Marketing has been changing for all kinds of business over the last few years. This is due largely to new platforms, channels, and technologies. A careful look will reveal that these changes have been revolutionary for the small businesses. With cases where the playing field gets leveled and provides a way for reaching out to the customers and prospects in a low-cost way- online marketing surely has left a big mark. Let’s look at some ways online marketing has changed for small business:

  • Customer Service to Customer Engagement:

    In the past, any small business owner would set the hours when they would be available to answer any customer’s query. Nowadays, with the 24/7/365 access which social media platforms are offering customers, they are free to ask/comment/complain when they wish to and it is also open for rest of the customers to see and join in as well. So the small business must be alert at all times and check if there are any comments which needed an immediate response. In many ways it is good, but in a lot of ways, it can ruin a small business owner’s reputation. If the owner does not heed what the customers are saying then a bad reputation can build up quickly. Hence customer service has evolved to become customer engagement which ensures that small businesses are always involved and available for the customer on a whim.

  • Monologue to dialogues:

    Once upon a time, ads and marketing messages were one-way streets in which a small business covered a billboard, television ad, print ad or a similar campaign. The thought process is that these small businesses told the customer what they thought was what the customer wants to hear. With times changing fast, marketing has become a dialogue in which small businesses get to listen to the customers, asking questions while providing information that relates to the marketing effort. Every small business has to be thoughtful while traversing this two-way marketing street while making the most of the conversations they now have with the customers. The goal is to learn and adapt the marketing messages to suit the audience. If you tell a good story, you will have every chance of improving the sales.

  • From Paper to Digital Marketing:

Digital Marketing

  • Transforming Shotgun Marketing into Sniper Approach:

    When any small business owner used to offer a marketing message like a phone book ad, billboard, or a magazine display, the approach would have a similar effect to a shotgun when it went off. The small business message can sound with a loud bang while being powerful if it eventually ends up hitting anything. However, it is not easy to lock in on a target audience. The new marketing approaches are here to help small businesses become snipers with their marketing message. They are able to hone in on their targets, aim precisely, personal messaging while hitting with great accuracy almost every time. Introducing new tools driven by artificial intelligence meant that small businesses were able to shoot at great distances and still being accurate.

  • Clever Jingle to Informative, Entertaining content:

    Effective marketing suggests the creation of something memorable through which people can remember a small business. But, recently customers and businesses want more than just a clever jungle or a cool catchphrase. They constantly look for concrete and reliable information which can solve a problem or deliver convenience. Simply the fact that the customers want entertaining content which can distract them from a monotonous or stressed life cannot be ignored. So, the small business owner has to be able to develop written and visual content on a constant basis. And just a small reminder that this content has to engage the customer and must be fresh. The need for continually digesting information that has to be personalized indicates more work. However, the payoff is inevitably worth it for any marketer willing to make the effort.

  • Singular Marketing Effort vs Army of Brand Advocates:

    A small business owner may have to wear a mountain of hats and has to do it alone with his marketing effort. The result of this marketing approach can very well be inconsistency in delivery and approach. Any singular marketing effort is difficult, but in the past, that was the only choice they had. But now social media platforms are continually enabling a small business to enlist an army of brand advocates which spreads the message and eventually leading the marketing march. As it turns out, messages of the small business owner’s product start going viral. This means that all they had to do was find and inspire their legion of fans. Then they let their legion of fans loose on their viral marketing campaign and ultimately spread the message. As a result, more people start to get the message regarding a small business than ever before without this small business owner having to remove hats.

  • Local Marketing turns to a “Glocal” choice:

    So many times in the past a small business could only hope of a local following at best as their marketing platforms had been geared solely to the local marketplace. All of that had been okay for some businesses but on a large scale, it greatly limited their potential. And now, small businesses have online marketing technology and channels that give them the chance to market both locally and globally via customized campaign choices.

Marketing as a whole has changed in a “big’ way for small businesses. They now have more opportunities and channels in the form of online marketing. This allows them to target customers more efficiently and in a cost-effective way also delivering a greater run at a faster rate. However, small businesses now have to think both locally and globally at the same time while producing content that will engage the customers week-in and week out. But admittedly these new challenges put forward by online marketing have put the small businesses on the field is in a promising position to stage a contest with their bigger industry players.