Tips for small business marketing in 2017.By Jane Laswell, Creative Director

Big corporations become well known by their strategic advertising, smart branding, and strong logo design. So what happens when small businesses enter the market with equally strong branding, but perhaps a little less reach, budget, or resources? Here we take a look at several areas in which small business can’t compete directly, but can make a tactical impact.


Large corporations have the financial power to reach larger audiences with multi-layered marketing campaigns that span multiple mass media channels. While small businesses can’t compete with the big bucks, they do have the means to reach their audiences with smaller-budget efforts and even word-of-mouth efforts such as forums, social media, and smart referral campaigns. It’s not always a budget battle; smart targeting requires less money than blanket marketing, maximizing your budget.


The availability of quality stock photo sources has increased substantially in recent years. It’s not just large ad agencies that have access to compelling art—anyone can visit websites like iStock Photo or Shutterstock to purchase captivating photos, illustrations, and video. What does this mean for small business? A good look won’t cost you an arm and a leg as long as you’ve got a smart designer that can compose your collateral and advertising cleanly and in the best reflection of your brand.


Big companies have the ability to perform market research, allowing them to make wiser and more direct decisions. Small businesses have the power to listen to end users on a more intimate level. Being in tune to your surroundings goes a long way when you’re trying to develop that stronger brand and content that will propel you forward. Applying the information picked up in day-to-day interactions to your messaging will easily translate to the customer—because it came directly from them!

Our Suggestion

So how does the small business owner win? How does Pat from down the street bring ideas to market and beat out the big guys—without going on Shark Tank? 

At Imbue, we always suggest getting your feet wet in a controlled setting and learning to test your message before diving in completely. Once message and core branding is established, look at feasible opportunities. There is an abundance of places for a small business to gain traction where large companies can’t, it’s just about identifying the best ones for your business and your audience.