Strong marketing campaigns are instrumental in creating a cohesive brand and loyal following for your business. We understand that it’s easy for small businesses to make marketing mistakes. That’s why the EGF team sat down with Mike O’Malley, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at DeCrescente Distributing Company in Mechanicville, NY. In addition to his many years of experience in the field, Mr. O’Malley also teaches marketing courses at Siena College in Loudonville, NY. His small business marketing tips will help entrepreneurs develop and implement marketing goals for their own small businesses.
What are the first steps to marketing a small business?
“The first thing a company should establish in terms of marketing is their mission statement and core company values; this will set the groundwork for why you are in business. Demonstrate your passion for your business and this will differentiate your company from the competition. Make your message one of value to customers. Do you offer better service than your competitors? Is your product better quality than theirs? Whatever the advantages are to your company, make sure it is communicated to your audience.”
Key Takeaway: Establishing your audience or target market is one of the most beneficial principles of marketing. By doing this and tailoring your marketing plan to that group’s wants and needs, you will make your business more attractive
Why is it important to have a personal brand? How can small business avoid being drowned out by bigger firms?
“My company has 400 employees and everyday we work to show we’re a small business. Small businesses should market themselves as that and be proud of it. The younger generation wants the authenticity that comes with being a small, family run business and we really try to stick to our roots in that way.”
Key Takeaway: Having a personal identity as a company is a huge factor in appealing to your target market. Embody the characteristics and principles your typical customer values, and you’ll see repeated sales because the customer will feel good about the purchase decisions they are making.
What are common mistakes marketers make when developing marketing campaigns?
“It can be easy to misunderstand what the consumer wants when launching a marketing campaign. If you jump to the fun part of the campaign, such as creating content, without setting goals or understanding your audience, you will miss the core objective of what you want to achieve. Extensive research must be done on your internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.”
Key Takeaway: Not setting goals is a big mistake when creating a marketing campaign. The benefits of marketing might not seem as tangible as receiving a profit from sales, so be sure to determine what you are looking to achieve from your marketing campaign in order to track its progress and adjust for the future.
How should business owners approach marketing in a world where technology has completely reshaped how people do business?
“Business owners need to embrace technology and take advantage of the opportunities it presents to businesses. The younger generations are communicating and engaging in an all new way. Social media allows you to be very creative and flexible in how you communicate what your business can provide for customers. Sharing posts is the modern-day equivalent of word of mouth advertising. Social media will provide immediate feedback and engage with customers like never before. Be active, be patient and you will see the benefits.”
Key Takeaway: Businesses are at a disadvantage if they don’t adapt to technology trends in marketing. Know the social media platforms for small businesses that your target demographic might be using, and focus your efforts accordingly to optimize results.
About Excelsior Growth Fund
Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) helps businesses in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania grow by providing streamlined access to business loans and advisory services. EGF’s signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 in fast, transparent, and affordable financing through a secure online platform. Larger loans up to $500,000 are also available. EGF is a nonprofit organization and is certified by U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Learn more atwww.excelsiorgrowthfund.org.