The Nigerian Small Business Marketing Guide (Part 1)
As a small business owner, you must come to terms with the reality that your low-budget traditional marketing efforts will probably never be enough to keep you profitable in the face of stiff competition from bigger businesses that can afford to spend far more on visibility.
How then can you attract and retain customers to sustain profitability in the tough Nigerian market? The steps in our Nigerian small business marketing guide will help you develop your own effective marketing methods.
Step 1: Define your brand.
Beyond the products or services you offer, what does your business stand for?
Beyond making profits, what is your mission?
What value will your customers get by choosing you over your competitors?
Customers don't just pay for products and services, they buy into a brand and form emotional ties with it. Defining your brand and the value it offers helps to differentiate your business and makes it easily identifiable to potential customers. Brand definition includes stating your unique selling proposition (USP) in clear terms. Your USP should cover what differentiates your business from your competitors and why what you are offering customers is better. It will guide your marketing efforts.
Step 2: Know your target market.
Who are your potential customers and where are they?
Do you have profiles of your typical customers?
To really know your target market, you must:
a) Clarify the solutions your business offers. Those who typically need those solutions make up your target market.
b) Develop profiles for your typical customers by identifying where they are located, what business sectors they belong to, their average incomes etc.
c) Decide what profile(s) of customers you want to sell to.
d) Measure your capacity to meet customers' needs and use that knowledge to guide the scale, tone and direction of your marketing. For example, an e-commerce company should not offer nationwide delivery if it does not have the logistical capacity to make deliveries outside Lagos.
Step 3: Study your competitors.
Who are your major competitors?
Why do customers choose them over your business?
Identifying your competitors and learning where and how they operate is fundamental to effectively marketing your business. The more you know about them, the more you know how to set your business apart. Without that knowledge, you will only keep marketing blindly and wondering why your efforts are ineffective. Learn how to study your competitors here.
The second part of this guide will cover techniques, channels, budgeting and other essentials for marketing your small business.
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