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For small businesses, the need for the right marketing or advertising mix has never been greater.
The competitive landscape is increasingly intense.
Customers are more demanding and less brand-loyal. Your brand promises and values must be articulated (and delivered on) in a continuing and consistent fashion.
Marketing and advertising can connect all these dots but it requires clear objectives, a sound strategy and follow-through with tactics and execution.
Also, some research on the front-end and measurement on the back-end. And, oh yes, probably some trial-and-error along the way.
While there are many low-cost avenues for effective marketing such as social media channels, putting all the necessary pieces in place will likely involve some cost. And in today’s environment, marketing and advertising are not areas where small businesses should economize unnecessarily.
More than ever, a smart and effective marketing strategy means being able to calculate your return on investment (ROI) upfront.
And the path to ROI involves testing. Before you commit to a long-term approach or major expenditure, try it first on a smaller scale, whether with a small group of customers or in a limited way in the marketplace.
Use the feedback to tweak as necessary and scale up from there.
And continue to measure ROI as you go.