How to try new strategies safely

When it comes to your small business, are you comfortable with taking risks?

Have you ever felt the thrill of successfully trying new marketing channels through your competitors?

Perhaps you appreciate the comfort of your current and reliable campaigns?

You may feel overwhelmed by big business growth strategies, but marketing strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all.

Small business is different from big business.

By exploring tested and successful marketing strategies specific to small businesses, you give your small business a sure way to expand into uncharted and potentially viral territory.

We’re happy to share some good news – taking risks doesn’t have to be scary, especially if we look at how other SMBs build their marketing plans and use them as a guide.

On July 13, I hosted a webinar with Amelia Northrup-Simpson, Marketing Manager at CallRail. She showed tested strategies that align with your small businesses to help you maximize marketing ROI.

Here is a summary of the webinar. To access the full presentation, fill out the form.

Why Small Businesses Should Try New Strategies

Companies like yours are experimenting

CallRail surveyed 601 US-based marketers to see how they approach risk taking.

They discovered that small and medium-sized businesses were taking a gamble over the past 12 months. In reality:

  • 91% of marketers have tested a new marketing channel or emerging trend.
  • 80% of marketers have tried a new experimental marketing campaign.

As you can see, your competitors may be looking for new ways to get ahead of you. From their perspective, the risk is worth the reward.

If you can uncover the successful risks they have taken, you can implement their newly tested strategies with little risk.

The risks are worth the reward

The risks your competitors are taking are worth it.

  • 98% of marketers agree that testing new channels is worth it.
  • 86% of marketers agree that experimental campaigns are worth it.

The result: 96% of marketers say their risky efforts have increased customers.

[Discover more reasons taking risks is worth the reward] Get instant access to the webinar.

The risk of not experimenting

Our brains are wired to ask, “What if things go wrong?

But, “What if things go well?”

Only 12 out of 601 marketers think experimental campaigns are too risky for their company’s reputation.

That leaves 589 marketers poised to outperform their competition.

It’s important to stay one step ahead, like those risk-taking marketers.

For companies that don’t take risks, there is a real risk that their competitors will take the lead.

[Discover how your competition may take the lead] Access the webinar instantly →

The biggest barrier to risk taking

Most marketers say their company’s management is hesitant to invest more money in marketing and that it’s hard to get management buy-in on potential new channels.

85% of marketers say testing new media channels is a worthwhile financial investment for their business.

But 15% still think it’s not worth it.

What keeps aspirants from taking risks?

CallRail, July 2022

Mitigating risk is as simple as making smart decisions when trying new strategies.

Campaign Strategies to Mitigate Risk

Data and organization are your friends for a successful new trial campaign.

Once you have your strategy in place, make sure you are prepared to follow what works so you can pivot before a potential obstacle.

This is the key to managing risk.

Better tracking capabilities would lead to more successful experimentation.

  • 97% of marketers say they would take more risks if they had a way to see if their campaign was working immediately.
  • 64% of marketers say they don’t have an easy/reliable way to prove if something works.
  • 59% say the inability to gauge which marketing channels are delivering results is a barrier to pursuing experimental campaigns
[Find out the top tools marketers are using to track ROI] Access the webinar instantly →

Step 1: Find out where marketers are already finding opportunities

Marketers have seen social media channels as a great opportunity to win new business.

The main social media channels for acquiring new businesses are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok.

[See the full stats] Access the webinar instantly →

Marketers were also experimenting with other campaigns:

  • 48% have started using a new slogan.
  • 41% renewed corporate colors.
  • 41% have started using a new logo.
  • 41% launched a new advertising campaign.
  • 33% have tried a new offer.

These are great proven places to start.

Step 2: New vs. Proven Channels – Adjust budget to where competitors are spending money

Take the guesswork out of what works and what doesn’t by looking at where your competitors are allocating their marketing dollars.

In short, if a channel isn’t working for your industry, your competitors won’t be spending money and resources on that channel.

Put your money where your competitors are putting their money.

Here is the approximate percentage of the marketing manager’s annual budget allocated by category.

Small Business Marketing: How to Safely Try New StrategiesCallRail, July 2022
[See an example of what a carpet business did] Access the webinar instantly →

Step 3: Have a goal that meets the real needs of your business

How should you approach your goals?

  • Set SMART goals.
  • Set expectations with our colleagues – purpose, pace and when to adapt.
  • Set expectations.
[Find out what SMART goals are] Access the webinar instantly →

Step 4: Implement a monitoring plan and know your attribution

Evaluate the marketing touchpoints encountered by a consumer during their buying journey.

  • First Touch: A customer knows your business.
  • Lead Generation: A customer contacted your business.
  • Qualified: A customer is qualified as a potential revenue source.

You will need lead information to determine if the hazard is receding and give you time to pivot safely.

[Find out what lead intelligence is] Access the webinar instantly →

Key points to remember

  • Small and medium businesses are ready to take risks with creative campaigns and new channels.
  • The risks are worth the reward.
  • Not taking risks is risky business.
  • Playing financially safe is not as crucial as staying competitive.
  • Marketers would take even more risk if they could easily measure results.

Download the Marketing Risk vs Reward report.

[Slides] Small Business Marketing: How to Safely Try New Strategies

Here is the presentation:

Join us for our next webinar!

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Image credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

About William G.

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