In the previous post (Small Business Marketing Plan), we began by answering a lingering question: “How do I build a marketing plan for my small business?” Now that you’ve built your marketing plan, let’s talk about small business marketing principles that build the foundation of this plan. Before we get into the specifics, we’re going to lay out a few principles to help you execute your marketing plan.

Small Business Marketing Principle 1: Work Backwards

Think about what your marketing is trying to do. Your marketing is persuading people to buy more of your product. Alternatively, your marketing is persuading people to buy your product at a higher-margin. You can do this by expanding your customer base or getting more out of your existing customer base. If your research tells you that you need more faces in your store, it’s best to start with an awareness campaign to expand your reach. If your research tells you that you already cannot keep track of all of your customers, loyalty campaigns may help you get more sales from your existing customers.

Small Business Marketing Principle 2: Now Work Back from Principle 1

If you’ve decided to invest in loyalty, you are hoping to have a more intimate relationship with your existing customers. This will provide high-value cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. It’s important to realize that loyalty campaigns follow the same adoption curve as any new product or offering. You will not have 10,000 members in your loyalty program on Day 1. More importantly, you will not have 10,000 members in your loyalty campaign if only 3 customers are aware of the new loyalty campaign. You are building a foundation for success. This foundation starts by having 1 customer aware…and then 2… and then 3. Which brings us to our next Principle.

Small Business Marketing Principle 3: It All Starts with 1

I wish I could tell you the secret to getting exponential marketing growth. Unfortunately, marketing requires a commitment and an investment to the customer. It requires a consistent message, patience, and perseverance. There really are not any shortcuts. It’s an uphill slog the whole way. The best marketers are adding new customers and getting more out of their existing customers all the time. They know that they moment they stop broadcasting their company’s unique approach and offerings is the moment that their competitors start to grab their market share, that they fought so hard to capture. Consistency is the only way.

Small Business Marketing Principle Summary

The most unwelcome guests at any entrepreneur’s dinner table are pride and impatience. Pride forces entrepreneurs to ignore the reality that their marketing is not landing. Impatience forces small business owners to try to accomplish too many tasks with one marketing offering. The most savvy entrepreneurs know that the right way to get 10,000 customers is to make one person aware of your product, and then to make two aware. Eventually, you’ll have 10,000 customers aware –many of whom will be very loyal.