Small-business marketing management is based on a set of principles that encompass tasks from planning to ad creation and long-term maintenance. These principles vary in specifics and are determined by the industry and target audience you deal with. While a good deal of small-business marketing management involves the creation of interest on the part of the consumer, it also involves ad creation and day-to-day operation of the marketing strategy.


Small-business marketing management requires a familiarity with specific target segments, what these consumers want and how to best reach them. There must be an understanding about what the message should be and why, and what the short- and long-term goals of advertising are for the company. Market research, competitor analysis and industry experience all feed into the development of market expertise and all are essential to the success of the marketing strategy and the company as a whole.


The development of marketing plans is a key part of small-business marketing management. Plans must address the marketing desires of each marketing partner or of the company itself and rely heavily on organization to manage the process. Plans outline the initiatives of each proposed campaign and state the cost to the customer versus the projected return on investment. Marketing plans are a key part of setting the schedule, announcing the marketing goals for the year and developing relationships with marketing partners that can lead to partial or full funding of the advertisements created.


Since small businesses typically do not have the resources for the mass campaigns that large corporations develop, creativity in advertising is an important principle. This is often the most interesting part of the marketing management process, since marketers will get to see their ideas slowly take shape and form tangible campaigns. The process often starts with a few ideas written on paper, followed by a meeting with graphic artists or outside creative companies. From here a back and forth of ideas and proofs lead up to the final result and distribution.


Once completed, each campaign initiative must be distributed. Distribution involves the placement of ads in publications, the delivery of recordings to TV and radio stations, the hiring of personnel to hand out fliers, the arrangement of proofs for glossy magazines and so on. Small-business marketing distribution requires practical skill and both financial and logistical efficiency. Relationships must be built and channels developed that provide quick and easy access to your target market segments as well as short turnaround times when new campaigns and promotions hit the market.


Small-business marketing management does not end with the release of new campaigns. Continual oversight of the progress of each campaign and adjustment is often required. For example, if you notice that your flier promotion initiative is no longer bringing the response that it used to, further analysis may be in order. Once the reason for the decline is determined, the promotion can be altered and redistributed to the consumer, after which a second round of analysis will reveal whether you are on the right track or not. Constant maintenance and adaptation is a principle of marketing management necessary to the continued success of any small business.