NZ Marketing Systems  

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Small Business Marketing and the Internet

By Laurence Henry


Small Business Marketing and the Internet

In years gone by, small business marketing systems relied solely on offline promotional methods. Getting your company’s name in front of your target audience was very time consuming, and more importantly very expensive.

It was the businesses that had the bigger marketing budgets that went on to succeed, whilst smaller operations ultimately struggled to even get off the ground. The tragedy of the whole scenario was that it was often the smaller businesses that offered the better product or service.

Quality of service became secondary to promotional spending power. Today the Internet has levelled the playing field, allowing any business, regardless of size, to get their products in front of the world.
Small business marketing and the Internet now make it possible for even the smallest of operations to have access to literally millions of potential buyers all around the globe.

Of course this new world of marketing has meant that everybody has had to learn new ways of doing things. It is not enough to just write a basic article, or throw a classified advert in a magazine and expect business to follow.

The savvy marketer will have learned, in depth, the art of Search engine optimisation, proper article marketing, social marketing, web 2.0 marketing, and many other powerful strategies that the Internet revolution has made possible.

Know What You Are Trying To Achieve

One of the biggest mistakes companies make in their marketing strategy is not really having a proper plan in place. It is vital that you can answer some questions about your business before you can create your marketing battle plan.

Some of the questions you must answer are:

1. Who are your customers?
2. What are their real needs and desires?
3. Does your product/service address those needs?
4. How does it address those needs?
5. Where is your target audience likely to “hang out”?

Before knowing the answers to these questions you are simply shooting in the dark with any existing promotions. Any time or money you invest in marketing will simply be wasted if have not first though in depth about what you are trying to achieve.

Once you have those answers you can begin mapping out your small business marketing plan. You can decide which online vehicles will get you in front of your target market, and which forms of Internet promotions are going to benefit your business more.

One common misconception is that Internet marketing is easy, or that a campaign can be thrown together at speed, and without any planning.

Do not make this mistake. Internet marketing has smashed down the barriers for small businesses, allowing them to compete with the “big boys”.

However, harnessing the best results from your marketing systems, and promotional campaigns requires a great deal of learning, effort, testing, and the ability to tap into current trends.

The good news is that even if you are new to the whole Internet arena, there is a lot of good, solid information out there that can help you get your new Internet marketing strategy off to a flying start.