Some time ago we made a short presentation to a group at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. The focus was on providing a few key marketing tips for small businesses and not-for-profits. The challenge for the presentation was to provide eight (usable) tips in twenty minutes!

Here is the summary of that presentation – eight marketing tips you can use in your small or medium size business right away (if you are interested in additional information on any of these points, we would be happy to review the full content from the speech with you!):

1.  I need marketing help – who do I choose?

Picking an agency that will be successful for your company is almost always dependent on one key thing – fit between the marketer and the company’s marketing team.

2.  What is a brand?

A brand is how you are perceived in the market place, what people think and more importantly feel about your company by the very mention of your name. The brand is the response that is evoked when you ask someone what they think about your company. You can influence that thought process, or you can ignore it, and it will happen anyway.

3.  Key elements of branding – personality

Personality is one of the many things that most small companies ignore, or they do it wrong, thinking that to make an impact and to “fit in” they have to act like everyone else.

4.  Can you define what differentiates your business?

It can’t be something you can’t prove or something that you can’t own in the mind of the consumer. You need to be able to prove the statement as different to be able to use it. In your business, ask yourself, is what we are saying REALLY different?

5.  Create the right message

Small businesses are great at telling audiences what they do and how they do it. But they forget to answer the key message – why we do it (this is the thing that connects them to their audiences).

6.  Take a look at your website

For a majority of people, their first point of contact for information is through a mobile device. If your site is not responsive, or mobile-adjusted or mobile-friendly, then you may be losing customers.

7.  Is advertising expensive?

There are so many more ways to reach your target audiences now, and many of the new options are more efficient, more cost-effective and more measurable. The cost of entry for small business advertising is much cheaper than it has ever been.

8.  Final thoughts

Nowadays people (customers) can’t be categorized in demographic units anymore. Think of each of your clients in terms of their buying habits. You don’t have to attract everyone and don’t have to appeal to everyone. The challenge is to find ways to reach people with the buying habits that match your product and service.