Being a small business owner does not make for an easy life. Everywhere you look and turn, it feels like someone is against you. Whether it is the government which is pummeling you with new taxes every single week or whether those are the bigger players who are trying to muscle you out of business. That is why, when you finally decide to start marketing your business, you need to be very smart about it and choose the type that will most benefit your particular business.
Today, the choice is mostly between older traditional and offline marketing options and the new and very exciting online ones. Both these choices have their advantages and disadvantages and depending on which you consider to be important, you will be making your choice.
Traditional marketing techniques involve everything that the business owners have been doing over the last century or so, from door to door marketing to buying radio time or advertising in the newspaper; from organizing events to exhibiting at trade shows.
These marketing techniques are great because they do not demand the involvement and the effort from the potential client/customer to be effective. They reach people because they exist. These particular techniques are also good because they reach everyone and not just those who use the computer.
On the other hand, these techniques are more expensive and they may take a lot of involvement from you as the business owner, both when it comes to your time and your money. In addition to that, these marketing techniques are less capable of targeting very specific categories of the market which is sometimes needed.
These days, everyone is raving about online marketing as being the best thing that has happened to small businesses since the calculator. To an extent, this is perfectly understandable. A small business owner is finally able to employ the same tactics as the biggest players in the field, simply because they will not cost them half a billion dollars to implement. The fact that online marketing is so affordable is the main reason why it makes it so good for small business owners.
In addition to this, online marketing can be very target-specific and provide extremely positive results in a very small amount of time. For example, if you are selling fishing equipment, it is easier than ever to target people who enjoy fishing. Finally, online marketing it quite easy to monitor and analyze, much easier than offline marketing.
On the other hand, online marketing has its disadvantages as well. For one, if your potential client is not active online, they will not be able to engage with you. Furthermore, there are still industries where online marketing is not yet as effective as it has been. Finally, online marketing is quite finicky and there is always a chance that something can go very wrong very quickly.
In the end, it will all come down to what you and your small business need. If you are in an industry where the clientele is mostly young and online, online marketing may be the thing for you. If you are in a more traditional industry and if you are trying to attract an older crowd, offline marketing might be the way to go. Of course, you need to factor in market penetration as well as your budget also. If you are having troubles deciding on what the best course of action for you is, you might hire the services of a marketing agency and let them come up with a plan for you.