Agile means “to be able to move quickly and easily.” It is a term prevalent in the discipline of software development, with specific elements for quick and easy time to market. But in this post I’m using it in its broad sense.
I’ve been talking to several small businesses lately, and I can see that they want to maintain a certain budget, but they also want to get their name out and grow their customer base.
I’m thinking a good way to start is with some basics of “Agile” marketing.
A – Awareness
Market Awareness: I have found that this is often overlooked, but a key necessity. Without it, you are marketing to “everyone” and spending time and resources to be all for all. And many times a message that is for everyone, speaks to no one. Define who you are marketing to and then, find out what their needs are.
Resource Awareness: Know your own strengths. Know your weakness. Know how much time a project or new initiative will take. Read the fine print, and know exactly what a vendor is offering. Know, in advance, how much you want to spend on getting new customers.
Budget Awareness: Create a budget for acquiring new customers. Your accountant and/or bookkeeper will file that as an “expense” in the books, but your mindset should see acquisition as an investment, as it will lead to revenue.
G – GoTo
Go to the Market, don’t wait for them to come to you. When you know your ideal customer, then find out how they’re searching for you. Let your passion be your guide. Are there online or offline forums, marketplaces or associations? Are there places where you could offer a promotion to get introduced to them?
Go prepared. Have target marketing materials, invitations to follow you on Facebook or other platforms, and follow up.
I – Innovation
Be resourceful with free or inexpensive tools and the skills you have on hand – your own, or those of your team. Learn the basics of Internet marketing, landing pages, SEO, couponing, Google adwords, and Facebook ads. Don’t sign up a vendor until you’re crystal clear on what you’re getting. Don’t sign up for traditional advertising methods without first taking a long look at it and its reach to your target market.
L – Light on your feet
Be ready to turn on a dime. If the business model isn’t working, be flexible enough to change it. Listen to advice and respond. Listen to your market, and respond.
E – eConnected
Be found online. Essentials are now a website and at least one social platform, like a facebook page. Make connections and share your knowledge or expertise. Don’t ask for anything at first, build a reputation. Follow through with suggestions or promises. Under promise and over deliver. Bonus: have a blog and build up followers.
What do you think? Is this a good guideline for small business marketing?
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