In the age of social media and internet marketing, it is hard to find a single firm that can meet the varied needs of a business. Therefore, forming strategic alliances to best meet client needs is a good business option for small business owners serving the internet marketing, advertising, photo/video services.
As a small business owner, one may wonder how could a strategic alliance between a web development & internet technology have with print, design & advertising or professional portraits and video marketing? Let us explore how such a partnership could be dynamic and effective for businesses.
The world of marketing can be classified into 2 major types:
Push Marketing: A push promotional strategy involves taking the product directly to the customer via whatever means to ensure the customer is aware of your brand at the point of purchase. The push technique can work particularly well for lower value items such as fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs), when customers are standing at the shelf ready to drop an item into their baskets and are ready to make their decision on the spot. This term now broadly encompasses most direct promotional techniques such as encouraging retailers to stock your product, designing point of sale materials or even selling face to face. New businesses often adopt a push strategy for their products in order to generate exposure and a retail channel. Once a business brand has been established, this can be integrated with a pull strategy. Some aspects of Push Strategy are:
- Trade show promotions to encourage retailer demand
- Direct selling to customers in showrooms or face to face
- Negotiation with retailers to stock your product
- Efficient supply chain allowing retailers an efficient supply
- Point of sale displays
- Packaging design to encourage purchase
- Product instructions for effective use & troubleshooting as part of packaging
* Print Material
* Video Tutorials
Pull Marketing: A pull strategy involves motivating customers to seek out your brand in an active process. 'Pull strategy' refers to the customer actively seeking out your product and retailers placing orders for stock due to direct consumer demand. A pull strategy requires a highly visible brand which can be developed through mass media advertising or similar tactics. If customers want a product, the retailers will stock it - supply and demand in its purest form and this is the basis of a pull strategy. Create the demand, and the supply channels will almost look after themselves. Some aspects of Pull Strategy are:
- Advertising and mass media promotion
- Word of mouth referrals
- Customer relationship management
- Sales promotions and discounts
- Education using video segments
- Education using newsletters and blogs leveraging business website
The best strategy would be a well integrated Push-Pull combination. No one marketing firm serving the small business space will be equipped to provide the
full suite of services thus making a group of strategic partners a more economical and effective option. Take for example the three small businesses in the local community of Crystal Lake namely 3-Step Internet, At-A-Glance Marketing & Eagle Advertise Design & Print; together these 3 small businesses could be the alliance that could deliver the full spectrum of Push & Pull Marketing solutions to other small businesses. An integrated marketing strategy is the only way to move forward and finding the right service provider team and make or break a small business.
**Do share your thoughts and lessons learned on selecting a strategic partner team or marketing solution provider so that we can all learn from each other’s experience. By collaborating we can work in tandem to grow our economic viability, building financially stable small businesses. I look forward to an engaging discussion! **