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Monday, December 1, 2008

Marketing Plan for SMB on shoe string budget (part 2)

In the past few days I spent hours researching approaches to marketing. The worsening economy produced a bountiful crop of marketing advice for little or no money at all. I noticed however, that most of the advice is for B2C (business to consumer) rather than B2B (business to business). We already answered the most difficult questions: who is our target audience and what we want to communicate to them. Now we come to the How. How are we going to market? What tools are available to us? What new tools we may need to acquire? Tools we have: Company website, brochures of our chemical software, and contacts. We looked at our website – I am a little ashamed to say that it is pitiful. The saying “the shoe maker always goes barefoot” is especially true for us. We design websites as well. We do not advertise this fact and we do not intend to market this area. Our clients include few companies that we have worked with for many years. We started designing their websites years ago and it just stuck. Some of the sites we design are for non-profit organizations. We do it as a charity for the most part - we either do not charge them at all or very little. Our site has not had a serious update in at least 4 years. We are thinking now that instead of updating the site – we going to start fresh. We will use some of the information we had on the site before, but we are going to have to add information. Make the site more interactive. Years ago, I gave a workshop to non-tech people about websites. This was at a time when most companies did not have any web presence at all. I found the materials I prepared for that workshop and going to use it for ours. If you want to have a look, I am going to upload it tonight. It is simple, but good and straight forward. Tomorrow I will post the link to the document. Our brochures for the chemical companies were old. They did not reflect all the enhancements and upgrades we have made. We decided to give them to some friends and business acquaintances to see what they got out of them. We are too biased. I called two customers today to ask them if they will look at our brochures. We want their input. Based on their experience with the software, they may be able to point to us what is missing and what is not needed.

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