Previously on our blog, we discussed the importance of finding the right balance between tradition and innovation when planning your holiday marketing and advertising strategies. The holidays are a crucial time for many small businesses, but retailers are especially vulnerable during what can be a “make it or break it” season of sales.

The Right Balance Is Key

There are no “do overs” when it comes to holiday marketing. Your small business must get it right the first time or you risk losing crucial sales to your competition and damaging your reputation with consumers at a time when they are motivated to buy. Holiday marketing and advertising initiatives can be extreme examples, but continually striving to find the right balance is vitally important throughout the entire year, not just during your busiest or most important season. What can you do to ensure that your marketing initiatives are in balance and effectively working for your small business?

The Dual Meaning of Balanced Marketing

When entrepreneurs and small business owners think of the term “balanced marketing,” they likely believe it applies to the more traditional concept of finding the right balance between different advertising and marketing platforms and how to best allocate their marketing budget to reach their target market. Unfortunately, many believe that the success or failure of a marketing and advertising initiative primarily hinges on this form of balance, and if a marketing or advertising campaign is not effective, then the platform or services should be reconsidered.

Tradition vs. Innovation

There is a second form of “balance” that has an equal, if not stronger, influence over the success or failure of a marketing and advertising initiative: the balance between launching a more traditional and conservative campaign over one that is non-traditional, innovative and/or progressive. There are many factors that may determine the right balance, including your target market, your industry, and the physical location of your business. If your marketing initiative is too traditional and conservative, you run the risk of failing to stand out from the crowd. At the same time, non-traditional marketing can be viewed unfavorably by existing and potential customers or even found to be distasteful or offensive.

Communicating With Your Customers Is Key

A distinct disadvantage that small businesses have over their larger competitors is access to research and resources. Large companies can quickly and accurately determine whether or not a marketing or advertising campaign is effective through advanced analytics and market research, while smaller businesses often have to make due with less accurate and more old-fashioned forms of customer polling. Talk to your customers as much as possible and continually ask their opinions of your latest marketing or advertising campaign. If they haven’t noticed your advertising or marketing, it may be time to develop and launch a more innovative campaign. If they do recall your campaign in a negative light, or express their preference for an older, more traditional campaign you may have launched in the past, then it may be time to change your advertising or marketing to be more traditional and conservative.

Accept All The Feedback That You Get

The key to successfully fine-tuning your marketing and advertising is communicating with and accepting feedback from your customers. If you do not have an opportunity to speak one-on-one or if you do not have the tools in place to poll your customers for their reactions, then you won’t have a deep understanding of the effectiveness and popularity of your marketing and advertising initiatives.