After reviewing The Cheese Mall: Key Marketing Skills for the Budding Entrepreneur on Small Business Trends, I was invited by the author to participate in a blog tour for the book. If you only have a few hours and want to dive into what’s really important to learn about small business marketing, you’ll love the book. It takes you on the journey of two mice, Millie and Matthew, as they launch a business and find out for themselves the important marketing skills they need.
I’ve been asked to highlight points from Chapter 7, which covers my favorite thing: marketing communications!
These mice are better organized than most entrepreneurs I know. Millie did her homework and found out the four key elements of marketing communications:
- Direct marketing
- Internet marketing
- Advertising and public relations
The two argue over whether simply using Internet marketing would be enough to get their business rolling. I know too many business owners who do just that: pick one of the four and think it’s sufficient to grow a business. And so Millie (who I consider the more level-headed business partner) outlines the benefits of each of the other types of communication.
For the pair’s cheese store, direct marketing might be a possibility. The two discuss how they could highlight benefits and features of their products in a brochure targeted to their audience. They decided to offer a coupon in their direct mail brochure. Smart mice.
Millie then talks Matthew out of DIYing his own website. Because they plan to also sell items online, she wanted a “proper e-commerce website.” I agree: being cheap when it comes to e-commerce never pays. After they agree to hire a professional website designer, they also discuss social media and blogging as part of their Internet marketing strategy. It’s like they’ve been reading my blog!
Next they move on to networking. The mice selected several local business organizations where they could learn from other business owners and potentially grow business relationships. Thinking outside the box, Matthew decides joining the local golf club would also help them find good customers.
And for the last of the four types of marketing communications, the mice decided to invest a little money in advertising in their local newspaper as well as pitch themselves as a great ‘mouse interest story’ to the local papers for a little PR.
By the end of the planning, the lesson is clear: focusing completely on one of the four types of marketing communication doesn’t provide for a well-rounded strategy. While your efforts don’t have to be even in all four categories, you should at least consider how you might use each to find new customers.
The Cheese Mall book can be purchased as a hard copy or for kindle online. You can also keep up with Millie & Matthew’s adventures on their blog. The next blog to take part in the virtual blog tour is Sage Social where Beatrice will review how Marget Segmentation is discussed in The Cheese Mall.
Bernie Tracey works with enterprise boards and SME companies and also coaches at executive level in organisations. She has worked in many sectors and has over 20 years business management experience which has given her a deep insight into the myriad of issues that business owners and senior executives face on a daily basis. Visit Bernie’s website at Beacon Coaching Consultancy to learn more.