Today we’re sharing what we call “ideas to steal”. They are all real-life ideas from successful businesses — action steps you can pick up and run with right away.

Favor product and audience knowledge over traditional marketing skills
Growing your business in 2017 should be a mix of traditional marketing, direct marketing, and business and product development—all in one. Because small businesses don’t have the budget to hire PR and marketing firms, they have to do all of these things in house. Your small business also doesn’t have the luxury of thinking about the same things traditional marketers do or spending those types of budgets. It’s not about traditional marketing skills. It’s about people who know your product and audience better than anyone else.

Focus first on acquiring customers. Then make the product addictive.
Focus on acquiring users, first and foremost, because that’s what a you needs to get investors. It’s about trackable and scalable growth. It’s all a startup or small business can and should focus on. Instead of putting all of your energy into traditional marketing avenues that a Fortune 500 company would invest in, like pitching media and running ads, use that money and time to add value to your product.

The best thing a company can do is make their product more addictive and add social sharing or virality into the experience.

Be like Facebook: Evolve.
It’s all about getting and keeping customers. If they’re coming in the front door and leaving through the back door, that’s bad marketing. Keep reviewing what keeps your business interesting for them and evolve it on those lines. Keep it fresh and interesting.

And finally remember – don’t do it all. Do one thing well. If a company helps customers do something better, the brand and community come together easily. To make this happen, companies need to be intentional and deliberate. Focus on that one platform and hit it out of the park there.

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