Too many people just starting out, creating their own business, assume that things like analytics and marketing are just for the larger corporate companies and the agencies that represent them. While there is definitely a large list of pros associated with keeping things small and local, focusing on what’s in front of you, it’s flat out wrong to ignore your own marketing and analytics – no matter how small of a business you have.
Whether you’re just starting that cookie-decorating business, trying your hand at running an organic, all-natural soap company or selling creations you made at craft fairs and online spaces, you need to be looking at how best to market your product, and, once items are sold, begin looking at analytics, trends and data to see what it is your customers like, where they live, what they engage with and purchase most often, etc. Taking the time to look at these details and adjusting your marketing and product accordingly can take you from small-time-successful into the stratosphere.
When it comes to business, marketing is everything. And for small businesses, this is threefold. You live and die by word of mouth. Don’t neglect to take it seriously!
And yet, we don’t all have advanced marketing degrees or the benefit of hiring an agency to handle our marketing and data. After all, you’re just starting out and money is tight. Don’t worry: you don’t have to have an advanced degree in marketing or a seasoned agency at your fingertips to learn some skills in this area. Much of it is just trial and error, learning as you go. Even better, there are a number of apps and software programs on the market these days that can take some of the workload off your hands, so you can focus on the products and services your business provides rather than marketing.
Below are just a few great ideas for how to integrate marketing, data analytics and PR into your small business by taking advantage of technology.
Agency Reporting Software
What is agency reporting software, you ask? This software tracks data and information about the customers that visit your website and compiles it into an easy to read and analyze chunk of information. It tracks users engagement, sales, and other pertinent info, so you don’t have to. See what items customers are purchasing the most, what marketing campaigns, emails tweets and Facebook posts have done the best in terms of engagement, and even utilize the copy and paste function to plug the software right into your website. These types of software are easy to use and are minimally expensive.
What is a POS System? Point of Sale, or POS systems, is a software that easily integrates into your website. There are many options available these days, all of them pretty easy to use and most of them affordable, with various price points and tiers available according to your needs. They’ll handle all those sales when you’re on the go, accessed from anywhere with a simple username and password, so you can use it whether you’re at the farmers market, at a meeting, or in your office. These POS apps and software also track user data, keep up with marketing promotions, discounts and deals, compile tax information, handle returns and exchanges and can even assist you in drafting marketing or email campaigns.
You may wish to utilize an email platform that helps you organize various emails and campaigns, one that is a little more complex than your regular Gmail. There are many email apps out there like MailChimp that allow you to correspond easily with clients and customers while looking at trends and other data. These programs integrate into your website and you can draft newsletters, sales and marketing emails better than ever before. Additionally, you should also consider the SMS channel, as it provides a huge ROI. You can set up an email to SMS gateway for easier communication and reap all the benefits.
Social Media Integration
Any good businessperson, especially one who is in small business, knows that social media is a MUST. There are several apps and websites that can merge your social media accounts into one big marketing platform, making it easier for you to see everything in real time and launch campaigns. Schedule your tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts to launch at the same time, keep up with private messages and lists, and mine your social media followers for certain words to help you keep on top of trends and engagement.
If you take the time to implement some of these helpful, easy to use and affordable tools and resources for your small business, you’ll see it grow quickly from small-time to big-time, with just a few clicks and a whole lot of motivation.