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5 Things You Need Before You Start Marketing Your Small Business

Think you’re ready to tell the world about your business?

Here are 5 important elements that will help you maximize your marketing effectiveness.

1. A Mission Statement

Why does your business exist? If you don’t know the answer, you won’t be able to communicate the importance of your product or service to someone else.

Your mission isn’t necessary something you need to explicitly convey in your marketing. It’s deeper than that. It should be the implicit foundation of everything you do.

Once you have a clear mission, your marketing questions—and all other business questions—become easier to answer. For example, “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

2. A Target Audience

Since you’re not Google, you probably can’t afford to target everybody with your marketing—even if you sell something everybody wants, like pizza.

Identifying your target audience will allow you to craft focused marketing messages that meet their needs and speaks to their desires.  If your pizza place is focused on parents for example, you could market your business as an easy dinner option during a hectic school night.

3. A Message

In a crowded marketplace of ideas, choosing and repeating a simple message will help your business stand out. Your message should be consistent with your mission statement and should appeal to your target audience.

Boil the message down to a few words—short enough to fit on a coffee cup. For our hypothetical pizza business that’s looking to market to frantic parents, a message might be “Get to family time in no time at all.”

Note that in certain types of image-based marketing, you may be able to communicate this message without using the actual words. For example, our pizza business could show a picture of a family sitting down to eat a ready-made pie as the activities of their day buzz around their serene table.

4. A Plan

Before you start blasting out your message, take a few moments and make a plan to create and distribute your marketing content. There are traditional methods, like radio and television, as well as more modern methods like social media, blogs, and online video.

How much time will you devote to content development and promotion? How much are you willing to spend to make it happen? What are your goals and how will you measure your progress toward them?

Think about all of these factors in the context of your plan.

5. A Commitment

As a business owner, there are countless non-marketing issues jockeying for your attention. So before you start spending money and time on a marketing plan, make sure you have the resources and desire to make it a success.

Even if you pay someone else to do your marketing for you, you’ll still need to invest some time in that relationship so that your business is represented effectively.

With these 5 marketing elements in place, you’re in a better position to grow your business. Now go out there and spread the word!

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