Marketing strategy

A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

Marketing strategy
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Marketing strategy - overview

A marketing strategy tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it to in order to make more sales. Our guide to the basics.

Your marketing plan
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Your marketing plan - overview

Start here - our simple guide to creating an effective marketing plan, why you need one, what information you need and what it needs to cover.

SWOT analysis
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SWOT analysis - overview

Where to start with SWOT analysis, what to include, where to find the information and how to use it to help your business survive and thrive.

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Branding - overview

No idea whether your business needs a brand? The basics of how to create a valuable brand and how to exploit it for business advantage.

Pricing
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Pricing - overview

Your business needs to get pricing right. The basics on the different pricing strategies you could use, and what you need to consider.

Exporting
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Exporting - overview

Successful exporting needs to be carefully planned to avoid expensive failures. Our guide to where to start and what you need to consider.

Retail
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Retail - overview

How to attract customers and make a success of being a small independent retailer, whether on the high street, selling online or both.

Cost-effective marketing
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Cost-effective marketing - overview

How to market your business on a shoestring, and why measuring, testing and fine-tuning is the key to getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Your target market
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Your target market - overview

Our introduction to identifying market segments, and how it can help you tailor your offer to meet their needs - helping you sell more effectively.

Product development
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Product development - overview

Our guide to product development, including customer research, market positioning, the product life cycle and how to keep your product range fresh.

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Building a brand - checklist

A memorable brand can reinforce your identity and encourage customer loyalty. But there's a lot more to a lasting brand than a well-designed logo.

Creating a brand
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Creating a brand

Small businesses can create an effective brand by examining how the business works and what it means to customers. Our guide to business branding.

Design
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Design

Effective use of design in your business can increase sales, reduce costs and present a new image to customers. Our guide to getting design right.

Export finance
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Export finance

Exporting can be more financially complex than selling in the UK. How to negotiate payment methods, choose financing and deal with foreign currencies.

First steps to exporting
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First steps to exporting

How to prepare for successful exporting, including researching the market, organising transport and distribution, and the paperwork involved.

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Marketing plan template

Use our marketing plan template to create a detailed marketing plan to help identify key marketing activities for your small business.

Research your export markets
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Research your export markets

It's essential to carry out thorough research before you start exporting, to avoid costly mistakes and boost your chances of success. Our guide.

SWOT analysis
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SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces. Read our guide to completing a SWOT.

Woman holding out coins - improve your offer
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Ten ways to improve your offer

As they keep a tight hold on their purse strings, customers are looking for better products, services and value for money. How can you tempt them?

Article

Great infographics made easy

Kira Lauber explains the importance of creating a narrative and using a metaphor to present complex data in a clear and attractive way.

How to attract more local customers
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How to attract more local customers

Technology is allowing business marketing to be increasingly localised. Find out how you can use technology to attract local customers.

Handwritten 'find your niche' on a notepad on a desk
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How to set up a niche business

Many small firms offer specialist products and services aimed at niche sectors. Bruce Townsend finds out how small can be beautiful.

Article

How to set up a pop-up business

Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of regeneration agency Camden Town Unlimited, explains how to set up a pop-up business

Tyre stuck - Is your business in a rut?
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Is your business in a rut?

Like people and relationships, businesses can fall into a rut. Three experts tell us what the symptoms are and how to get your business mojo back.

Rebranding your business
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Rebranding your business

Rebranding can give new impetus to a business whose brand is underperforming. When to rebrand and how to make your new brand a success

Symbol of a shopping trolly on a computer key representing online shopping and ecommerce
Article

Selling on eBay and Amazon

Amazon and eBay offer huge opportunities for small firms trading online. Chris Dawson, finds out what the future holds for small firms trading online.

five principles of retail - Shop sign
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The five principles of retail

If you are running a retail business - whether bricks and mortar or online - there are five core principles you need to adhere to.

Article

The truth about marketing to women

Marketing expert Robert Craven believes firms which don’t change their approach to marketing to women will get left behind. But not everyone agrees.

A creative team are brainstorming ideas for their company brand.
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Branding on a shoestring

Every business has a brand that it needs to promote and protect. Even with only a small budget, small firms can create their own powerful brand.

FAQs

Building a brand FAQs

Read these handy FAQs and find out how to build a brand, including creating a logo, registering a trademark and branding on a budget.

Car on a map
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Choosing the right route to market

To maximise your chances of succeeding in business, you must focus on the most effective routes to your market. Find out how to identify them.

A street scene
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Customer service lessons for retailers

It can be tough for small retailers on the high street. Customers are looking for bargains and retailers need to respond to changing customer needs.

Article

Cut your costs with marketing

Knowing what your customers value the most about your products can help you to identify areas where you can cut costs without losing product value.

FAQs

Design FAQs

Answers to FAQs to help you use design to boost margins, improve existing products, and meet any standards required for new designs or packaging.

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Developing a marketing training plan

A marketing training plan sets out what your training needs are and how you will meet them, and will help you get the most out of your budget.

FAQs

Effective PR FAQs

PR is used to raise the profile of a business and portray the business in a good light. Here are 10 FAQs on how to use PR in a small business.

Employing a designer
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Employing a designer

Commissioning a professional graphic designer can ensure that your stationery and marketing collateral impress, but how do you find the right one?

Export opportunities - map{{Export opportunities - map}}
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Export opportunities

A wealth of overseas opportunities and UK Government support means now could be a great time to start exporting. But where should you start?

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How do you market an expensive item?

There are no quick tricks when it comes to selling expensive products. But with the right marketing you could seriously improve your sales.

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How to brief a creative team

The AdCracker website has some useful sample briefs to help you if you've never briefed a creative team before. Or even if you have.

How to compete with bigger rivals
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How to compete with bigger rivals

Big companies have staff and resources that small firms can only dream of. So how do you compete against bigger rivals when you are a small firm?

How to look like a bigger business
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How to look like a bigger business

Customers can worry about small firms, fearing they lack the capacity and experience to match their bigger competitors. So how can you look bigger?

Article

How to market a professional practice

Marketing is vital for accountants and law firms that want to bring in new business. But what are the key principles for promoting professional firms?

Article

How to price your service

Pricing a service can be trickier than pricing a product. Getting it right means accurately valuing your time and expertise. Pick up other advice.

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How to stand out from the crowd

If you want to sell more than your competitors, you need to remind your customers why they should buy from you rather than a rival. Here's how.

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I'm too reliant on a single customer

Reliable customers are the lifeblood of every business. However, it can be risky to rely on them - if their business flounders, so might yours.

Smiling customer hands over credit card at his local cafe
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Know your customers better

Creating a loyal band of customers through good service is a great achievement, but you've got to keep working at your relationship. Find out how.

Article

Make customer segmentation work

Reaching potential buyers with a targeted message at the right time is key to maintain sales growth. Make sure you identify who spends what when.

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Managing marketing employees

As a business owner you have a vital role in leading the marketing effort and maximising the effectiveness of your sales and marketing team.

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Marketing and sales recruitment

Marketing and sales recruitment is a vital part of building a solid marketing and sales team that can move your business to the next level.

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Marketing and sales training

Marketing and sales training can deliver significant business benefits. Training your employees helps boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.

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Marketing job description

How to write an effective marketing job description, outlining the key elements of the job and the knowledge, skills and attitude you're looking for.

Article

Marketing your ecommerce store

Chris Barling shares eighteen valuable tips for attracting visitors to your ecommerce website and maximising your sales potential online.

FAQs

New product development FAQs

Apart from a good idea, what do you need for successful development of a new product? These FAQs talk through the process from strategy to prototype.

FAQs

Packaging FAQs

Everything on choosing and sourcing the right packaging, passing on the costs to your customers and finding your way through the regulations.

FAQs

Planning your marketing FAQs

Profitable marketing for small businesses means identifying gaps in the market missed by mass providers. These FAQs can help you get it right.

Article

PR on a shoestring

Do you shy away from PR because you don't have a big budget? PR can be done on a shoestring and small steps can bring big rewards.

Article

Q&A: Sharpen up your sales force

Andy Preston of sales performance training company Outstanding Results explains how training can help you improve the performance of your sales team.

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Recruiting the right salespeople

Good salespeople are a major asset, because they deliver sales, yet finding them can be very hard. Learn how to find and recruit them.

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Seven ways to price your product

Ask people to pay too much and they will stop buying: too little and your profit margin slides. Here are seven ways to price your product accurately.

Should you pay for an intern? - Photocopier
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Should you pay for an intern?

For business owners in need of an extra pair of hands, the prospect of cheap, or even free, labour, can be very enticing. But what does the law say?

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Spotting gaps in your market

Every business needs to stay fresh to be competitive. This may mean regularly refreshing your products or coming up with an entirely new offer.

Ten fundamentals of export marketing/hand and international
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Ten fundamentals of export marketing

Before you leap onto the international stage, what factors do you need to consider when you’re marketing a company, product or service abroad?

Article

Ten ways to promote a new offer

Try these road-tested techniques to make sure your target customers know you have an attractive new product or service on the market.

Orange melon segments
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The art of customer segmentation

Not all customers are the same. So stop taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your marketing and start segmenting your customers.

Article

What's your personal brand?

People don't only have perceptions about products, services and organisations - they also develop perceptions about the people they meet.

Benchmark your business{{}}
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Why benchmark your business?

Rather than being a pointless exercise in data analysis, benchmarking can help you to identify areas where you can make changes and make your firm more profitable.

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Why it pays to profile your customers

Understanding your customers is the secret of successful selling. The more you know about them, the easier it can be to increase their spending.

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Your first steps to exporting

Moving into export is a big step - it’s important you consider whether your business is ready for the challenge, and prepare for successful exporting.

Planning your PR - checklist
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Planning your PR - checklist

PR activities can help spread the word about your business for little money. This checklist explains how to promote your business through the press.

FAQs

Pricing FAQs

Need-to-know answers to ten questions frequently asked by small-business owners when they need to set prices for their products or services.

Don't compete on price
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Don't compete on price

Competing on price threatens your margins and your reputation. Ben Dyer explains why small business owners should avoid price-cutting.

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Choose a pricing strategy

Pricing is one of the most important aspects of your business to get right. Find out what you need to do before putting a price tag on your product.

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Why value-based pricing works best

Value-based pricing is about coming up with a price that your customers are willing to pay. Pricing strategist Mark Stiving explains.

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A guide to price comparison websites

Price comparison websites are valuable tools to help you analyse competitors and check out price fluctuations. We guide you through the key sites.