Tag Archives: Decision Making

How to Market a Small Business with a Small Budget

Starting a Small Business is an investment of time and money. As a small business owner, you invest large quantities of both and naturally you feel frustrated when the results don’t reflect what you’ve put in.

This post is a “How To”, giving you some ideas on making the most of your financial budget and time invested into your small business.

 

How to Advertise a Small Business

When you run a small business, you will find yourself inundated with advertising proposals. Every proposal that comes in promises you the earth and assures your investment will pay off in valuable sales or sales leads.

It can be hard to differentiate between the advertising requests you get. When it comes to weighing up a proposal, make sure you ask enough questions to assess if it’s right for you. At a minimum make sure you ask:

  1. How many people read the publication / browse the website?
  2. How are these figures compiled, are they externally audited? (i.e. are they real and trustworthy?)
  3. What is the age / gender / location breakdown? or
  4. Who is the age / gender / location target?

Compare the information you receive to your target market profile. Does the advertising fit your business? Does it closely target the consumers your product or service is aimed? Or does it cast a very wide net in which some of your consumers are present?

Estimating how many of your target market will view the advertisement helps you analyse the true value for money. You can work out the cost per view by dividing the cost by the estimated number of target consumers who will view the ad. For example; an investment of $1,000 to target 10,000 consumers costs us 10 cents per view, where as an investment of $100 that reaches 200 consumers costs us 50 cents per view.  Although the advertisement may reach a greater number of people, we are only interested in the cost per target consumer, as the rest is wastage for us.

How to drive PR for a Small Business

When you successfully drive PR for your small business, the benefits can far outweigh the time investment needed. With an increase of review websites, product and news blogs and traditional media branching into online spaces, there is more opportunity than ever before to get your product or service talked about.

Have a go at writing your own press release if you have the time or get it done professionally if you have the money. Send out your press release to every contact you can and don’t forget to hound your local paper – they need to be supporting small business in their area and that includes yours!

How to get the most out of your Website

We all pay attention to the colour scheme, the layout, the pages and the pictures, but often critical data such as the Title Tag and Meta Data which aren’t seen by browsers, but are read by search engines, are neglected.

Maximise the money you invest in your website by knowing how your target consumer searches, then ensure your content, title tag and meta data are all maximising these search strings, so your website screams at search engines “PICK ME! PICK ME!”

We run a Website Effectiveness Audit for $49.95 and this often diagnoses the key reasons why your website isn’t ranking in searches and bringing in the traffic you wanted it to. When your website is search optimised, it runs effectively and delivers you more profit against your initial investment.

How to get the most out of your Social Media

The biggest investment you will put into your Social Media is your time and when you start out that seems like something you have in volumes, but as your business grows, your time budget shrinks.

Limit the amount of time you spend on Social Media each day, as it can easily be a distraction from what your true business is. We recently read this great article on “Why Social Media is a Waste of  Time” and thought the tips for time maximisation here were fantastic.

Budget your Social Media time investment so it is split between:

  • Networking / Attracting New Consumers
  • Following Up on Enquiries
  • Sharing Valuable Content

There are great tools to help you manage content across multiple Social Media outlets at the one time, I personally love Hoot Suite to manage Facebook and my new Twitter  account simultaneously.

How to Ask for Help

Lastly, sometimes we need to admit we can’t do it all, whether it is because we are not qualified or we simply do not have enough time.

Paying an expert for a few hours of advice saves you time and money in the long run, rather than muddling through trying to learn and execute simultaneously. The more technical the problem, the more valuable the help will be.

Reach out to small businesses that can help your small business. There are a multitude of virtual assistant businesses that give you the support systems of working in a big business without the actual staff and spacing costs. Could someone else manage your Inbox? Could your Social Media content be executed on your behalf? Would you finally get that PR Campaign out if it could be printed and stuffed into envelopes for you?

Sometimes the best H word in Marketing is HELP!

Until next week H is for “How To” and for not being afraid to ask for help.

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au


The Decision Making Process of the New Consumer

What did we do before Google, Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor, You Tube and everything in between?

The ability to research has become quicker and easier than ever before. As consumers we are presented with not only an increase in information, but also the falling away of geographical barriers to purchase.

The new consumer is influenced less by what they are told and more by what they uncover. This post will look at the decision making process of the new consumer and how to use the internet and social media to connect from awareness to purchase and beyond.

Traditional Decision Making Process

Marketing theory has traditionally painted the consumer decision making process to move through 5 stages, with strategies to maximise the opportunity to attract and maintain the consumer through each stage. The process has looked something like this:

  1. Need recognition. When the consumer feels they have an unsatisfied need, this creates a motive to act.
  2. Identification of alternatives. Consumer research begins; this might include different categories to fulfil their needs as well as different brands or providers.
  3. Evaluation of alternatives. The consumer compares their options; they might seek out offers, opinions of friends, relatives and respected bodies.
  4. Purchase decision. With the decision made on what to buy, the consumer will now make a series of small decisions including where, when and how, until the actual purchase is made.
  5. Post-purchase behaviour. The consumer will either be satisfied or dissatisfied with their purchase.

Think back to the late 90’s when the humble DVD player launched. Your decision making process went something like this:

  1. Need Recognition: Saw an ad on TV or in the newspaper about DVD players and how the quality of DVD is far superior to that of Video. Thought about never having to rewind a video again, this motivated you to learn more.
  2. Identification of Alternatives: Looked at catalogues and at Harvey Norman and found out there were two brands you could choose from.
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives: Talked to friends who had bought a DVD player about what brand they got and what they thought, talked to a few salesman about the different brands, read an article in Choice magazine.
  4. Purchase Decision: After deciding to buy a Panasonic DVD Player, you reviewed the newspaper and catalogues and decided to go to Harvey Norman on Sunday and buy their advertised deal.
  5. Post-purchase behaviour: You watched your first DVD that you hired and felt satisfied that you just eject it and return it.

The Online Effect

Fast forward to the year 2010 and you hear some buzz about a new personal computer called an iPad. Let’s review the decision making process:

  1. Need Recognition: You saw Steve Jobs on the news talking about the iPad, your friend also sent you an email with a You Tube clip of a leaked iPad, your friends are debating on Facebook which store they will camp at for an iPad,
    iPad is trending #1 on Twitter. The hype is getting to you and you can’t imagine not being able to have your photos, music and apps for business everywhere you go.
  2. Identification and Evaluation of Alternatives: You go on the Apple website and read about the different sizes available and that you can also choose to have Wi-Fi compatibility. You don’t even consider any other brand as you are an Apple devotee. You check out blogs in the US of those who got an iPad on pre release, read reviews on how much space you might need, you sign up to Optus and Telstra to find out what their data plans are. You sign up to Apple to be notified when they are releasing the iPad.
  3. Purchase Decision: You order your iPad online and it gets delivered to you on the day it launches. You get the 32GB with Wi-Fi.
  4. Post-purchase behaviour: You sit on the couch and update your status on Facebook to say how in love you are with your iPad, you Tweet that you can’t work out how to get your wireless printer working and post on an Apple Forum how your iPad has completed your world.

With the increase of information, we see the identification and evaluation of alternatives merging into one step; they are done concurrently as the consumer gathers information from multiple sources.

How to win the New Consumer Over

I love this illustration from Orbital Alliance: I look at it to draw ideas for marketing to the new consumer. I see this as the new consumer decision process; the online stratosphere has increased the information available to consumers. The inputs are greater than ever before and (literally) at their fingertips.

My tips for maximising your connection with the new consumer

  1. Increase Awareness
    1. Optimise to be seen in search results
    2. Use social media to create a brand name
    3. Use pay-per-click advertising to get in front of your consumer
    4. Advertise in popular newsletters of complementary businesses
  2. Maximise your Consideration
    1. Make your homepage work harder (you only have seconds to convince them to stay)
    2. Use a blog so your consumer can get to know you better
    3. Make your offers clear and easy to understand
    4. Use press releases to ensure there is hype about your product on multiple platforms
  3. Convert to Sales
    1. Offer service that your competitors don’t (or can’t)
    2. Reward regular purchases
    3. Add value (don’t just try to cut the price)
  4. Compel to share
    1. Asks for reviews and recommendations
    2. Use Social Media to thank major customers

The new consumer is just like you, they have changed a lot in the last 10-20 years. Don’t lose sight of how differently you make your decisions as a consumer and make sure you are adapting your business approach.

How has your business evolved to maximise the new consumer? Our Website Effectiveness Audit gives a third-party review of your website and helps you ensure you are maximising awareness and consideration to help you
convert sales. Click this link for more information – Package Info

Until next week, D is for Decision Making and also for … the coolest Alphabet Book that I just bought for my son’s birthday

Mary-Anne

Wise Up Marketing Solutions


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