5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

One of the many challenges as entrepreneur is how to market yourself. There are many different options: Social media, SEO, content marketing, direct marketing, advertising, sponsoring, PR, event marketing to name just a few. But how do you choose the right ones for your business and budget? What should you invest in? What has the best chance of succeeding?

Make sure your marketing budget is well spent and follow these simple steps to create a successful marketing strategy for your business!

A great foundation

successI have seen many different versions of marketing strategies. But no matter if it’s a lengthy powerpoint, a simple A4 sheet or a nicely designed leaflet all of them have these 5 basic steps in common. To spend your money on the right things, never lose sight of your goals and to have a much higher chance of succeeding, you should answer these questions for your business to have an iron-clad marketing strategy in place.


Most importantly: Write it down. Don’t just go through the steps in your head, make sure you have something to go back to every now and then and to share with your team. Strategies are not for eternity, so don’t hesitate to adapt it to changes in your market or business but make this your one and only guideline to help you focus especially during busy times at work.

5 steps to successful marketing

1. Who are you?
Write down your reason for existence: What do you do? Why do you do it? Also add your USP, your unique selling point: What makes you special? Why should they choose you over your competition?

2. Who do you want to do business with?
focusWhat is your audience? Who do you want to target with your products and services? Make sure to visualise your ideal customer (and not ‘anybody who wants to give me their money’) and their focus: What is important to them when it comes to your services and products? Also what triggers them to look for what you’re offering? See the world with your customers’ eyes!

3. Where do you find them?
Where are your customers? Where can you reach them best? Are they online? What magazines do they read? What events/trade shows are they attending? List the top marketing channels that you can use to reach out to them and prioritise.

4. What do you want to achieve?
goalsDefine the goals you have for your company: Do you want to expand and have several branches all over the country? Or do you want to focus on reaching out to your customers worldwide through e-commerce? Now write down your goals for this year: How many products do you want to sell and to whom? Important: Be precise and choose measurable goals!

5. How much money do you need?
Now define your budget: What are your planned marketing activities going to cost you? Distribute your budget according to the priorities you have established in step 3. If you don’t know what certain things will cost you, ask for quotes from potential suppliers and service providers. This will provide you with a realistic idea of the costs.

Are you looking to establish a marketing strategy for your small business? Or would you like to update your existing strategy to prepare your marketing for future growth? Get in touch!


If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Goal Setting for Small Business Success
How to Stand Out as a Small Business
Do You Know Enough About Your Target Groups?
What’s My USP? And Why Do I Need to Target a Niche Anyway?


Published byDenise Strohsahl

Denise Strohsahl is an Edinburgh-based marketing consultant, specialising in helping small, local businesses get more of their ideal clients.