Smart Business, Smart Marketing: How the Internet is Propelling Small Business Forward

This guest post is from Erik Gaandt, a freelance tech writer with extensive experience in website marketing

Marketing is one area where small businesses have experienced dramatic benefits due to the Internet, even in comparison to other operations. Although social media often comes up as the most popular and perhaps most prominent example of how Internet is used to benefit small business marketing, it is not the only one. Small businesses reap a number of benefits from Internet-based marketing through a number of methods, often much better suited to doing so than their bigger counterparts.

Advantages of Small Businesses in Online Marketing

 Here are some of the advantages that online marketing offers to small businesses:

Small businesses often specialize in niches of larger markets.

The problem with businesses entrenched in niches is that their products tend to cater to a specific clientele and cannot compete against competitors on an even basis outside of that clientele. As a result, small businesses specializing in niches are more dependent on their clientele to a larger degree than larger businesses.

To survive and perhaps even prosper, such businesses must be able to find and then hold onto customers who are interested in their products. The Internet and Internet-based marketing campaigns can help out such businesses because of their expanded reach compared to traditional mediums. Small businesses can reach out with minimal cost to potential customers at the places that those customers frequent, while those customers can in turn reach those small businesses through search engines and other online services directing them to relevant sites.

Feedback is vital to the success of a business’s marketing efforts in the long run.

Individual marketing campaigns can have enormous impacts on a business’s success, but the data distilled from those campaigns can help the same business refine its practices over time to improve its overall marketing. The problem is that such data are not available without the business spending to collect and compile data into an usable form. Small businesses tend to be disadvantaged in this regard because of a lack of both cash and expertise. However, collecting data from online marketing data is much easier due to tools and services, such as Google Webmaster Tools. Even small businesses can use the provided data to examine both the success of individual marketing initiatives and the flaws that prompted potential customers to turn aside.

Responsiveness is one of the most important qualities in online marketing.

Small businesses can outperform their counterparts on this point because of their closeness to the customers and their more nimble structures. For example, a corporation with multiple offices might choose to base its marketing efforts in one location, resulting in potential problems marketing in other regions due to lack of understanding. Furthermore, it is more difficult for bigger businesses to change directions once their resources have been invested. In contrast, the small business can react faster to changing circumstances and its personnel are closer to the ground, resulting in more responsive and relevant online marketing campaigns.

Conclusion

In short, the Internet is something of an equalizer for businesses. It has eased some of the difficulties that made it hard for smaller businesses to compete head-on against their bigger counterparts. Furthermore, the Internet’s accessible nature ensures that these advantages are available to all who are interested and can invest the time needed to learn its intricacies.

 Erik Gaandt, freelance tech writer in web marketing, enjoys sharing his insights on various marketing blogs. WhoIsHostingThis.com is home to hundreds of reviews on the most popular webhosts.

@Miikinc does #Movember: Encore

So, this features the wardrobe in its entirety. I hope you liked my version of promoting #Movember. I’m gonna go shave now!

  • So, don’t forget to donate to #Movember. Share this post with others and drive awareness to this important cause: http://mosista.co/hessiejones
  • Go to Miik, buy some amazing clothing. And 10% of online sales this month go to Movember!

Terry Pleated Skirt in black. Details here.
Sal Reversible Cowl-Neck Top in fuchsia

Olivia Cowl-Neck Colour-Block Dress in black and deep purple. Details here.

Maria Hourglass Seamed Top in red. Details here.
Hanna Banded Tunic-Length Skirt in black. Details here.
Lisa Leggings in black. Details here.

Patty Casual Pant in black. Details here.
Madeline Asymmetrical Top in Red. Details here.

Dale Shoulder-Detail Dress in Navy. Details here.

Emily Soft Blazer in black. Details here.
Sandy Tunic Tank in Teal. Details here.
Lisa Leggings in black. Details here.

It was a fun #Movember. Thanks for your support. See you next year!

About Miik [pronounced: mick/mik]
Miik designs simple yet striking clothing for active women who don’t want to sacrifice comfort to look great. Using sustainably sourced fabrics like bamboo, Miik creates pieces that feel unbelievably soft against your skin and are flattering on so many body types. Once you try on Miik you’ll never want to wear anything else!

Miik is designed, milled and sewn in the Toronto area. Visit www.miik.ca for a complete list of retailers or to shop online.

Visit Miik for a complete list of retailers or to shop online.

@Miikinc does #Movember – Warning: Provocative (lol)

This is by far my favourite outfit. The pose was way too sexy for my liking but for some reason it worked with the backdrop.

So yeah, I dropped some cash on this particular outfit. I justified it was for date night….at some point it’ll happen!

Listen, what are other guys doing for #Movember except showing their bare faces and showing no signs of real ingenuity. So, here’s my challenge: You like what you see:

  • Donate to my page: http://mosista.co/hessiejones
  • Go to Miik, buy some amazing clothing. Christmas is around the corner guys! And 10% of online sales this month go to Movember!

Just do it:)

So, this outfit above features:

  • Terry Pleated Skirt in black. Details here.
  • Sal Reversible Cowl-Neck Top in fuchsia

About Miik [pronounced: mick/mik]
Miik designs simple yet striking clothing for active women who don’t want to sacrifice comfort to look great. Using sustainably sourced fabrics like bamboo, Miik creates pieces that feel unbelievably soft against your skin and are flattering on so many body types. Once you try on Miik you’ll never want to wear anything else!

Miik is designed, milled and sewn in the Toronto area. Visit www.miik.ca for a complete list of retailers or to shop online.

Visit Miik for a complete list of retailers or to shop online.

I’m just getting started….

The last 4 months have been a whirlwind and I’ve come to reflect on where I’ve been and where I am today.

I have been tapping into social media since my Yahoo! days and I’ve come to really love the medium. It goes against the grain of me as a traditional marketer, whose thinking has really been about creating excitement for products that people may not really care about initially, enticing a not-yet-established motivation to want the thing I was selling and provoke action.

I worked in credit card marketing for 6 years (sigh!) not fully believing that people really wanted credit cards, let alone debt. But as a marketer, I sold the notion of  access to ‘dreams’ if people had the vehicle necessary to get that access. As an advertising executive, I created amazing campaigns for products and services pushing messaging to audiences, at times, who clearly weren’t interested. The ones who were, were not deemed ‘ideal’ so I backed off from these seemingly low hanging fruits.

As I look back at these events, I realized the huge thing that was lacking: consumer validation… not sales, not response rates. In banking, a 2% response rate on a $4MM campaign was considered successful. That’s because that 2% audience could be upsold, cross-sold, and generate enough revenue over their lifetime to justify the initial acquisition cost.  But were the customers ever satisfied? Were they ever really happy? I never really knew because my access to the customer was nonexistent. I usually received a report from operations telling me how many people signed up for a credit card. Yay! But really?

As social media started emerging as a strong vehicle about 5 years ago, I paid close attention to its lure. Here, these networks existed without the interruption of annoying advertising. Ironic, cause I was typically the source of that annoying advertising. Slowly but surely, I also was lured to a space where people could speak as people, uninterrupted. I spoke to esteemed bloggers and social media strategists like Alejandro Reyes and Joselin Mane, who taught me the importance of active listening, transforming the marketing mindset, and leveraging relationships with the customer to truly succeed.  Even in MySpace days I talked with people who were just struggling to succeed. I knew a few band members who would develop new tracks every week so they could showcase it to their networks! And they received accolades and validation–albeit from a tiny universe who admired and appreciated their efforts.

That’s when I become a purist–not overnight but soon after. I became the anti-marketer, espousing authenticity, transparency, relationship-building.  I would talk to anyone who would listen, as if it was an epiphany moment! And it was! When I started blogging 4 years ago it was merely an outlet for me to verbalize where this all would lead: social, emerging technology and why it would change the way companies operate. Along the way, it also provided others, who stumbled upon my posts, an opportunity to learn. That was pretty cool… and that’s what kept me going.

I worked at start-ups, which help me delve deeper into social and the more I learned the more I became enamoured with the business possibilities for social.  I then moved to agency and ironically it was more difficult to sell the notion of social media (despite its increasing pervasiveness) to businesses beyond Facebook and Twitter. Businesses still wanted to control the message and chose to ignore the less-than-palatable public opinion. Embracing social means being able to take the good with the bad and it’s gonna take time before this happens especially in Canada.

So today I am at an amazing company that is in sync with where this world is going… where I believe it can leverage the social web’s strength. Jugnoo.com is doing some amazing things. I’m happy to be part of it. I’m working with some really amazing people. It’s a stacked team headed by a real visionary.

Stay tuned……we are just getting started!

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