Everyone wants to know the most effective marketing strategy for small business, particularly in Hawaii where there is a lot of competition and most small businesses have a limited marketing budget that they don’t want to see go to waste.

However, the reality is there is no silver bullet that works for everyone. Just as each local business is unique, the best marketing methods to implement will be different for each small business. In fact marketing for hospitality and tourism in Hawaii is quite different than marketing even similar businesses on the mainland if not sheerly because of the differences in geography.

The most profitable marketing strategies for small business are determined by:

  • What marketing tactics they’re already using
  • Human and other resources available
  • Timetable requirements
  • The length, arc and nature of the customer’s relationship with the company (also known as the customer life cycle)

So how does a small business in Hawaii develop a winning marketing strategy in the tourism industry? By taking the time to answer these four questions, or hiring a professional marketing consultant to assist you: Learn more about my approach to helping small businesses.

What Is Working and What Is Not?

When determining whether marketing efforts you are actively engaged in are effective or not, it’s important to first distinguish a marketing strategy from a marketing tactic. Search engine optimization (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing are all tactics. A strategy is a strategically developed plan for how to achieve a well-defined and timebound goal.

Many clients come to me with the impression that a specific marketing tactic just doesn’t work for their business after having tried it unsuccessfully, when in fact it’s not the tactic itself that was the problem, but rather the way it was used.

For example, it’s not uncommon for small businesses in Hawaii or elsewhere to lose money with Google Ads (formerly adWords) on their first try. Nine times out of ten, their keyword strategy is too broad, they’re using the wrong bidding strategy and they don’t even have conversion tracking set up properly. This does not mean that PPC is an ineffective tactic. It means the strategy was unsuccessful.

Finding the best marketing strategy starts with a thorough analysis of your current or recent strategies. This is called an audit. You can do this yourself or you can hire a professional marketing consultant to do it for you: See my services and pricing here.

What Resources Can You Leverage?

Your budget may be limited, but tapping into other intangible assets or resources could help extend your budget. You may have partnerships with other businesses that could add value to an offer, a physical asset that could drive online sales or existing employees may have skills that aren’t required for their current position but that could help you avoid hiring someone new. With the right strategy in place and proper guidance, leveraging all available resources can give a small business big marketing advantages.

They key to successfully leveraging your resources is knowing how they can be used to achieve your goals. Simply asking an employee to write blog articles or post on social media won’t likely produce a desirable outcome. Hiring a professional marketing consultant can ensure that the steps you take are the most likely to produce the most favorable results: Learn more about my marketing solutions for local Hawaii businesses.

How Will the Duration of Execution Impact Its Success?

It’s easy for business owners to think about how much they want to grow their business, but it’s important to understand how those aspirations fit within the context of the company’s limitations.

As Ben Franklin understood, time is money. His famous quote equates time lost to money lost. The other side of this is that other people’s time may cost even more and you may not have the budget or resources to effectively execute a particular strategy. Even when maximizing your marketing capability, there’s only so much you can do with what you’ve got and you may just miss the boat if your aim is inappropriate.

A good example of this is when tourism businesses don’t calculate the seasonal ebb and flow of business in Hawaii when developing their marketing plans. It’s important to be realistic about what you can do and when in order to excel where you put your effort and avoid falling short of the competition.

A marketing consultant can help you identify what expectations are realistic for your business. Read some of my success stories.

What Makes Sense for Your Customers and Your Business?

So much of the marketing advice online overlooks the fact that the cycle a customer goes through varies enormously between industries and businesses. Customers of hospitality and tourism businesses in Hawaii don’t have the typical life cycle that many of these marketing guides assume.

A successful marketing strategy will consider how much of a company’s revenue is from repeat business, how long it takes for a prospect to become a customer and other factors relating to the way they interact and the relationship they have with the business.

A professional marketing consultant has the experience and knowledge needed to understand and consider these complexities between the customer and the business.

If you want to work with a professional in Maui who will focus on helping you reach your marketing goals and make the best use of your limited resources, I’d love to discuss what that means for your business. I can help you identify where changes need to be made and then help you take the steps to make them, including developing a new marketing strategy if that’s what will lead to the desired results.

Contact me to schedule a free consultation