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3 Practical Small Business Marketing Tips

Friendly Butcher Small Business Tips

Marketing your small business does not have to be expensive or difficult. In fact, we noticed through our work with The Friendly Butcher that it’s usually the small and practical changes that make all the difference. In celebration of Small Business Week, and to follow up on our 3 Steps To Transform Any Small Business post, here are three practical small business marketing tips to reach the customers you want.

1. Become an established expert in your business niche.

Small businesses that compete solely on price or quality aren’t sustainable. However, becoming an established expert in a niche eliminates a handful of competitors and focuses your marketing efforts on customers. That focus will convert browsers into customers. The Business Development Bank of Canada identified that more Canadians are buying local and searching online for the health impact of foods they consume, so this was the perfect opportunity to extend our marketing reach.

The Friendly Butcher’s challenge: “We needed to let more people know about our niche of healthy, ethically raised and family friendly meat. This means reaching out to people that are searching online, customers browsing in-store, and people in the community.”

What Retail Category Consultants did: We suggested featuring healthy recipe ideas and nutrition information on their website and product packages. A cheat sheet was created to guide the experienced staff in their promotional efforts, such as educating customers about where the produce is sourced from or suggesting healthier (and tastier) ways of preparing meat. Banners and in-store signage were used to encourage customers to learn more about the benefits of buying local.

How did this make The Friendly Butcher stand out?
“Our customers were more engaged when they walked in our stores. Through simple merchandising changes and reminders about how The Friendly Butcher was helping the Yonge Lawrence Village satiate their craving for quality products, we’ve become recognized for not just understanding our customer’s shopping needs, but also their health-conscious lifestyles as well.”

2. Have a consistent brand image across all marketing platforms.

Your website, social media accounts, business cards and in-store displays must communicate a consistent brand image to stand out and keep your marketing campaign on track. With many traditional and digital marketing channels at your disposal, the challenge for small businesses is not so much the availability of resources as it is crafting relevant and on-brand messages.

The Friendly Butcher’s challenge: “While our competitors offered similar products, we stood out because of our friendly customer service. It’s fun to shop at the Friendly Butcher, and we needed to communicate this key differentiation consistently in our online and offline marketing channels.”

What Retail Category Consultants did: We created a marketing plan that united their website, social media accounts, and in-store displays under their brand essence of “Fun, healthy, and delicious meats.” A quarterly merchandising plan was drafted to correlate in-store promotions with featured content on the website and social media accounts. While Ken was the face of The Friendly Butcher, we also featured the expertise of the staff, such as the in-house chef’s monthly favourites and Donna’s recipes.

How did this make The Friendly Butcher stand out?
“The marketing plan made it quick and easy for us to craft our messages. We could focus on telling our message in a fun way rather than trying to determine the message. Time is our scarcest resource, this helped us be more productive.”

“By putting our people and personality out there, we reinforced our fun and friendly customer service along with our quality products. Having a consistent brand message clarified all marketing messages and established processes that made promoting specials in-store and online easier.”

3. Get your small business listed in Google+ Local Pages.

A Google+ Local page is an inexpensive and effective way of directing local customers to your business. Google takes data from telephone listings, local and online business directories, and combines them into a single listing that appears on the highly visible right side of a Google search page. There’s an added bonus to having a Google+ Local page: the customer testimonials.

The Friendly Butcher’s challenge: “We had already received good reviews on Yelp.ca, but more is always better. It all comes down to transparency and quality of service. If we do a good job, the reviews will reveal this and help turn online browsers into satisfied customers.”

What Retail Category Consultants did: A marketing plan built on consistent and planned branding, social media and in-store messaging sets the foundation for accumulating reviews that are helpful and trustworthy. We observed customers in-store to understand customers and found opportunities to improve loyalty through service and offerings. We also recommended uploading more photos of the store and the people behind the counter.

How did this make The Friendly Butcher stand out?
“Regular and targeted website and social media updates ensure that The Friendly Butcher becomes more visible on Google, which is an important driver of traffic. By understanding more about our customers and what they’re looking for in a butcher shop, we form better relationships, are better able to satisfy our customers with our in-store offerings and pave the road to a more positive online reputation—without spending a penny.”

To learn more about how we can help your retail business achieve success, visit our retail services page or contact us for further information.