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5 Strategies to Help Grow Your ‘Smaller Business’ into Big Ecommerce

Posted by Keely Brown on February 20, 2018

For every underdog business success story, there are scores of entrepreneurs asking the same question: "How did this modern-day David beat Goliath -- and can these strategies be applied to my business?"

While there's a lot of planning behind each one of these stories, the good news is that there are a number of common denominators in small triumphing over big marketing strategies. Here are five effective examples.

1. Prioritize Spending

It goes without saying that big businesses have more money than small businesses; but all too often, small businesses are unrealistic about how much money they can afford to spend. In order to beat the big guys at their own game, it's imperative for small businesses to prioritize their spending more carefully.

Prioritizing can include:

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2. Stay Flexible

As any boxing manager knows, a fast-on-his-feet contender can dodge blows more effectively than a weighty behemoth. Goliath was big; but David was small, speedy and smart enough to think on his feet -- and he had fewer constraints. Conversely, Giants are constrained by size; and in much the same way, big companies can be logistically limited by their hugeness. For instance, smaller companies aren't constantly in the media spotlight, nor do they have to answer to large corporate boards or sponsors. The bigger the company, the more people it has to answer to; and this not only slows down deals, but also makes business operations stiff.

Flexibility enables businesses to customize marketing tactics more specifically to each client's needs and expectations -- which leads to the next strategy.

3. Establish a Good Client Relationship

The marketing industry abounds with stories of clients who choose small companies over larger ones because they receive more personalized attention from the little guy.

According to a recent supermarket study, personal interactions between store associates and customers hold the key to customer loyalty and satisfaction, with customers more willing to frequent stores where they feel welcomed as a valued guest. The same holds true of business relationships as well.

4. Dare to Be Different

In 1967, entrepreneur Herb Kelleher founded Southwest Airlines with a specific goal in mind: to create a user-friendly airline where employees felt like family and passengers felt like honored guests at a fun-filled in-flight party. Today, Southwest's digital marketing/social media is regularly enhanced by consumer posts of in-flight zaniness -- such as this YouTube video of a flight attendant rapping the safety message. By daring to be different, Southwest has more than survived -- it's the only one of the major airlines that has never filed for bankruptcy.

When it comes to small beats big business stories, the single most-commonly found stone in David's proverbial slingshot is the one bearing the motto "Dare to be Different." That difference can be the single component that attracts people away from the bigger competitors.

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5. Get Back to Basics -- and Use Social Media

In the TV series "MacGyver," the hero has a knack for creating something out of nothing -- such as building a replica of the Taj Mahal from pipe cleaners and dental floss. Small business marketers can apply a similar approach by going back to basic marketing strategies -- like customization and compelling content.

Along the same lines, social media can provide the perfect venue for a surefire traditional video campaign that would cost significantly more on TV. Here's an example: In 2017, when the Patriots won the AFC championship and were heading for Super Bowl LI, Beats by Dre leveraged the fact that Tom Brady was already a product spokesperson and created a Tom Brady tribute video for YouTube. As a result, Tom Brady: Be Heard garnered nearly a million views, and also drove viewers to the company's YouTube channel. Thus, Beats by Dre sidestepped the cost of a TV ad ($5 million for a 30-second slot), and still got its brand message out to a widespread audience.

Savvy businesses know that there are plenty of advantages to being "smaller." The trick is in knowing how to leverage these advantages in ways that can fell those giant competitors.

Why Are Customers Passing You By? Download our latest infographic.

Onestop Internet's performance marketing services team is modeled after a digital agency, covering every aspect of the digital landscape, using industry-leading technologies integrated with your ecommerce platform to develop and execute an expert online marketing plan for your business. We don’t get paid to spend, we get paid to perform!

Topics: Content marketing, Strategy, audience, resonate, performance marketing

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