Why a social media marketing strategy is important for small businesses – The Media Online

November 10, 2022

Image: The Art of War & Other Classics of Eastern Philosophy
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory and tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat,” wrote Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist and philosopher.
Strategy is simply defined as a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term objective or goal. It has also been coined as the art of planning and directing an overall military operation in a battle or war. One always assumes that all businesses or brands whether big or small do have long-term goals to succeed sustainably.
So, when Tzu wrote in his book The Art of War more than 2500 years ago, long before digital marketing and traditional marketing, he was reminding current and future generations that those who run their businesses with a well-crafted marketing strategy will always have a competitive advantage.
Whether we accept it or not the business environment is a battlefield where only the strongest  and smartest will survive. Those who run their businesses with a well-crafted marketing strategy will always have a competitive advantage.
It is a well-documented fact that marketing your brand without a strategy is like driving in a foreign country without a map. I have likened it to selling electric gadgets to an informal settlement with no electricity supply.
Before the advent of Digital Marketing, traditional marketing ruled. Traditional marketing has simply been defined as any type of marketing that is not online including print, outdoor, direct marketing, and face to face marketing. To some extent even radio and television has gone digital.
For corporate marketing, brand managers utilized their advertising, communications, and media agencies to assist with the development and implementation of marketing campaigns.
Small businesses struggled as they lacked resources to fully utilize traditional marketing.
Digital marketing uses the internet and online based technologies and digital platforms to promote products and services. The most popular component of digital marketing is social media marketing which uses social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and many more.
Today social media marketing campaigns have become prevalent, and many small businesses now have access to this new channel. If one owns a smart phone and one has access to the internet everybody becomes a marketing or brand manager for their own businesses. Most if not all small businesses and sole entrepreneurs are using some form of social media to promote their products and services and to reach their potential customers and clients.
Or are our marketing campaigners just after “LIKES”?
No matter how small your business is, one still needs a comprehensive marketing strategy to gain competitive advantage. There are marketing strategists or consultants that can assist small business with marketing strategy and planning.
Pierce Brown, the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Red Rising Saga said, “Tactics win battles and Strategy wins wars”. Strategy should always precede tactics and the two should work hand in hand and any marketing action without a strategy will surely yield fruitless results.

Lebona Moleli is founder of The Marketing Kraal, an out of home media company, and Lesaka Marketing, a marketing consultancy based in Johannesburg.

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