ThinkOTB Agency

How to avoid a one size fit’s all policy when marketing your small business

March 22, 2015

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to your marketing policy. So, this week Think OTB is looking at how best to create marketing strategies for small businesses…

Learn from others

When it comes to marketing and strategy, it is easy to focus on giants such as P&G, Unilever or Diageo. You might even attempt to recreate or mimic their strategies. But the fact is that these multi-billion dollar international companies may seem to have little in common with local SME’s or small start-ups. Smaller businesses are seeking to create small-scale and low budget strategies with maximum impact.

Instead, ask what insights can be learned from observing the strategies of these high-end companies. These can then be modified and adapted to suit a small business environment. When is it best to look away from what others are doing and focus on the individual need of a situation? Think OTB explores…

There is obvious merit in learning from the best when beginning to create a marketing strategy. International companies devote millions of dollars or pounds or yen to market research, tracking consumer trends or experimenting with new techniques. The insights generated can be of immense value to any business operating within similar markets. Likewise even for businesses who focus on alternative industries, you can still observe processes and methods used by bigger, successful companies. You can learn a great deal of insightful information that can be used within a different context.

Adapt your marketing policy

In an article by The Guardian, Neil Addley, managing director of used-car website Trusted Dealers, says the starting point is the same for all businesses; ‘it all starts with a strategy, whether you’re a small business or a much larger one. Define what you’re trying to sell, to whom, where and when, and then work out how best to get to that target with the budget you have available.’

Likewise BusinessKnowHow argue that paying attention to larger businesses is highly effective. They argue that small businesses should ‘pay attention to what big corporations do to introduce and promote their products, and then adapt their marketing techniques to meet your own target clients and budget.’

The key message here is adapt. Learning from others is great, so long as these insights can be adapted and developed to suit individual needs of a business. You’ll need to put that knowledge to use and create measurable results for the company. It is important to start at the beginning, asking how well known is the brand and its products under discussion. Then, explore how best can the message be spread to the relevant people. If people don’t know a product they won’t buy it, it’s that simple.

Get creative

Creativity is an important lesson to learn to ensure that a marketing campaign is pushed to its full potential. According to, a website dedicated to individuals keen to grow their own business, taking a creative approach to small business marketing can not only save money but vastly increase ROI when new successful methods are found.

Simple ideas such as exploring inexpensive alternatives to traditional lead generation methods can be very useful. Swap banner advertising and organic search with cheaper alternatives such as new product press releases. This content can quickly and easily be sent to a wide variety of relevant publications with very little cost involved.

Explore alternative options and creating a tailored, relevant marketing strategy to the size and need of a business. In doing so, it is possible to see big results for minimal input. We know budgets are tight and competition is fierce. But, it’s ideas like these that can make all the difference to a small business.

Want to talk about your marketing policy? Get in touch with Think OTB.