It is fair to say that marketing in all its forms should be an ongoing activity for SMEs in both good and bad times.
This should be regarded as a universally-applicable rule and arguably the only other such rule about marketing is that there should be a clear marketing strategy and a plan that establishes discipline over expenditure and monitoring results.
Beyond that, however, so many businesses fall at the first hurdle, which is collecting the information on which to base a strategy and plan.
Identifying ideal customers to target is the first step. For an existing business they may be easier to identify but for a new business it is essential to define the customers to target in any marketing campaign. Who are they? What is their buying behaviour?
Where are you most likely to find them, particularly online? How are you going to approach them? Why will they buy from you?
All this should be obvious but it is surprising how many businesses buy advertising or embark on getting a website or setting up a business page on social media without doing so.
Then there is the question of what you want from your marketing. Is it about getting your company’s name and business known (brand recognition), about maintaining a good relationship with existing customers or about generating leads to new potential customers?
Marketing can be pro-active or reactive and different campaigns are needed for each objective to get the best return on the investment from a marketing budget.
There are so many “marketing gurus” around that this research is essential to help you to decide which of them is knowledgeable and which best avoided.