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Make a mark with your marketing message

Even if you create a product that is positively revolutionary, it will never amount to much if no one hears about it. On the other hand, something fairly ordinary can excel simply by getting the right kind of publicity. But marketing is expensive— in a tight economy, it's often the first thing that small businesses cut out of their budget in order to keep their heads above water. 

Unfortunately, it is during such times that your public presence is absolutely essential if you want to keep your business alive. When people have less money to spend, you want to be sure your company is at the very top of their priority list, which won't happen if it isn't frequently on their mind.

The most important aspect of marketing is to be active. We live in a world where those who stand still are left behind, regardless of how remarkable they may be. Your focus should always be on engaging your customers and evolving your business. As Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Stack Overflow said, "Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day."

Just because something is working well one day doesn't mean it will keep working forever. For example, when was the last time you cracked open the pages of a Yellow Book? It used to be that people used phone books whenever they wanted to locate a business. In this day and age, the vast majority of people are more likely to consult either their cell phone or their computer for the location, number and hours of their desired service.

That's why a great online representation of your business (especially one that's consistent across various platforms) is so essential.

Although having a strong online presence is perhaps the most important way to market yourself, it isn't the only method you should utilize. There are a multitude of ways to advertise your company outside of spending a fortune on making commercials and hanging up giant signs. Involvement with your community is a great place to start— collaborate and network with other small businesses.

Get creative about your methods. Maybe it's as simple and traditional as making fliers or sponsoring a charity walk. Maybe it's as unorthodox as creating company bookmarks, pencils, and knickknacks and then leaving them in odd places for people to find. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn't, try something else.

Above all, be consistent. Don't change who you are as a company to fit an advertising campaign. Design your marketing strategy so it reflects who you are as a business. 

Remember, the average attention span of an adult is around eight seconds. This is how long you have to capture their attention. Once you've done that, you have a little more time to sell them. Increasing the ways in which you advertise will better your chances of keeping them once you've captured them. You want your company to be on the minds of your consumers in a positive way, so be memorable. Be extraordinary. But more than anything, be active. Don't be left behind.

About the Author

Jessa Brestin
Master Tutorialist, Control Yours

Jessa works for Control Yours creating tutorials to help small business owners better understand and update their websites.

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