a marketing budget, a company can sink. That’s why it is always critical to have a budget and the funds in place for marketing from the start so you won’t be inclined to spend it elsewhere where it won’t get you any customers in the short-term or the long-run.
(2) Have a plan to fuel growth
Any strong marketing strategy goes beyond creative advertising and the latest social media craze. Instead of pouncing on an idea that seems innovative your marketing department should be thinking about how much money it will take to generate action. It’s important to understand your customers and the costs to acquire new customers while recognizing the proper media platforms to reach them. By doing so, you can have a sense of what it will take to grow the business.
(3) Timing is more important than any creative
It’s always nice to have a great creative concept from your ad agency or marketing firm but what’s more important in the scheme of things is placement and the timing. More often than not a really lousy concept will do better than a clever concept if it’s in the wrong place. A good rule of thumb should be that creativity can lift a well-timed and properly placed ad to newer heights.
When determining the right timing, think about your customer and what their typical day is like. Think about when the opportunities exist to interact with them whether it’s online or offline and decide on the when that opportunity best presents itself. Matching up the message with your ideal customer’s activity or routine will increase those important impressions.
The bottom line is your marketing department doesn’t need a gigantic marketing budget to grow a customer base. It needs to start planning early on and understand who your customers are and where and when the right time is to reach them.
If you would like to learn more about ways to facilitate growth, please let us know.