7 Lessons Small Business Should Learn About Marketing

Marketing is always evolving, as are the relationships between the marketer and the client. When you’ve been it long enough, you can’t help but notice specific trends in the ways of doing business. For this reason, I’m sharing a consolidated version of a recent webinar, 7 Lessons Small Businesses Should Learn About Marketing, I led through the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce recently.


Lesson 1: Identifying Bad Advice & Half-Baked Strategies

A common hook most marketing agencies use is promising quality leads fast. While we all want quality leads, it’s a little more complicated than that. Many factors come into play when constructing the perfect marketing plan. 

Marketing plans fail, and business relationships crumble due to a lack of understanding of how each cog in the marketing wheel works together to fuel desired results. One way to avoid being taken by bad advice and half-bakes strategies is to educate yourself on the essentials of marketing.


Lesson 2: What is Marketing?

Marketing encompasses the strategic functions of price, branding, advertising, and sales served to an ideal target audience. Because we live in a world that thrives on instant gratification. We know what we want, and we want it now. While that can be a realistic goal in some industries, it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to developing a long-term authentic marketing strategy. 

Here are a few marketing truths:
• Promotion and marketing are not the same things. Promotion is a short strategy, and marketing is a longer-term strategy.
• Marketing starts with product/service conception. The idea that led you to your new venture is a key step in the marketing process.
• The pricing process is a marketing strategy. You have to identify what kind of marketing leader you’ll be – value leader, quality leader, or luxury leader.
• Determining distribution channels involved strategically creating a target audience and identifying their habits.
After all, these things are successfully put into place, only then can true marketing begin to take effect.


Lesson 3: Marketing Basics

Marketing is a shared responsibility between an agency and a client. 

High-volume sales, customer acquisition, and overall business success result from the following:

  • Offering a valuable product or service you can provide or execute consistently. This is the basis for a quality experience. As a business, you must have a firm plan to produce quality results time and time again.
  • Clearly define your target audience, the people who will value your product or service the most.
  • Make your products or services easily accessible and actively seek out sales. Don’t make it hard for your customer to do business with you.
  • Secure, cost-effective communication channels to reach your audience.
  • Communicate your brand consistently and frequently through the appropriate channels.
  • Deliver the benefits you promise. And never promise what you can’t deliver.
  • Repeat and expand on this process as your business evolves.


Lesson 4: Audit Your Current Marketing

“A mistake made more than once is a decision.”

Now that you understand what makes marketing tick, it’s time to audit your current marketing strategy. Whether you conduct an audit in-house or bring in a marketing agency, you must ask yourself a few questions.

  • Have you recently audited your pricing strategy? How about your competitor’s pricing strategy?
  • Do you have a solid promotional plan in place?
  • Are you being consistent with your marketing efforts?
  • Are you providing quality customer service?
  • Are you nurturing leads or ignoring them?


Lesson 5: Utilize the Web

1 in 4 small businesses STILL don’t have a website. (smallbiztrends, 2021)

You’d be shocked at how many businesses do not have a website in this day and age. If you can’t tell, we’re a big fan of websites, as it acts as a core hub to house all the important information that makes your business unique, along with ways to get in touch with you. It also gives you a place to drive leads to learn more from social media and various other types of advertising. Your website to have:

  • Educational Content
  • Tutorials
  • How-to’s
  • Blog
  • Your unique value propositions
  • Resources
  • Review/Testimonials
  • Contact information
  • And more!


Lesson 6: Understanding Social Media

“Every social media platform may not be the best for your business.”

Not every social media channel is the same, and it’s important for a business to know the differences to avoid wasting valuable time and money promoting on platforms that eventually fall flat.

  • Facebook: Average age 23-34. 2/3 of users visit a local business page weekly.
  • Instagram: A graphic-centric platform. 81% of people search Instagram for products and services.
  • Twitter: 7% of Americans get their news from Twitter. Heavy B2B user base.
  • LinkedIn: Primarily for professional networking. Considered the most trusted social network in the U.S.


Lesson 7: Mind Your Reputation

The art of referral has evolved in exciting ways during the digital age, which is why it’s so important to keep an eye on your reputation online.

Social proofing your business can be a very valuable tool to secure leads and build trust.

Social proof is a phenomenon that’s been around for a long time, but this trending buzzword is making a comeback in the digital marketing arena. Coined back in 1984 by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence, the notion of information social influence is the idea that people copy the action of others in an attempt to emulate their behavior in certain situations.

Social proofing can take the form of:

  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Awards
  • User-Generated Content
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Highlight You Customer Base
  • Customer Mentions
If you haven’t been paying attention to this portion of your marketing strategy, now is the time to start. It’s the new word-of-mouth.

We hope we’ve provided a better understanding of the inner workings of marketing and how all things must work together to create a successful strategy to grow your business.

If you enjoyed this article, please follow me on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to inquire about my services or work with me, please contact me using this form, and I’ll get back to you momentarily. I look forward to helping you Teal Your Story!

Anna Teal


Anna Teal

Anna is an author and writer who is passionate about the art of storytelling. She enjoys connecting with small businesses in her community while taking their marketing efforts to the next level of growth.

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