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4 Ways to Smart Marketing in 2021


2020 has been the year of tough decisions with belt-tightening for many small and mid-sized businesses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now, more than ever, you need to make sure that every dollar you spend results in sales and the right kinds of customers. You should be allocating at least 8 percent of your annual revenue to marketing — more if you’re a new SMB. 

Even if sales have been affected, marketing is the last area you should cut. 

But how do you allocate those precious dollars? Our new quick-read e-book “A Guide to Smart SMB Marketing” details four key steps when developing a marketing strategy. As my  professor once shared, Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS)… still a powerful approach, but now I refer to it as Keep it Simple + Strategic.

Know Your Customers and Match Them With the Right Media 

When asked who an ideal target customer is, some business owners say “everyone” or anyone willing to buy. Similarly, some media advisors will promote specific media for all businesses, without understanding who they are and what they consume.

Only by zooming in on your best customer (and identifying their needs) can you focus your spending.


Find out the 3 “Myths and Truths” in Understanding Customer Touchpoints


Formulate a Successful Marketing Campaign

Especially during the holiday season, you’ll be competing with other brands and businesses for online and brick-and-mortar sales. Reach your prospects where they are — when they want it.

Locally-targeted campaigns are more important than ever before and you have a wide range of media to explore and select. Craft your spending plan carefully and leave room to invest in the media that works best for you.


“Any marketing strategy needs to be as dynamic as the audience it targets.”


Embrace Print

Many SMBs automatically discount print marketing (magazines, newspapers, coupons, flyers, and billboards) as “yesterday’s media.”

Did you know?  67% of online searches are triggered by offline marketing efforts.

The e-book details the advantages of print and more stats about how consumers perceive it. 


Know Who to Trust

Most SMBs can’t afford to work with big ad agencies or consulting firms. As a result, they are bombarded by a variety of suppliers and “experts” looking to sell a specific form of marketing.

Enter the media strategist. These are objective media professionals who are data-oriented, expert in all types of conventional and digital marketing, and results- and spending-focused. 

Whether you have $1,000 or $100,000 to spend on marketing and media for the remainder of 2020, a media strategist can advise you on the best ways to spend that budget.

Plus, NOW is the time to start your 2021 marketing planning (if you haven’t already). The number of media options will continue to grow and cutting through the clutter and sales pitches will grow more challenging.


The above 4 steps are just the beginning. Check out our latest eBook to get more information, insights, and inspiration on the journey to new business. With nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S., competition is fierce, but consumers are seeking–and trusting– local  businesses. Now is the time to increase awareness, engagement… and ultimately sales.

Happy reading.