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As we begin to come out of the pandemic and return to normalcy, many small businesses are looking for guidance to get their marketing back on track. Here are a few simple steps you can take to get started:

1. Know Your Differentiating Factor: If You Don’t Know It, Nobody Will

What makes your organization unique? This can be a difficult question to answer, but if you want to be successful, knowing what makes your business different from others is essential. This will be a critical factor in the development of new messaging and an updated marketing plan.

a. What problems do you solve in a way that your competitors don’t?

b. What do your users think are your strengths?

c. Can any of your competitors’ weaknesses be turned into an opportunity?

d. What are some user needs (based on the common complaints they voice about the product/service) that can be turned into potential growth opportunities?

e. What are some market/industry trends that you could foresee and prepare for?

f. What can you offer that NOBODY else is talking about?

2. Identify Your Target Audience: “People with Money” Doesn’t Count

Identifying your target audience takes consideration and patience. The more you can empathize with the audience, the better. Which is why we recommend developing Buyer Personas and Buyer Profiles.

Regardless of the profile you build, be sure to ask yourself these key questions:

a. What motivates them to purchase from you? Do they have any goals?

b. What prevents them from purchasing from you? Do they have any fears or are they facing any challenges?

c. What problem are you solving for them? Do they have multiple problems?

 3. Revamp Your Marketing Plan: Something to be Excited About, Not Scared of

This is an opportunity to review your marketing budget with a fresh set of eyes. By doing this, you can eliminate the marketing efforts that aren’t measurable or reaching your target audience. Once you’ve decided what stays and what goes, you can focus your marketing efforts on measurable items that will both reach your new audience and drive home your differentiating factor.

a. Does your target audience use the same marketing channels as you?

b. Are you afraid to give up traditional forms of advertising that aren’t producing results?

c. Do you take advantage of digital advertising tactics and measure their effectiveness?

d. Are you spending marketing dollars on things that are unnecessary?

e. Is your marketing program being run efficiently and strategically?

Knowing what makes you different is what can make your organization great. And there is no better time than the present to confidently create a strategic marketing plan that positions your organization for growth in the years ahead.

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