Africa is a continent full of opportunities for small businesses. The growing population and the expanding class has made it easy for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business to delve into.
No matter how big or small your business is, the core principles of marketing are the same. However, marketing a small business in Africa can be challenging, ranging from diverse cultures, languages, and economic conditions across the continent. Also, a small business tends to have fewer resources and budgets compared to big corporations.
Set your Marketing Goals
Before you begin your marketing campaign, you need to define what you hope to achieve and what it takes to succeed. Do you want to raise or increase brand awareness, drive sales, generate leads, or build customer loyalty?
Your marketing goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. However, you need to be sure your marketing goals align with your business and marketing objectives because your marketing objectives will help you determine the right marketing tactics for your business.
It is important you monitor your progress regularly and adjust your strategy as needed as you proceed. This will make you measure your success, focus on priorities, thus, achieving better results.
Coordinate your Market Research
Marketing your business might be unfruitful without market research. It is a key part in running successful marketing campaigns for businesses. It is about gathering information that provides an insight into your prospects thoughts, location and buying patterns.
This can assist you to undertake an initial sales forecast, monitor competitors, trends and industry developments.
There are different research methods you can use which includes surveys, focus groups, customer feedback, and keeping an eye on social media. The data gathered would be interpreted to make informed decisions to develop the strategies that align with your goals. This in turn would increase your ROI and help you achieve greater results.
Profile your Targeted Market
One of the ways conducting market research is essential is, it gives you a profile of who your target market is. Who are your customers, what do they want and what are their interests?
It will give you insight on their demographics, that is, grender, age, occupation, income, etc, their geography, where they live or work. Their behaviour in terms of what appeals to them, product usage, and what source do they get their information from as well as their lifestyles and values, that is, their hobbies and interests, families, values, etc.
What you know about your target customers will trigger the proper marketing message to craft that resonates. Your target market should have a need for your product or service and be willing to pay for your offer.
Determine your Unique selling point
A unique sales proposition, or USP is the unique trait your business has that makes your customers buy from you and not your competitors. It is what makes your business stand out from the crowd.
To take your business to the next level, you need to determine what differentiates your business, it could be on price or product quality and how you will differentiate your business in the eyes of your target audience. It is essential to define your special skill and be able to interpret to your potential customers.
Start by first developing your unique and exceptional services and answer them accordingly, this is the fuel of your marketing campaign.
Develop your brand
In marketing your small business, a brand conveys who you are, what you can deliver and what you stand for. A well communicated brand can connect you to your target customers emotionally. Irrespective of the size, every business needs or is likely to have a brand. It is more than your business logo or colour.
Choose your Marketing Avenue
There are different marketing avenues to use when you are about to start marketing your business. However, you need to take cognizance of your target audience before you determine the medium to use.
You can use options such as a business website, social media, blogging, cold calling and so on. You can also make use of traditional advertising such as radio, print ads, billboards, Television and so on as well as content marketing such as podcasts, blog posts and explainer videos.
Set your marketing budget
You have to start by spreading out all of the expenses associated with your marketing plan and examine how to allocate your budget across them. Before you select or go for any of the marketing mediums mentioned earlier, you need to be sure your budget aligns with them so as to be able to have a well-articulated marketing campaign.
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