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What makes small business marketing different?

You may think all marketing is the same – but nothing could be further from the truth. There are big differences between the marketing strategy that a multinational corporation might use and a small business marketing strategy

Roobix is a marketing agency for small businesses (and medium ones, too!) But what does that really mean?

A small business marketing strategy follows the same track as a big business marketing strategy, but it has a view to expand further down the line. There’s generally a more limited budget – a small business owner wouldn’t be sold an expensive broadcast advertising campaign off the bat (or at least, you would hope not!)

Marketing for small businesses is all about laying the groundwork and getting the house in order to improve profitability. Once everything is running smoothly (the brand is established, the conversions are enviable and revenue is growing year-on-year), a small business owner might get to a point where they can afford a big advertising campaign. 

At Roobix, we focus on marketing advice for small business that prioritises budget, branding and planning. 

BUDGET: Working on a modest budget and aiming for quick conversions

Marketing for small business owners usually means taking a modest budget and achieving quick conversions. While there are plenty of people who claim to get you quick conversions, it’s usually only if you spend big with them. Any small business marketing consultant worth their salt will balance out your spend with your return on investment, whether it’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Facebook advertising. Every dollar has a purpose when you don’t have a dollar to spare. 

BRANDING: Become the brand

Often small business owners are their brand. Small business marketing focuses on harnessing that and using it to your advantage. If you run a product-focused business, feature yourself in your brand’s Instagram stories to give the brand a human face. If you have something interesting and personable to share on Facebook, it means your brand will remain top-of-mind without having to post a cheesy sales pitch everyday. By becoming the brand, a small business owner also becomes a valuable (and free!) marketing asset. Human-focused brands (rather than sales-focused brands) help establish a relationship with customers long before and long after they’ve set foot in your store.

PLANNING: Why taking a step back is more than worthwhile

Established brands and businesses have generally spent a significant amount of time and money determining what makes them worthy of a sale. This is usually called their ‘Unique Selling Point’ (USP) – it’s what makes them a better choice than their competitors. However, if you don’t know your target audience and your messaging is the same as everyone else’s, there’s no reason for anybody to choose you! 

Here’s an example: in Australia, there are  two popular homewares stores: Kmart and House. Kmart has cornered the market for inexpensive, lower quality household items. You go to Kmart for a new laundry hamper because it’s quick, accessible and easy. But if you were to buy a new set of kitchen knives, you might not want to go to Kmart. You might prefer a higher quality brand store like House because you want the knives to last a very long time and you’re willing to pay over $600 for them. Kmart’s USP is ‘cheap and easy’, whereas the House USP is ‘works well and lasts forever’. Both of their marketing strategies are based on this knowledge. Kmart ads promote $3 laundry hampers, House ads promote luxury lifetime goods. 

This shows us where planning comes in. It pays to pause and think about why you are in business, who you are in business for and why you believe your business is better for them. Hint: it’s not quality products or friendly service!

A small business marketing consultant can determine this information for you, and from there you can begin to present it to your audience consistently over time. By forecasting and setting up clear, measurable and achievable targets for each quarter, you’ll stay well ahead of the game.

If you want a hand reviewing your current business plan or the set-up of your digital marketing, get in touch with Roobix. We specialise in marketing strategy for small and medium enterprises across WA and Australia.

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