COVID-19 crisis communication for small businesses: advice from a PR pro

ALYSSA HIROSE | March 20, 2020

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There’s rarely any downtime in the world of public relations, but the COVID-19 pandemic is kicking crisis communications into overdrive for small businesses across the country. On Monday, March 16, Vancouver-headquartered Reformation made a big move: on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and its website, the PR firm began offering free consulting for Canadian businesses with 50 or fewer employees. “First and foremost, we’re a small business,” says founder and principal Amanda Haines Lazeski. “We know the inherent risk that this crisis comes with, especially for small businesses—it really has the potential for massive devastation

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Ingredients of a Marketing Plan That Are Essential to Make an Impact

Article | August 18, 2021

Each business endeavor begins with a well-defined business plan and, more crucially, a marketing strategy. An effective marketing plan is chock-full of different marketing selections for your firm and is a must-have if you want to get to your destination. But, unfortunately, the market is full of competition and uncertainties. It is estimated that about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. After five years, 50% fail, and after ten years, 80% fail. Here are a few ingredients of a marketing plan that help you outshine in the diverse and competitive markets. A marketing plan is the first stage in establishing a successful marketing program. In addition, a marketing strategy serves as a road map for efficiently allocating precious time and resources to prevent wastage. A marketing plan includes a written document that describes an organization's advertising strategy, marketing techniques, tactics, promotional activities, and marketing efforts over a specific time. Market research, SWOT analysis, thorough information about its target consumers, competition positioning in the market, marketing plan budget, target market profile, distribution methods, promotional tactics, and marketing objectives are just a few of the ingredients of a marketing plan. Importance of Marketing Plan A marketing plan is vital because they make sales easier for any small business owner. When you target your ideal target customers, you increase the chances of generating leads and converting them into sales. Below is a few more importance of marketing plan: It aids in the effective management and accomplishment of your business objectives It facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and communication It contributes to the avoidance of future dangers and uncertainties It contributes to the success of marketing activities It contributes to reducing the chance of failure It enables the efficient and prudent use of resources while taking market opportunities into account Extensive Market Research Market research is one of the crucial ingredients of a marketing plan. Market research is the act of collecting and analyzing data to have a better knowledge of your consumers and the current state of the market. For marketing success, you must conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis compared to your competitors and a PESTND (political, economic, sociocultural, technological, natural, and demographic) analysis to better understand your competitors business's operating environment. Marketing research involves certain areas to be given utmost importance: The dynamics and trends of the market, including seasonality Vendors in whom you will place your trust Demographic information about customers, market segmentation, target markets, product needs, and purchase decisions Industry benchmarks What is presently available and what competitors are providing Current industry sales Robust Market Strategy The marketing strategy is the overarching company plan for attracting and converting new customers. It would be best to do a scenario analysis to understand your market position concerning your competitors clearly; only then can you develop a solid and successful market strategy. Market strategy plays a key role among all the other ingredients of a marketing plan and contributes to marketing success. A marketing strategy covers the 4Ps of the marketing mix: product, price, place, and promotion. In addition, a marketing strategy entails brand messaging, its value proposition, demographic information about its target customers, and other advanced elements. Below are few B2B marketing strategies: Social media marketing Search engine optimization Content marketing Search engine marketing/PPC (Pay-per-click) Referral programs Industry events Appropriate Financial Planning Another crucial element of a marketing business plan is financial planning. Marketing your campaign is a costly aspect of the business; it is necessary to have an appropriate and realistic budget plan to avoid financial wastage. Allocate your budget for each activity planned and manage your cash flow. For 67.4% of respondents, a limited marketing budget is the top marketing challenge facing small businesses. Plan your financing considering the organization's budget cycle, organizational events, seasonality, festivities, etc. The following points demonstrate why financial planning is essential. Prudent financial management Long-term view Profit and loss measurements To determine the value of liabilities and assets Utilization of Marketing Channels There are several marketing channels, but they are constantly changing and evolving. Therefore, due to a shortage of time and funds, select the appropriate channels. Choose the channel that is the most effective for promoting your products, services, and brand identification to potential consumers, depending on whether your firm is B2B or B2C. Channels provide a variety of purposes, that includes assisting you in discovering new methods to sell to your ideal client and help you to create experiences for your audience that help establish your brand reputation. Here are few channels that are utilized: Retail or Ecommerce Social media channels Email marketing Websites Referral channels SEO Word of mouth Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing Analyses of Competitors While a marketing strategy entails several analyses that aid in the operation of your firm, a marketing competitors' analysis is conducted concerning your competitors. You should be aware of your competitors and the distinctions between your products and services. Analyses of competitors are a crucial component of every marketing strategy. Conduct a competition analysis to learn about your competitors' goods, sales, and marketing tactics. Marketing competitor analysis is a critical component of any marketing plan since it helps differentiate your product or service from the competition. Competitor analysis enables the following: Identify market inefficiencies Identify market trends Create innovative goods and services Increase your marketing and sales effectiveness Conclusion: A sound marketing plan will help you generate leads. Ascertain that your marketing strategy is recorded. Numerous marketers assess the effectiveness of their efforts in relation to their objectives. This enables you to plan more effectively for the future and provides a clear picture of continuing changes. FAQs: What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan? Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives What is a successful marketing plan? A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key ingredients in the marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are the critical ingredients of the marketing plan Extensive market research Appropriate financial planning Robust market strategy Utilization of marketing channels Analysis of competitors Clear marketing objectives" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a successful marketing plan?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A successful marketing plan generates a positive return on investment (ROI), additional revenue, client lifetime value, and cost per win (sell), among other metrics. A marketing strategy is successful when it maximizes the benefits to your firm." } }] }

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Social Recruitment: The Newest Way to Find Employees

Article | August 18, 2021

So many aspects of running a small business have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. And one of the areas that have been most impacted was employee recruitment. It was, after all, quite challenging to find potential new hires when you couldn’t meet and interview them face-to-face. According to a survey by LiveCareer, many businesses turned to social media as a recruitment tool. The company says the social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook allow businesses to learn “a lot about a candidate’s personality.” In addition, for their survey LiveCareer defined social media as “any digital tool that allows users to create and share content with the public.”

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How to Track Your Small Business Expenses

Article | August 18, 2021

Tracking your business expenses may seem tedious, but it’s a key part of effective money management. Small business expense tracking doesn’t just give you a better idea of your business’s overall financial health, it also helps you prepare for tax season. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s how to learn more about the importance of tracking your expenses—and how to do it right.

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9 Tips For Starting a Digital Business as a Non-Technical Person

Article | August 18, 2021

How do you start a digital business as a non-technical person? To help you start a digital business as a non-technical person, we asked tech experts and digital business leaders for their best advice. From surrounding yourself with tech experts to finding expert content, there are several things you can do that may help your digital business run smoothly.

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Joyable offers companies a digital mental health solution as effective as taking an antidepressant, at a fifth the cost of in-person therapy. Support your employees' mental health needs with stress, anxiety, and depression programs.

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