Working in Small Business environment where the sky-is-the-limit is a great thing. But with no real restrictions, policy, or boundaries, and only company philosophy/mission and small business budget to guide, how does a marketer successfully implement strategy?
This quandary is pretty much at the forefront of my thought process just about every day. I'll be honest, when I first started doing marketing for a small business several years ago, I was like the proverbial kid in a candy store. 'Oh look, shiny social media over there'.' What's that? Unfettered communication possibilities with customers?' 'No ominous corporate policy to dictate budget?' 'I can put anything I want on the website?'
I was so over-joyed by the open cookie jar that is small business marketing possibilities, that initially I jumped head-first into every option I could find. And for the shortest amount of time, even though I had established my own budget, I thought I was in heaven singing up for every forum, every social media app, blasting out emails, launching new display ads, and signing up for new trade shows.
It didn't take long before I was over my head trying to keep track of how many different tools I was trying to utilize. Not only were organization and logistics a nightmare, but my grandiose plans of delivering solid content to my target market to drive sales were completely clouded over. The worst part, was that as the sole person responsible for anything related to marketing, web, etc., I didn't have near enough hours in the day to effectively keep up with everything.
Fast forward 3 plus years later and as I mentioned above, pretty much every day I think about my marketing strategy and where each of the countless tools and ideas I have at my disposal might best fit. There is never a shortage of new marketing opportunities, between constantly advancing technology, to the "helpful" support guys at the office coming up with clever ideas while testing our latest software release, it becomes difficult to prioritize.
"Helpful" Marketing Ideas from the Support Guys
In this way I think that sky-is-the-limit small business marketing is pretty unique. Without the typical mid-size and enterprise policies and protocols as a guide, it's pretty easy for the abundant possibilities to overwhelm and cloud over one's goals.
The key for me as Small Business Marketer is to develop a clearly defined marketing strategy at the beginning of the year, allow for flexibility along the way, but always analyze whether implementation of a new idea or tool helps me most effectively and efficiently accomplish my goals.
I still have a list of all the tools and ideas that I think have pretty cool potential. But for now, instead of a limitless sky, I gladly go about my marketing under a self-built roof. (Don't worry, it's retractable)