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Effective Marketing Strategies for a Small Business

Updated on November 2, 2011

Marketing Strategies Article Review

Developing a marketing strategy is essential to the success of a business. There is no point in having a product if you can’t move it. By developing an efficient marketing plan, a business can increase recognition and reach their target market more effectively. Therefore, creating and implementing a marketing plan is very important to any organization. To be effective, the proper research and analyzation must be done otherwise it may just be a waste of the companies time and money.

This article will briefly introduce the ideas regarding this topic that I found on the United States Small Business Administration website, and covers a wide variety of information. I will focus on the ideas related directly to market strategy and market research. This is important stuff to know if you are trying to market a product or service.

Market Strategy

The website suggests that the business marketing environment can be extremely volatile and competitive.Does anyone disagree with this statement? There really is so much competition out there, and to ultimately be successful you need to know who your competitors are and how the heck you are going to take them on. Therefore, put your investigator hat on and check 'em out...and then keep records about each of the major competitors - and be sure to include the competitors known strengths and weaknesses as well as an overview of their advertising strategies, such as sales and promotional events.

The site at www.sba.gov provides much insightful information for the small business owner, and brings about questions that a company should research regarding their competitors:

  1. Who are your five nearest direct competitors?
  2. Who are your indirect competitors?
  3. Is their business growing, steady, or declining?
  4. What can you learn from their operations or from their advertising?
  5. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  6. How does their product or service differ from yours?

There are also recommendations on how a company can obtain various information about a competitor, such as using the internet or visiting the location to personally see the competitor if possible. When doing internet research, do not just visit the company website- dig a little deeper! Thats why you have your investigators hat! Check out rip off reports, blogs, anything you can find. Find out everything you can! Ask friends and neighbors - heck, even the grocery line check out person - what is their impression of the competitors? Bottom line here: Know who you are up against.

After doing an adequate amount of research, you will be better prepared to deal with competitive changes and may be able to gain a competitive edge - you could even get to the point where you can predict when a competitor may be preparing to change their strategies - and what they will change it to! Appropriate research can immensely help you make decisions about how to approach competitive marketing strategies.

Market Research

The article defines market research as “the systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services.” This definition emphasizes the importance of researching the market when developing a strategic plan. It's important! Do it!

Ask the following questions to devise effective marketing strategies:

  • Who are my customers and potential customers?
  • What kind of people are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Can and will they buy?
  • Am I offering the kinds of goods or services they want - at the best place, at the best time and in the right amounts?
  • Are my prices consistent with what buyers view as the product's value?
  • Are my promotional programs working?
  • What do customers think of my business?
  • How does my business compare with my competitors? “

By asking the above questions, an educated decision in which the appropriate and necessary research can be done. This will allow you to determine who, what, when, where, and how the product or service. Again, this is important stuff! Do it!

It is important for any company to remember the importance of involving adequate investigation to create an effective marketing strategy. Having the internet at your fingertips is very helpful, and aa lot of research can be done simply using search engines - but don't stop there. One avenue you could explore for information is to check out your colleges online library. Even if you graduated years ago, you may be able to get access as an alumni to an online research library. Another option- simply visit your local library.

So why take all this time investigating the competitors and the market?

Because it is important! Do it!

Market research will pave the way to developing an effective marketing plan. An effective marketing plan will give you the reach you need to your target market.


There are many different questions a company will need to answer in order to develop an appropriate marketing plan. This website proves to be an excellent place for a small business to get answers regarding the creation and development of a marketing plan:

Market Research. United States Small Business Administration.

http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/marketing/research.html


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