Marketing strategy

A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

Group of employees working together on a their new marketing strategy
ARTICLE

Marketing strategy - overview

A marketing strategy tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it to in order to make more sales. Our guide to the basics.

Your marketing plan
ARTICLE

Your marketing plan - overview

Start here - our simple guide to creating an effective marketing plan, why you need one, what information you need and what it needs to cover.

SWOT analysis
ARTICLE

SWOT analysis - overview

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了Where to start with SWOT analysis, what to include, where to find the information and how to use it to help your business survive and thrive.

'BRAND' brainstorm written on piece of paper with ideas around the centre
ARTICLE

Branding - overview

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了No idea whether your business needs a brand? The basics of how to create a valuable brand and how to exploit it for business advantage.

Pricing
ARTICLE

Pricing - overview

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了Your business needs to get pricing right. The basics on the different pricing strategies you could use, and what you need to consider.

Exporting
ARTICLE

Exporting - overview

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了Successful exporting needs to be carefully planned to avoid expensive failures. Our guide to where to start and what you need to consider.

Retail
ARTICLE

Retail - overview

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了How to attract customers and make a success of being a small independent retailer, whether on the high street, selling online or both.

Cost-effective marketing
ARTICLE

Cost-effective marketing - overview

How to market your business on a shoestring, and why measuring, testing and fine-tuning is the key to getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Your target market
ARTICLE

Your target market - overview

Our introduction to identifying market segments, and how it can help you tailor your offer to meet their needs - helping you sell more effectively.

Product development
ARTICLE

Product development - overview

Our guide to product development, including customer research, market positioning, the product life cycle and how to keep your product range fresh.

Stylish businessmen with tense faces representing business competition and confrontation.
Article

A competitor has opened up near my business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 How to safeguard your business when a competitor opens up nearby, and even benefit from it in the long term: there may well be room for both of you.

Person building a sign saying 'BRAND'
Article

Building a brand - checklist

A memorable brand can reinforce your identity and encourage customer loyalty. But there's a lot more to a lasting brand than a well-designed logo.

Creating a brand
Article

Creating a brand

Small businesses can create an effective brand by examining how the business works and what it means to customers. Our guide to business branding.

Design
Article

Design

Effective use of design in your business can increase sales, reduce costs and present a new image to customers. Our guide to getting design right.

Export finance
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Export finance

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Exporting can be more financially complex than selling in the UK. How to negotiate payment methods, choose financing and deal with foreign currencies.

First steps to exporting
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First steps to exporting

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 How to prepare for successful exporting, including researching the market, organising transport and distribution, and the paperwork involved.

Small business branding
Article

I'm a small business - why do I need a brand?

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 If you are a small firm, you could be forgiven for thinking that branding is not important for small businesses, but this perception is wrong.

A smart young man delivers a parcel.
Article

Setting up a delivery service - checklist

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 If you make deliveries, your service must be reliable: it can differentiate you from competitors. How can you make your delivery service superior?

SWOT analysis
Article

SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces. Read our guide to completing a SWOT.

Woman holding out coins - improve your offer
Article

Ten ways to improve your offer

As they keep a tight hold on their purse strings, customers are looking for better products, services and value for money. How can you tempt them?

'IDEA' written in white text with an orange background
Article

Great infographics made easy

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Kira Lauber explains the importance of creating a narrative and using a metaphor to present complex data in a clear and attractive way.

How i created a marketing plan for my business - Sara Brown
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How I created a marketing plan for my business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Creating a marketing plan can be challenging. Here Sara Drawwater explains how she developed a plan that worked for her design business.

How to attract more local customers
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How to attract more local customers

Technology is allowing business marketing to be increasingly localised. Find out how you can use technology to attract local customers.

Handwritten 'find your niche' on a notepad on a desk
Article

How to set up a niche business

Many small firms offer specialist products and services aimed at niche sectors. Bruce Townsend finds out how small can be beautiful.

Tyre stuck - Is your business in a rut?
Article

Is your business in a rut?

Like people and relationships, businesses can fall into a rut. Three experts tell us what the symptoms are and how to get your business mojo back.

Plugging the profit leaks in your business
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Plugging the profit leaks in your business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Are you losing profit without realising it? Every business has leaks where revenue can disappear. But you have to spot them before you can mend them.

Protect your brand online

Your brand is potentially under threat in many ways online. Expert Chris Barling provides his eight top tips for safeguarding your business

Rebranding your business
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Rebranding your business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Rebranding can give new impetus to a business whose brand is underperforming. When to rebrand and how to make your new brand a success

Symbol of a shopping trolly on a computer key representing online shopping and ecommerce
Article

Selling on eBay and Amazon

Amazon and eBay offer huge opportunities for small firms trading online. Chris Dawson, finds out what the future holds for small firms trading online.

Business man and woman holding clipboards interview a woman
Article

Using a marketing recruitment agency

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 A good recruitment agency will have access to quality candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job and screen applicants for you.

Group of people sat around a 'Branding' brainstorm on a large piece of paper
Article

Branding on a shoestring

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Every business has a brand that it needs to promote and protect. Even with only a small budget, small firms can create their own powerful brand.

Map of Europe
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Breaking new markets with a commercial sales agent

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 If you can't afford to employ a dedicated sales person but want to target new markets, a commercial sales agent could offer the solution.

Man in a suit pressing white 'BRAND' sign at the camera
FAQs

Building a brand FAQs

Read these handy FAQs and find out how to build a brand, including creating a logo, registering a trademark and branding on a budget.

Car on a map
Article

Choosing the right route to market

To maximise your chances of succeeding in business, you must focus on the most effective routes to your market. Find out how to identify them.

The branding behaviour of high growth start-ups
Article

Create a powerful brand for your ambitious start up

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 The real work on branding begins long before the creatives are let loose with their crayons. Here are five principles that create stand-out brands.

A street scene
Article

Customer service lessons for retailers

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 It can be tough for small retailers on the high street. Customers are looking for bargains and retailers need to respond to changing customer needs.

Multiple marketing folders with 'TRAINING PLAN' written on a yellow folder
Article

Developing a marketing training plan

A marketing training plan sets out what your training needs are and how you will meet them, and will help you get the most out of your budget.

Three black microphones facing the camera with blurred people in the background
FAQs

Effective PR FAQs

PR is used to raise the profile of a business and portray the business in a good light. Here are 10 FAQs on how to use PR in a small business.

Eights steps to turn your customers into sales people{{}}
Article

Eight steps to turn your customers into sales people

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Why your best sales people could be your customers thanks to word of mouth. Shweta Jhajharia on how to turn loyal customers into a sales team.

Employing a designer
Article

Employing a designer

Commissioning a professional graphic designer can ensure that your stationery and marketing collateral impress, but how do you find the right one?

Export opportunities - map{{Export opportunities - map}}
Article

Export opportunities

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 A wealth of overseas opportunities and UK Government support means now could be a great time to start exporting. But where should you start?

Four bottles of expensive red wine resting in a wooden crate with hay
Article

How do you market an expensive item?

There are no quick tricks when it comes to selling expensive products. But with the right marketing you could seriously improve your sales.

PPC advertiser Andrew Jardine standing on a trampoline
Article

How Google Ads helps me sell trampolines online

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Atlantic Trampolines is a specialist trampoline supplier that uses Google Ads to bring in orders. Founder Andrew Jardine reveals how.

How small firms can get real results with CRM
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How small firms can get real results with CRM

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Small businesses need customer relationship management solutions that are quick and easy to use and deliver results fast - including increased sales.

Creative team gathered around a desk with coloured pencils and photos on the desk
Tool

How to brief a creative team

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 The AdCracker website has some useful sample briefs to help you if you've never briefed a creative team before. Or even if you have.

How to compete with bigger rivals
Article

How to compete with bigger rivals

Big companies have staff and resources that small firms can only dream of. So how do you compete against bigger rivals when you are a small firm?

How to look like a bigger business
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How to look like a bigger business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Customers can worry about small firms, fearing they lack the capacity and experience to match their bigger competitors. So how can you look bigger?

A female cosmetic dentist treats a patient
Article

How to market a professional practice

Marketing is vital for accountants and law firms that want to bring in new business. But what are the key principles for promoting professional firms?

How to set up a successful marketing collaboration
Article

How to set up a successful marketing collaboration

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Five steps to forming strategic marketing collaborations with other businesses - one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new audiences.

One green match standing out from multiple red matches
Article

How to stand out from the crowd

If you want to sell more than your competitors, you need to remind your customers why they should buy from you rather than a rival. Here's how.

A man and woman having a meeting over a desk about being reliant on a single customer
Article

I'm too reliant on a single customer

Reliable customers are the lifeblood of every business. However, it can be risky to rely on them - if their business flounders, so might yours.

A person carrying lots of shopping bags
Article

Is there a market for your new product or service?

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Spotting a gap in the market is only part of the battle: taking it successfully to market presents a far bigger challenge. Find out how it's done.

Smiling customer hands over credit card at his local cafe
Article

Know your customers better

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Creating a loyal band of customers through good service is a great achievement, but you've got to keep working at your relationship. Find out how.

Lots of segments of orange
Article

Make customer segmentation work

Reaching potential buyers with a targeted message at the right time is key to maintain sales growth. Make sure you identify who spends what when.

Man speaking to his marketing employees in a meeting room and managing them
Article

Managing marketing employees

As a business owner you have a vital role in leading the marketing effort and maximising the effectiveness of your sales and marketing team.

Diverse group of male and female business people
Article

Marketing and sales recruitment

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Marketing and sales recruitment is a vital part of building a solid marketing and sales team that can move your business to the next level.

Filing cabinet files with one labeled job description
Article

Marketing job description

How to write an effective marketing job description, outlining the key elements of the job and the knowledge, skills and attitude you're looking for.

Woman on the phone while using her laptop to talk to a customer in her ecommerce store
Article

Marketing your ecommerce store

Chris Barling shares eighteen valuable tips for attracting visitors to your ecommerce website and maximising your sales potential online.

Yellow scrunched up pieces of paper on a white background representing lightbulbs
FAQs

New product development FAQs

Apart from a good idea, what do you need for successful development of a new product? These FAQs talk through the process from strategy to prototype.

Woman writing on a package with other packaging in the background
FAQs

Packaging FAQs

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Everything on choosing and sourcing the right packaging, passing on the costs to your customers and finding your way through the regulations.

FAQs

Planning your marketing FAQs

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Profitable marketing for small businesses means identifying gaps in the market missed by mass providers. These FAQs can help you get it right.

Article

PR on a shoestring

Do you shy away from PR because you don't have a big budget? PR can be done on a shoestring and small steps can bring big rewards.

Male hand holding blank business card to another male hand
Article

Protecting trading names and brands

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Find out how you can stop others from damaging your business by registering or using the same or similar names or brands to yours.

Article

Q&A: Sharpen up your sales force

Andy Preston of sales performance training company Outstanding Results explains how training can help you improve the performance of your sales team.

Article

Q&A: The Bribery Act and your business

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Although The Bribery Act has most impact on businesses which trade overseas, it could mean you need to change the way you do business.

Should you pay for an intern? - Photocopier
Article

Should you pay for an intern?

For business owners in need of an extra pair of hands, the prospect of cheap, or even free, labour, can be very enticing. But what does the law say?

Blue euro notes
Article

Six tips for selling overseas from your website

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 If you have an online business, the world could be your oyster. But there are some definite pros and cons when it comes to selling overseas.

Article

Spotting gaps in your market

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Every business needs to stay fresh to be competitive. This may mean regularly refreshing your products or coming up with an entirely new offer.

Grayscale photo of people during marathon competition
Article

Ten ways to keep ahead of the competition

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Whenever consumer spending slows down, you need to defend your market position to keep your competitive advantage. Here's how to stay ahead.

Marketing to overseas visitors - British seaside
Article

Ten ways to market your business to overseas visitors

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 The statement “made in Britain” carries a lot of kudos with some overseas customers. So how can you cash in on that positive association?

Article

What's your personal brand?

People don't only have perceptions about products, services and organisations - they also develop perceptions about the people they meet.

Benchmark your business{{}}
Article

Why benchmark your business?

Rather than being a pointless exercise in data analysis, benchmarking can help you to identify areas where you can make changes and make your firm more profitable.

Article

Why it pays to profile your customers

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 Understanding your customers is the secret of successful selling. The more you know about them, the easier it can be to increase their spending.

Research your export markets
Article

Research your export markets

It's essential to carry out thorough research before you start exporting, to avoid costly mistakes and boost your chances of success. Our guide.

Planning your PR - checklist
Article

Planning your PR - checklist

宝贝求我我就停下来,你快一点好不好我快要到了 PR activities can help spread the word about your business for little money. This checklist explains how to promote your business through the press.

FAQs

Pricing FAQs

Need-to-know answers to ten questions frequently asked by small-business owners when they need to set prices for their products or services.

Don't compete on price
Article

Don't compete on price

Competing on price threatens your margins and your reputation. Ben Dyer explains why small business owners should avoid price-cutting.