Your small business needs a successful marketing plan if you want it to expand. But how can you advertise your company without spending a fortune? This approachable guide is your road map for launching a great marketing campaign and utilizing the most recent technologies and outreach opportunities. It is jam-packed with smart suggestions for low-cost, high-impact campaigns.

Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies


Utilize marketing to your advantage and watch your company expand.
Customers and owning a business are not the same thing, and neither is useful without the other. Whether you run a resale shop, a high-tech consulting firm, a law firm, or a house cleaning service, strategic marketing is crucial in today’s cutthroat business world.

Your small business needs a successful marketing plan if you want it to expand. But how can you advertise your company without spending a fortune? This approachable guide is your road map for launching a great marketing campaign and utilizing the most recent technologies and outreach opportunities. It is jam-packed with smart suggestions for low-cost, high-impact campaigns.

  • utilizing social media as a tool for marketing
  • interacting with clients
  • funding a marketing effort
  • Tools and templates are provided on the companion CD to help you get started using your new knowledge.

Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies has everything you need if you want to give your small business’ marketing strategy a competitive edge.

Although not included in the e-book file itself, CD-ROM/DVD and other supplemental materials can be downloaded after purchase.

Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies


Over the course of more than 25 years, Barbara Findlay Schenck (Bend, OR) has directed the marketing initiatives of businesses ranging from large Fortune 500 companies to small businesses like ski and golf resorts, community banks, service providers, and equipment manufacturers. Two of her marketing courses are currently being made available online to bankers and insurance agents. She gives marketing seminars to small business groups. She and her husband are the co-founders of the advertising firm Mandala Communications.


Section 1: Introduction

Regarding This Book 2

What You Shouldn’t Read 2

Stupid Presumptions 3

This Book’s Structure 3

Getting Your Marketing Bearings, Part I 3

Building the Foundation for Successful Marketing, Part II 4

Marketing in a Screen-Connected World, Part III

Part IV: Using Advertising to Spread the Word

Mailers, Advertising, and Promotions 4

Part V: Attracting and Retaining Clientele 5

The Part of Tens, Part VI

Icons Throughout This Book 5

How to Proceed from Here 6

Getting Your Marketing Bearings in Part One 7

Framing the Marketing Process in Chapter 1 9

Taking a Global Perspective 10

Following Fortune 10’s marketing wheel

Understanding how marketing and sales are related 12

Getting Your Marketing Program Going 13

Starting a business and marketing it 13

expanding your company 14

adjusting your marketing to reach your objective 14

Differentiating Small Business Marketing 15

dollar amounts 15

Staffing variations 15

differences in creativity 16

Strategical variations 16

The benefit of small business marketing 16

Using marketing to your advantage 16

Customers are the focus of Chapter 2 19

A Customer’s Body 20

Information gathering from customers 20

Locating your market areas using geography 24

Demographics: Gathering client information 25

Psychographics: Purchase patterns of customers

Choosing Which Customers Purchase What 29

Looking at your sales by market 29

Customer and distribution channel matching 31

Providing for screen-connected clients 33

Forms 34

Chapter 3: Putting Your Product in the View of Your Customers 36

Understanding Your Product 35

When your product is your service 36

What Google says about your product is true 38

Illogical, Irrational, and Actual Motives for Purchasing What You Offer 38

Purchasing Decisions: Always about Value, Rarely about Price 39

Formula for calculating values 40

Increasing the cost/value 41. teeter-totter

assessing your prices 42

Price increases 43

Introducing prices 43

A Product Line’s Care and Feeding 44

Increasing the allure of current products 45

generating a wholesome product 46

creating novel products 47

Organizing your product lineup 49

Forms 51

Sizing Up Competitors and Staking Out Market Share 53 in Chapter 4

The Competitive Field: Playing 53

Speaking in competitive terms 54

Understanding the challenges you face 55

Understanding competition 56

Increasing Your Market Share 56

Identifying your direct rivals 56

Increasing one’s level of competition 58

How to Determine Your Market Share 59

Identifying and sizing your market 59

Calculating 59

Achieving a Greater Market Share 61

Forms 62

Setting Your Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Budgets in Chapter 5 62

What’s Your destination, anyway? 64

The so-called “vision” 64

Your purpose statement 65

Achievements 65

Simply 66 Goal and Objective Definitions

Creating objectives and goals 67

Planning techniques 68

Implementing strategies, goals, and objectives 68

utilizing the fail-safe planning sequence number 70

Using a Budget to Achieve Your Goals 70

Budgetary information for small businesses that is realistic 71

What should your budget be? 71

Forms 74

Building the Foundation for Successful Marketing in Part II 74

Taking Stock of Your Business Image, Chapter 6

First Impression Making 77

Finding your company via online searches 79

Accessed your website 80

The control of email impressions 81

Calling ahead to arrive 82

contacting your company in person 84

Auditing the Impacts Your Company Has 87

examining your communications and marketing materials 88

Making an impressions database 89

Increasing the impact you have on people 90

Forms 90

Forging Your Brand in Chapter 7

What Are and Do Brands 91

Unlocking a brand’s potential and value 92

Online tipping of the balance 93

Creating a Strong Brand 93

Consistency is key to building a brand 95

Six brand management actions 95

Your Market Position Is Where Your Brand Was Born 97

Observing positioning in action 97

Making your positioning strategy decisions 98

Using Taglines to Express Your Position and Brand 99

101: Managing Personal and Professional Brands

Upkeep and Defense of Your Brand 102

Maintaining a consistent brand message and creative approach 102

Managing the way your brand is presented 104

Forms 106

Making Effective Marketing Communications in Chapter 8 107

Creating Good Goals at the Outset 108

Specifying what you hope to achieve 108

Using creative writing guidelines in writing 109

Growing Marketing Communications That Work 114

A “big idea” to guide the creative process 115

116 Brainstorming

Observing basic advertising guidelines 117

Media Decision-Making 118

selecting a media option 118

Selecting the appropriate media vehicles and timing 119

Schedule 121 for The Making of a Mass Media

Reach and frequency must be balanced 121

advertising timing 123

Assessing Your Performance 123

Forms 124

Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies

Getting Help When You Need It in Chapter 9

Contacting Marketing Experts 125

When to consult marketing specialists 126

Who to contact for assistance

What kind of knowledge should I hire? 127

Working with and Selecting an Agency 128

requesting proposals from agencies 129

agencies for interviews 130

the creation of the client-agency agreement 131

Agency fees explained 132

engaging your agency 133

Employing Assistance to Create a Website 134

Needing assistance 134

Clearly stating your needs 135

Website designers are questioned 136

Making your decision final 137

Transferring the content 138

Forms 138

Marketing in a Screen-Connected World, Part III 139

Marketing in a Screen-Connected World, Part III 139

Creating an Online Presence in Chapter 10 141

Getting Online Customers for Your Business 141

Setting Your Online Visibility Goals 143

Taking Control of Your Online Identity 143

Purchasing a domain name 144

Your social media username is being held 145

Setting Up Your Online Base 146

Basics of websites 147

Sites to contact 147

sites with brochures 148

Sites of support 148

Sites that generate leads 148

148 Mobile websites

150 e-commerce websites

Setting Up Your Website 151

Breaking the code of site construction 151

Including characteristics of a good site 152

Search engine optimization for your website 154

determining the quality of your website 155

156 Promoting your website

Online marketing 157

Ad banners 157

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements

Forms 158

Chapter 11: Using Social Media to Interact 159

Using Social Media to Your Advantage 160

Starting in Four Important Steps 160

  1. Specify your goals 160
  2. Decide on the name you want to use on all social media platforms 161
  3. Create an introduction for social media 162
  4. Create a home base online 163

Penetration of Social Media 163

164 Facebook

Tweet 166

168 LinkedIn

169 Google+

169 on Pinterest

Check-in and location-based websites 170

Review and rating websites 171

Your Social Media Debut Announced 173

Staying Active and Engaging on Social Media 174

Content exchange 174

Developing as a conduit for content 175

Engaging in conversation 176

Keeping an Eye on Your Performance 176

Following up on mentions in social media 176

Counting the success of your social media efforts 177


Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies

Packaging Your Message for Chapter 12

Online channels and other blogs 179

Contingent 180 of the 200-Million Blog

Who writes blogs?

Why blog? 180

Setting Up a Blog 181

Starting out 182

Maintaining a blog 183

Approach to writing your blog post 185

Building your online content distribution strategy around blog posts 187

188 Including video in blog posts

Promoting Online and Offline Content Together 189

Creating content from news 190

Giving presentations a long life 190

Forms 191

Advertising, mailings, promotions, and publicity are all part of Part IV: Spreading the Word 193

Creating and Using Print and Outdoor Ads in Chapter 13 195

196 Writing and Creating Your Ads

Including force in headlines 196

Creating persuasive copy 198

decision-making in design 199

Terminology for translating ad production 201

Understanding Print Media Scores 202

Announcing in Newspapers 203

Making plans for your placements 204

204 Using low-cost, small-sized advertisements

Placement of your ad request 205

Finding value in Section 206 of the classifieds

Magazine Ad Placement 206

choosing publications 207

Placing appointments 207

Thinking About Yellow Pages, Directories, and Their Online Alternatives 209

Print directory ad creation and placement 210

Making an appearance in online directories 211

Utilizing Outdoor and Billboard Advertising 211

Chapter 14: Using Radio, TV, and the Internet to Spread Your Message 213

A Manual for Purchasing Airtime 214

Understanding some station and ad-buying jargon 214

achieving 216 rating points, frequency, and broadcast reach

Trading airtime for goods 218

Broadcast Advertising Rules 219

Creating a unique broadcast identity 219

Creating your advertisement 219

Sending the producers your script 220

Making Radio Commercials 221

222 Producing TV Ads

Employing experts 223

showing prepared manufacturer advertisements 223

Regarding 224 infomercials

Accessing Webinars 225

Forms 226

Snail-mailing and emailing your clients directly in Chapter 15 227

Advertising One-to-One 228

Do-It-Yourself Distribution of Direct Sales 228

Direct mail advertising 230

Setting up direct mail for success 230

Choosing whether to use email or “going postal” 231

Offering your services 232

Adding your name to the mailer 233

Working with Surface Direct Mail 234

creating a fantastic list 234

Make your mailer 237

Mailing out your letters 237

Continuing with 239

maintaining your list 240

Understanding the distinction between junk mail and direct mail 241

Email Promotion 241

Keeping your e-mail appropriate and legal 242

242 rating for your email marketing

Sending emails that are read and have an impact 243

Forms 244

Chapter 16: Trade Shows, Promotions, and More 245

Putting out brochures 245

Identifying the various types of brochures 246

248 Copywriting

Brochure design and printing 249

distributing brochures to potential customers 251

Making Newsletters Work for You 252

Making newsletter preparations 252

Including useful content in newsletters 253

Creating and disseminating electronic newsletters 254

Identifying Marketing Opportunities Across Your Company 257

Using your packages as moving billboards 257

Increasing sales using gift cards 257

How to effectively utilize business cards 258

optimizing advertising specialties 259

Trade Show Selection and Utilization 260

Promoting Sales to Increase Revenue 261

Forms 263

Chapter 17: Publicity and Relations 265

Public Relations and Advertising: Their Relationship 265

Considering public relations from a broad perspective 266

Putting publicity first 267

Acquiring News Source Status 267

establishing a media center and media kit online 267

Creating and keeping up a vital contact list for the media 268

Realizing expectations for publicity 270

Getting the Word Out 271

the creation of news releases 272

Organizing media appearances 278

Whether to hold news conferences 279

Communication in Times of Crises: Handling Bad News 280

Forms 280

Small Business Marketing Kit for Dummies

Part V: Attracting and Retaining Clientele 281

Making an Impression Through Networking and Presentations, Chapter 18 283

Establishing a Vast Network 283

Introducing Oneself 285

Describe yourself 285

Describe your company 286

Making Your Presentation Shiny 288

Taking a Position at the Microphone 288

Introducing your product or proposal 289

Forms 293

Making the Sale, Chapter 19 295

Creating Customers from Prospects 295

Process of Negotiating a Sale 298

Redefining selling 299

starting off on the right foot 300

Finding solutions through negotiation 302

Keeping an eye out for buying cues 304

requesting the order 305

Making purchases simple 305

Ch. 20: Improving Customer

Developing Loyalty through Service 307

Customer Demands 307

308 The Principles of Customer Service

The service cycle in depth 308

assessing and raising service standards 309

The development of “best customers” 310

establishing a culture of customer service 312

Taking Care of Issues and Complaints 313

Knowing the causes of customer satisfaction 313

promoting grievances 313

Recognizing signs of customer dissatisfaction 314

Making complaints into launching pads for loyalty 314

Making Lifelong Customers 315

  1. Value your customers

Setting benchmarks for customer satisfaction and encouraging loyalty 317

reduction of the quality gap 320

fostering customer loyalty 320

Introducing reward programs 321

Forms 322

The Tens Section of Part VI 323

Ten Questions to Consider Before Choosing a Business Name, Chapter 21 325

What Sort of Name Would You Like? 325

Is the desired name available? 326

Is Spelling Simple? 326

Is Saying It Simple? 327

Is it the first in your market? 327

Is It Unusual in Any Way? 327

Does It Work in a Variety of Markets? 327

Does It Stand Out? 328

With This Name, Can You Survive and Advance? 328

The Name: Are You Prepared to Commit? 328

Ten Online Marketing Strategies for Your Business, Chapter 22 329

Commit to Online Visibility 329

Plan Your Online Activity with a Goal 330

Choose Your Online Persona 330

Create a Website Introduction 331

Set Up a Website as a Base 331

Create a Media Center Online 332

Utilize Social Media to Your Advantage 332

Create a Program for Content Sharing 333

333 Watch Your Online Reputation

Get Online and Stay Active 334

Ten Steps to a Great Marketing Plan in Chapter 23 335

Step 1: Identify Your Organization’s Goal 336

Assess Your Market Situation in Step 2 336

Set goals and objectives in step three 336

Define Your Market in Step Four 337

Step 5: Strengthen Your Brand, Position, and Creative Approach 337

Set Your Marketing Strategies in Step 6 338

Step 7: Describe Your Strategy 338

Step 8: Create a Budget 339

Create Your Action Plan in Step 9 340

Think long-term in Step 10 340

Use your plan as a last step 340.

About the Downloadable Content Appendix 341

Index 347


Starting a small business can be a great way to make a difference in the lives of people across the United States. By starting your own business, you can tap into the potential market for your product or service and grow your customer base. There are many different small business marketing strategies that you can use to reach more customers, and it’s important to find one that best suits your needs and goals. By learning about the business processes of small businesses, you can create a successful strategy for starting your own business. With proper planning and execution, you’ll be able to reach your target market and grow your business over time.

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