Small Business Marketing in 2010

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2010 has brought new trends, both in marketing and among your customer base. Here are five ways that you can find marketing success for your small business in 2010.

Plan ahead. Take the time to evaluate the success of your marketing last year. What types of marketing were most successful? Which fell flat? Are you dealing with the same target audience that you planned for a year ago? Does your logo design and branding strategy still feel relevant? Now is the time to look at every aspect of your marketing. Some types of marketing may need less investment, others may need more, while some may need an entire change of perspective. Looking at this matter objectively before spending money or time in areas where it doesn’t matter. Remember the old adage: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Be social. Social networking is more than a way for your teenage daughter to pass the weekend; it is a way that grownups and decision makers communicate and learn about the world. If you have a solid presence on one or two of the major social networking sites, your prospective customers will be exposed to your brand, your logo design, and your message on a regular basis in a natural way that is more credible than other forms of marketing.

Be more personal. Don’t be afraid to blog or post videos on YouTube. The more customers see and hear from you as a person with a voice and a name, the more they will want to buy from you. Make sure all communications are congruent with your brand and be sure to refer almost constantly to your business and prominently display your logo design. However, if you follow these simple rules there is virtually no way to go wrong when letting your customers get to know you and your small business.

Get in their phone. That is, have an application for cell phones that users can download onto their telephone. This gets your name and logo design into the customer’s life every time they make a phone call. It is getting easier and easier to find someone to write applications for the iPhone and/or other 3G telephones as the technology becomes commonplace. There is a considerable market in this skill, which means that there is no reason not to hire an expert if you decide that this is the way to go.

Hire an expert. Marketing professionals bring something to the table that few small business owners can match: years and even decades of seeing firsthand what works. Even a few short sessions with a marketing or branding professional are well within the smallest business budget, and in most cases you will get the money back many times over. You wouldn’t fix your own plumbing; why attempt a do-it-yourself job on something as important as your business’s success?