The words and actions associated with marketing can sometimes feel manipulative, false or exaggerated to small business owners.
Some may even see themselves as selling out by adopting certain marketing strategies which whilst effective, can leave them feel slightly ‘icky’ inside. Marketing in itself is not a bad thing – after all, how else can you raise awareness and sales if customers do not know what you have to offer?
However, what some small business owners may struggle with is how to sell in such a way that they are neither overpromising nor misleading customers, while at the same time remaining true to themselves and doing what is in the best interests of the business.
One could argue that it comes down to values. As a small business owner, knowing what beliefs or ideas you hold important and are not willing to compromise can be useful in navigating the ethical dilemmas posed by some marketing strategies. Feeling confident and enthusiastic about yourself and the product or service on offer is a crucial element of that.
Understanding your customers and their values (and tolerance thresholds) is the other half of the equation. This requires small business owners to see their customers as more than just ‘cash cows’ but human beings whose core values, if recognized and respected, can result in a mutually beneficial relationship. Examples of these values include love for family, physical health and fitness, and having the freedom to express their individuality.
The more closely the product or service matches these values, the greater the likelihood it will be purchased. Small business owners can empower themselves by researching or attending courses on marketing psychology and behavioral psychology.
Post By: Fadzai Munyaradzi