Every small business is unique, so it’s no surprise that each one requires a customized marketing mix to successfully grow and reach customers. We were particularly curious to find out how those businesses operating with the smallest teams are using marketing to maximize the results of the time they do have to spend on marketing. To that end, we surveyed 1,000 U.S. micro businesses (those with fewer than 10 employees) and compiled the results into the Vistaprint Digital Micro Business Marketing Mix Report.
To help you benchmark your own efforts, and take inspiration from your peers, themes from the study are detailed below! How does your business’ marketing mix compare?
Nearly 70% of micro business owners use both online and offline channels to connect to their existing and potential customers. Diversifying your outreach this way is incredibly important, because meeting your customers where they are is key to success.
Question: Do you market your business both online and offline?
Over one third feel that having a more visually consistent identity between online and offline marketing would have a financial impact on their business, and a quarter feel the impact would be significant. A cohesive brand makes your business look more professional, and it helps potential customers bond with you.
Question: What would be the financial impact of a more visually consistent online and offline marketing identity?
Respondents felt that having sufficient time to spend on marketing is key, with 37.4% and 37.9% reporting that it was very or fairly important, respectively. It can be hard to make marketing a priority when you barely have time to keep the lights on, but committing to getting the word out – even if only on a few channels – is the only way to grow your business.
Question: How important is sufficient time to spend on marketing when marketing your business?
Maintaining an online presence is key, with over half ranking an online presence as very important, and a third ranking it fairly important. We know that more and more people find businesses for the first time online, so if you want to expand your customer base beyond your neighborhood, a digital presence is essential.
Question: How important is managing an online presence when marketing your business?
Micro business owners approach online marketing in a variety of ways, choosing to use different channels as their primary means of reaching customers and growing their business. Social media is the most likely to be a primary method, followed by websites, and online directories pull up the rear. It’s important to have a diverse portfolio when investing, and the same goes for your business. Make sure you don’t rely on a single channel, because people’s preferences change over time – and so do platforms’ ranking algorithms.
Question: What is the main way that you market your business online?
The priority of these tactics varies by gender, with female entrepreneurs more likely to name social media as their main online marketing channel, and men more likely to rely on websites primarily.
Offline print marketing remains a key element of the marketing mix, with business cards maintaining the top spot among other tactics as the main means of marketing. Nothing builds relationships quite like something tangible you can hold in your hand and don’t need internet access to interact with! Coordinate your print marketing with your identity in online channels to amplify the returns from of both.
Question: What is the main way that you market your business offline?
Depending on your budget, your industry, and the size of your team, there are many ways to concoct a successful marketing mix. How does your business compare to those surveyed above? Tell us about your micro business marketing mix in the comments below!