Small business marketing in 2012

Small business marketing for the new year.

As the year comes to a close, it's inevitable that  people begin to think of the future. Though 2012 is only a few days away, it can be useful to think of it as a completely fresh start. 2012 can be the year you utilize smart small business marketing strategies to make your brand a powerful contender.

Look back to look forward
To properly prepare for the new year, first take advantage of the tendency to look back at the year past. Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. However, in the case of marketing that can be more useful than you think. Take a look at the marketing strategies you've developed and put into place throughout the past year, and get an idea of their success rates.

Many companies make the mistake of getting themselves into a rut. They find a strategy that they think may work and allow it to become the status quo, driving their company's advertising strategy even after it becomes obsolete. A retrospective of the year past will allow you to see if you've fallen into that trap. The effectiveness of certain campaigns will be a good barometer of what steps you should take in the new year.

Take advantage of the holiday
It is holiday, which means it's a time for change. As people make resolutions and sing Auld Lang Syne, you can take advantage of the shifting perspective to change yourself. Your look back over the past year will allow you to get a good handle on who your products have been appealing to and what your niche is. Use the changes of the new year to reinvent yourself and become even more appealing to your customer base. It's important not to delve into pandering, however. Maintain an edge of authenticity, as few things are more frustrating to a subculture than an insincere attempt to appeal to them.

Offer new year promotions
As the Christmas holiday ends, many businesses fall back into the normal process of sales as fast as possible to help recover from the intense shopping that has taken place in the weeks before. Use this lull to your advantage by offering special new year deals to customers. Getting customers in and sustaining profits from the Christmas rush can be a great and profitable way to start the new year.

Take advantage of local connections
Small business are often local businesses as well. This can offer significant advantages during the new year because businesses can use the local scene to promote themselves effectively. Citywide new year’s celebrations could benefit from your sponsorship and would be good advertising for your business. A gathering of the vastly different subgenres that make up a city will be a great place to broaden your appeal as well as gain contacts with possible clients and customers that you otherwise would not have a chance to interact with.

Look forward into 2012
Take the time to view the new year as a single piece of time. Plan a year long strategy that will focus on gaining more loyal customers and appealing in new ways. Social and online media will likely be the driving force behind the majority of 2012 marketing trends, so prepare for that early by developing a strong presence online. Tailor special web pages that benefit not only computer users, but smartphone and tablet users as well.

As long as you make sure to always seek improvement in your strategies and don't allow yourself to get stuck in some that don't work, 2012 will be a year that takes your business higher.

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