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.
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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your business needs to get pricing right. The basics on the different pricing strategies you could use, and what you need to consider.
Successful exporting needs to be carefully planned to avoid expensive failures. Our guide to where to start and what you need to consider.
How to attract customers and make a success of being a small independent retailer, whether on the high street, selling online or both.
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.
Where to start when hiring marketing and sales staff, the sorts of skills and attributes you should look for and pitfalls to avoid.
Our introduction to identifying market segments, and how it can help you tailor your offer to meet their needs - helping you sell more effectively.
Our guide to product development, including customer research, market positioning, the product life cycle and how to keep your product range fresh.
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.
Small businesses can create an effective brand by examining how the business works and what it means to customers. Our guide to SME branding.
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.
Use this checklist to help to develop new products, from developing new ideas to setting budgets, deciding on product specification and prototyping.
Exporting can be more financially complex than selling in the UK. How to negotiate payment methods, choose financing and deal with foreign currencies.
How to prepare for successful exporting, including researching the market, organising transport and distribution, and the paperwork involved.
Here are some simple things you can do to get more footfall and win sales from people who would not otherwise know about your business.
If you are a small firm, you could be forgiven for thinking that branding is not important for small businesses, but this perception is wrong.
Innovating isn't a luxury, but an essential if you don't want to be left behind. How to use innovation to improve and expand your products.
Effective cash flow management is vital so your business has the funding needed to keep trading. Our guide to controlling your cash with confidence.
Use our marketing plan template to create a detailed marketing plan to help identify key marketing activities for your small business.
Once you've come up with the idea for a new product or service, you need to develop it, test it and take it to market. Our guide to the key steps.
When planning for exporting, thoroughly research the market and potential problems and take advantage of the support and information available to you.
Successful marketing starts with a solid understanding of your customers, finances and opportunities. Our overview of marketing planning.
PR activities can help spread the word about your business for little money. This checklist explains how to promote your business through the press.
From describing your market and researching customers to preparing sales forecasts and budgets, learn how to create a marketing plan.
Your prices can have a dramatic effect on sales and profits - the right price is competitive while protecting your profit margins. Our overview.
It's essential to carry out thorough research before you start exporting, to avoid costly mistakes and boost your chances of success. Our guide.
If you make deliveries, your service must be reliable: it can differentiate you from competitors. How can you make your delivery service superior?
SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces. Read our guide to completing a SWOT.
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?
Content is at the heart of today’s marketing strategies as websites and blogs demonstrate expertise, sell services and grow professional businesses.
Competing on price threatens your margins and your reputation. Ben Dyer explains why small business owners should avoid price-cutting.
Kira Lauber explains the importance of creating a narrative and using a metaphor to present complex data in a clear and attractive way.
Creating a marketing plan can be challenging. Here Sara Drawwater explains how she developed a plan that worked for her design business.
YPP's founder noticed a gap in the market for fast, quality print production. Stuart Maclaren tells us how he went from kitchen table to big success.
How do you decide how much to spend on marketing and what happens if your business has to make cuts? Drayton Bird looks at marketing spend.
If you have to cut costs and economise, you'll need to work out how to cut the dead wood without damaging the healthy parts of your business.
Partnering with a bigger business can help you leverage your innovations. How to get in front of the right people - and make a great impression.
Your brand is potentially under threat in many ways online. Expert Chris Barling provides his eight top tips for safeguarding your business
Many small firms offer specialist products and services aimed at niche sectors. Bruce Townsend finds out how small can be beautiful.
Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of regeneration agency Camden Town Unlimited, explains how to set up a pop-up business
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.
Are you losing profit without realising it? Every business has leaks where revenue can disappear. But you have to spot them before you can mend them.
Ten types of shopper and how independent retailers can attract them and win them over in-store and online using mobile commerce and social media
Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for big names. Dan Einzig explains how to develop your own brand identity.
Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a good job and can help reassure new or nervous buyers. Here are ten ways to generate customer testimonials.
If you have a website, your business can be viewed around the world — but you may not be prepared for orders from overseas and their challenges.
A good recruitment agency will have access to quality candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job and screen applicants for you.
When you are selling, how do you handle the objection that you are too expensive? Here are four ways to help you sell without having to cut prices.
12 golden rules to help grow your business in a recovering economy and exploit new opportunities, whilst still keeping your customers happy.
How to safeguard your business when a competitor opens up nearby, and even benefit from it in the long term: there may well be room for both of you.
Price comparison websites are valuable tools to help you analyse competitors and check out price fluctuations. We guide you through the key sites.
Understanding how to interpret a marketing CV can help you identify promising candidates and make it easier to create a shortlist for interview.
Many companies do not understand the important differences between brand and marketing. Find out why the two are important, but in different ways.
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.
If you can't afford to employ a dedicated sales person but want to target new markets, a commercial sales agent could offer the solution.
Read these handy FAQs and find out how to build a brand, including creating a logo, registering a trademark and branding on a budget.
A SWOT analysis means looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, so that you understand your key advantages and disadvantages.
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.
The first thing a customer will notice about your business is its name. Creating the right first impression is essential, but not as easy as it looks.
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.
The key questions you need to answer to develop a successful customer segmentation strategy.
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.
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.
Answers to FAQs to help you use design to boost margins, improve existing products, and meet any standards required for new designs or packaging.
Produce top-quality business marketing materials to convey your brand on a shoestring budget by doing it in-house, with this handy guide.
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.
A useful step-by-step guide to creating a unique selling point (USP) for your small business, and identifying that gap in the market.
Keeping an eye on your competitors is essential in business: it can help you to identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Learn how it's done.
No business can afford to rest on its laurels. Your business may be keeping up with economic and market changes but is your brand keeping pace?
A poor or out-of-date image could be holding your business back, while simple changes could make a huge difference. But where should you start?
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.
Why your best sales people could be your customers thanks to word of mouth. Shweta Jhajharia on how to turn loyal customers into a sales team.
Regular sales are vital for your business. So how can you ensure your products and services remain keenly priced and relevant to your market?
Commissioning a professional graphic designer can ensure that your stationery and marketing collateral impress, but how do you find the right one?
A wealth of overseas opportunities and UK Government support means now could be a great time to start exporting. But where should you start?
Understanding your marketing training needs is only a first step to improving your employees' skills. Learn how to find the right training provider.
There are no quick tricks when it comes to selling expensive products. But with the right marketing you could seriously improve your sales.
Atlantic Trampolines is a specialist trampoline supplier that uses Google AdWords to bring in orders. Founder Andrew Jardine reveals how.
Paul Reddington, managing director of Nottingham-based Spike Photography Ltd on how he overcame the perception that small may mean unprofessional.
Leo Scott Smith was inspired by personal circumstances to develop an intelligent personal safety device - the world's first, in fact. He tells us more.
Neena Trehan of Surrey-based beauty salon Spa Fabulous explains how she came up with the name for her business and offers advice to others.
How a visit to the hairdresser sparked an idea that has grown into a successful business exporting to 18 countries for Maria Smyth from Southampton.
Small businesses need customer relationship management solutions that are quick and easy to use and deliver results fast - including increased sales.
Chris Barling shares eighteen valuable tips for attracting visitors to your ecommerce website and maximising your sales potential online.
Technology is allowing business marketing to be increasingly localised. Find out how you can use technology to attract local customers.
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.
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?
If you really want to be successful in developing your business-to-business operation, here are five smart things you should do now.
Your creative people can be your strongest business asset, because they can give you something that is valuable — ideas. So how do you motivate them?
Customers can worry about small firms, fearing they lack the capacity and experience to match their bigger competitors. So how can you look bigger?
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?
Pricing a service can be trickier than pricing a product. Getting it right means accurately valuing your time and expertise. Pick up other advice.
Sales not what they should be? Shrinking market share? Your business might even be stuck in a rut. A relaunch can help, but what does it involve?
While many businesses put a lot of effort into trying to attract new customers, they risk missing the chance to sell more to existing customers.
Five steps to forming strategic marketing collaborations with other businesses - one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new audiences.
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.
How do you sell an unusual product into a conservative and traditional marketplace? Find out how Daisy Coffins overcame challenges to do just that.
The company may be called Magic Whiteboard, but its success is no trick - it’s down to innovation and sheer graft, not to mention the support of two well-respected venture capitalists.
Find out how UK based business Warmup successfully expanded into overseas markets, to support their high level of domestic growth.
Following public sector cutbacks, Ascentor was forced to refocus on private sector clients. We found out how the business repositioned itself.
Getting Personal started with one personalised gift and has grown into a multi-million pound business. Find out the secrets behind their success.
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.
Increasing prices involves risk, but if you handle things carefully you can avoid upsetting customers, while achieving your goal of boosting margins.
Reliable customers are the lifeblood of every business. However, it can be risky to rely on them - if their business flounders, so might yours.
Use this handy tool from the Intellectual Property Office to find out what intellectual property you own, and how you can protect and exploit it.
Spotting a gap in the market is only part of the battle: taking it successfully to market presents a far bigger challenge. Find out how it's done.
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.
Your firm's intellectual property may include anything from website content to your company logo. To exploit it you will need to protect it legally.
As a business owner you have a vital role in leading the marketing effort and maximising the effectiveness of your sales and marketing team.
Small firms have the edge when it comes to quality, service and exclusivity. Afsheen Latif discovers how you can turn size to your advantage
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.
Marketing and sales training can deliver significant business benefits. Training your employees helps boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.
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.
Partnerships and alliances are good for business. Big firms have always known this but alliances can bring significant benefits for small firms too.
This huge and lucrative market is no niche — it encompasses consumers from all walks of life who just happen to be over a certain age.
Effective motivation can significantly boost the performance of your marketing team. Try a combination of financial incentives and management support.
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.
Everything on choosing and sourcing the right packaging, passing on the costs to your customers and finding your way through the regulations.
Profitable marketing for small businesses means identifying gaps in the market missed by mass providers. These FAQs can help you get it right.
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.
Need-to-know answers to ten questions frequently asked by small-business owners when they need to set prices for their products or services.
Use our free downloadable product positioning diagnostic tool to help identify the best way to market your product to your target customers.
A trade mark is a sign or symbol that enables your customers to distinguish you from your competitors. Find out how you can protect yours.
Find out how you can stop others from damaging your business by registering or using the same or similar names or brands to yours.
Andy Preston of sales performance training company Outstanding Results explains how training can help you improve the performance of your sales team.
Although The Bribery Act has most impact on businesses which trade overseas, it could mean you need to change the way you do business.
How your business might be able to produce stationery and a range of good quality marketing materials without spending a lot of money.
Good salespeople are a major asset, because they deliver sales, yet finding them can be very hard. Learn how to find and recruit them.
Amazon and eBay offer huge opportunities for small firms trading online. Chris Dawson, finds out what the future holds for small firms trading online.
If you trade online, the chances are you pick up custom from overseas. Emma Jones offers a short guide to setting up as international online trader.
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.
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?
Whatever you sell, you need to understand your customer to maximise your sales. Grant Leboff suggests six steps to identify your target customer.
If you have an online business, the world could be your oyster. But there are some definite pros and cons when it comes to selling overseas.
When it comes to getting your product on the shelves, it's not easy negotiating with retailers. Tim Potter explains how to make the relationship work.
Being small can give you an advantage, but sometimes appearing to be larger than you are is a wiser strategy. So how can a small business look bigger?
This video discussion about marketing strategy for small firms covers the value of social media, PR and exhibitions, branded vehicles and more.
Every business needs to stay fresh to be competitive. This may mean regularly refreshing your products or coming up with an entirely new offer.
Download this SWOT analysis template to help you record the strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats your business is facing.
Before you leap onto the international stage, what factors do you need to consider when you’re marketing a company, product or service abroad?
Marketing challenges for knowledge-based businesses are different from firms selling products. Here's how to spread the word about your business.
Intellectual property (IP) theft is common. Take steps to protect your logos, designs, trade marks and copyrighted material to help prevent it.
Benchmarking provides a means to compare your firm against other businesses, and identify areas where you can improve your performance.
You can help your firm innovate by creating a culture in which all employees are encouraged to put ideas forward - and you get the best from people.
“Made in Britain” is a symbol of quality around the world, so making the most of it should be part and parcel of your marketing campaign for export.
Firms are always searching for ways to trim their costs and increase their revenue, in good times and in bad. Make your business leaner and fitter.
Whenever consumer spending slows down, you need to defend your market position to keep your competitive advantage. Here's how to stay ahead of your rivals.
The statement “made in Britain” carries a lot of kudos with some overseas customers. So how can you cash in on that positive association?
Try these road-tested techniques to make sure your target customers know you have an attractive new product or service on the market.
Ways to wrong-foot the competition: 10 strategies for your marketing action plan that will help you keep ahead of the competition
Not all customers are the same. So stop taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your marketing and start segmenting your customers.
The real work on branding begins long before the creatives are let loose with their crayons. Here are five principles that create stand-out brands.
If you are running a retail business - whether bricks and mortar or online - there are five core principles you need to adhere to.
It's tough in a recession, but what about surviving two world wars, and the Great Depression? Meet the businesses that have been through it all.
The culture of sharing is already well-established among consumers. Now businesses are discovering that by collaborating they can reach new audiences.
Marketing expert Robert Craven believes firms which don’t change their approach to marketing to women will get left behind. But not everyone agrees.
You can register your trade mark to protect your brand (eg your product or service). Use the Intellectual Property Office's online service to apply.
Edit our template to create your own customer satisfaction survey, helping you understand why people buy your offer rather than someone else's.
Your CRM system may hold valuable information about your customers that will help you to understand how they make purchasing decisions.
It’s more cost-effective to cultivate existing customers than look for new ones. CRM can help you sell more to your existing customers.
Price comparison websites do a great job helping consumers find good deals, but they can also be useful to small business owners if used properly.
An accurate SWOT analysis is a very beneficial tool which allows you to consider internal and external factors that could affect your business.
People don't only have perceptions about products, services and organisations - they also develop perceptions about the people they meet.
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.
Understanding your customers is the secret of successful selling. The more you know about them, the easier it can be to increase their spending.
Value-based pricing is about coming up with a price that your customers are willing to pay. Pricing strategist Mark Stiving explains.
Providing quotes for new customers is time-consuming and not always successful. Ben Dyer explains how to improve your conversion rate.
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.
Potato farmer Will Chase started the gourmet snack brand Tyrrells Crisps in 2001 and since 2008 he's been making vodka from his potatoes.