Marketing, not for dummies but rather smart business owners.

Marketing, for smart business owners. - 2024
20 February 2024 Read time: 5 min

Here at Kearney Group we get finance… and we also get business. We know marketing plays a vital role in the growth of any business. And yet, in smaller operations, there isn’t always a team skilled in brand, advertising and social media to run your marketing calendar and manage campaigns. So, we asked our marketing team to put together their top 6 marketing tips for small business for 2024.

Calling all multiple-hat-wearing-business-owners and marketing leads in a small businesses: take five out of your busy day and have a read. Maybe you’ll learn something new? Maybe it will be a reminder of the importance of some of the tactics you already know? Knowledge is power and incorporating any one of these ideas might just be the key to your next success!

1. Create a simple marketing plan.


All good things start with effective and clear planning, so sitting down with the key people in your business to create a marketing plan is a great place to start.

Marketing plans come in all shapes and sizes, with lots of differing advice on what makes it a good one. Rather than give you a generic ‘Marketing plan for dummies’, here are some of the things we believe all good marketing plans should include, so you can weave them into a plan that suits your business and needs. 

A ‘good’ marketing plan:

  • Requires deep understanding of your target audience and market. Who are the people buying your product or using your service? Get to know their wants, needs and pain points. 
  • Should be goals driven. Start with looking at your overall business mission and goals and then drill down measurable specifics. From this you’ll be able to decide what tactics you need to implement to achieve them. Great marketing plans link outcomes to specific activities and use hard numbers to measure results.
  • Shouldn’t be linear or a ‘set and forget’ task done in January. Think of it as an ongoing process that involves tracking progress towards your goals, with regular reviews.
  • Identifies clear roles and responsibilities. Remember the people creating the plan (a.k.a you and your key staff) are the ones accountable for its execution and success.
  • Fits within your broader business budget. Money, money, money – yes, it’s time to set a budget for your planned activities and make sure it’s appropriate for your broader business spending.


2. Refresh and reenergise your online presence.


From your website to your social media platforms, review your business’s online presence. Do your profiles align to your brand? Is the information up-to-date and still relevant to your customers or clients? Are you using these platforms to show off what makes your business great?

For many business owners, the technical side of online marketing gets murky or scary. For others, marketing simply requires too much time that could otherwise be spent in the business. To this we say: pick one thing and do that really well. Dedicate one hour per week to do necessary website updates (or brief a web developer!). Take another hour to plan and schedule 2-3 social posts.

Remember: You don’t have to be on every platform, posting every day. Simply being human and creating posts that contribute to your overall consistent message is all that is required. Consider this your sign to grab your iPhone and film “A Day in Your Life!”.

Consider setting some measurable goals specific to your online platforms and include them in your marketing plan. The best thing about online platforms is that they provide you with a whole heap of useful data, so it’s easy to determine your ROI. It’s worth noting that the value of brand building is almost impossible to quantify online. Don’t get deflated if your posts don’t go viral – everything you put online helps to cement your brand and steady, consistent growth is also incredibly valuable.

3. Get the world to shout about you (and how good you are!)


The easiest (and cheapest) way to promote your small business is to encourage word of mouth and social proof points for your business.

We know that people want to deal with people or buy products from businesses that come recommended from other people. “They have over 500 5 star reviews!” is often all it takes to convince a new customer.

So what are some of the ways you can encourage your happy customers to tell the world how much they loved dealing with you?

Ask your customers or clients to:

  • Leave a positive review for your products or services on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or industry-specific review sites.
  • Provide feedback after dealing with your business (e.g. how was our meeting? how are you finding our service?). Ask them to showcase any especially-great testimonials on your website or promotional material.
  • Tell their success story (and how you were part of it!). Helping your customers share their good news and successes makes for really interesting content, whilst simultaneously allowing your business’ impact to shine through.

Bonus tip! Make sure you respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.


4. Mingle, mingle, mingle!


Growing your business can be as simple as interacting with your target market.

Networking doesn’t have to be terrifying and cliché. Attending talks, trade shows, conferences and social events where you might have the opportunity to talk to your target customer is a great way to grow your business.

Partnerships and brand collaborations are also tried and tested ways to reach a new bucket of potential customers through leveraging an established database of another brand.

5. Embrace AI with open arms.


AI is here and it’s here to stay – but this doesn’t have to be all terrifying for your business. When used correctly, AI tools like ChatGPT are actually incredibly beneficial for small business marketing.

AI chatbots are everywhere, with many brands using them as the first point of contact for customer enquiries. However there is so much more that AI can offer.

For tasks like brainstorming, planning and content writing, watch as your productivity and efficiency begins to rapidly increase. AI can also help businesses target ads to the right customers, personalise offers, segment audiences and even create social media posts.

A warning though: this is not to say that AI should solely be responsible for these tasks. It’s important for content to be fact-checked (ChatGPT is known to hallucinate and fabricate information). Moreover, the power will be in your ability to personalise AI-generated content, ensuring it reflects your brand’s values and beliefs and resonates with living, breathing customers.


6. Be you, go big or go home!


Our last of the 6 marketing tips for small business is really, really important. So listen up: just because you’re a small business, doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, clever and memorable.

People care less about your product and the details of what you do, than who you are and what you stand for. So, use your marketing efforts to communicate a feeling. Show your values and what you offer through humour, nostalgia or offering them a behind the scenes glimpse at who you are.

Don’t be afraid to think big! If it makes you slightly uncomfortable – you might be onto something! You are fighting for small attention spans in a saturated and competitive market, so the bolder and more creative you can be, the better.

Found these tips helpful?

We hope they have sparked the inner marketer in you! If you try just one of them, we know your business will be better for it. 

Keen to chat marketing budgets or business growth ideas with a financial or business advisor?

Get in touch

Speak to the team.