"Small but Mighty," Small Business Marketing Strategy for Entering into New Market Segments
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This paper presents a marketing plan that brings a small business into a new target segment while taking into consideration both financial and personnel restrictions. InForm Architecture is a small architectural firm located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This firm currently focuses on one market segment, churches, but it would like to expand to serve other segments, specifically urban development. This plan addresses this market expansion. The paper begins with a review of current literature about small business marketing strategies through an analysis of decision-making processes, success factors, and brand building techniques. This literature review finds three main focuses of small business marketing strategy: 1) information about consumers, 2) internal matters, and 3) financial considerations. These three focuses are displayed in many studies on decision making processes and small business success factors. A variety of brand-building and marketing techniques for small businesses are discussed, emphasizing the use of traditional and modem marketing techniques. The studies, in general, feel that a mix between tradition and modern techniques enable small businesses to implement successful marketing plans without exceeding financial restrictions. The literature review is followed by a marketing plan, which includes both a situational analysis and tactic recommendations. The plan identifies the macroenvironment and microenvironment factors that affect InForm Architecture, the key competition, and aspects of the business through a SWOT analysis. The objectives of the marketing plan are to increase the revenue and number of projects in the target market segment and to improve community awareness. The marketing strategies utilized in this plan combine both traditional and modem techniques to connect with new market segments. Five major strategies are used in this plan: 1) Implement Social Media (Houzz, Pinterest, and Facebook), 2) Search Engine Optimization, 3) Develop Brand Identity, 4) Create a Community Presence, and 5) Upgrade Current Marketing Tactics. Current marketing tactics that will be addressed are direct mail, workshops, and blogs. The plan spans one year, to be evaluated and improved before Year Two. The plan should require a minimal time commitment from each of the staff members at InForm Architecture. This paper proves that through a combination of traditional and modem techniques, it is possible for a small business to enter into a new market segment without overextending its assets.
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