Marketing Guide for Small Business in 2021

In this guide, we have assimilated ideas and concepts of marketing to kick off or supplement your marketing plan for 2021. This article will be useful for start-ups, mom & pop family businesses, and small enterprises in general.

Let’s start with the fundamentals of marketing.

What is marketing? Many times, people think it is all about advertisements, or selling or promotions, or meeting customer’s demands.

Well, marketing is all of these those and more.

Marketing is a science and is not based on creativity. Marketing in simple terms is identifying the needs of the customers and fulfilling them profitably.

Marketing therefore should begin even before a product is made.

Marketing starts before creating a product, understanding the customer and customer needs, which leads to creating a product that fits and deliver value.

You can try to fulfill the met needs or unmet needs of the customers profitably. Trying to meet the unmet needs of the customers differentiates a company from being good to great. A great product always sells itself.

If you are a small business, trying to compete with the big retail brands, make sure you have a unique angle to it.

Promote what is unique and make your customers your brand ambassadors. There is no better marketing channel than “word of mouth”.

Running a successful business is not just about choosing the right segment or a high-quality product. It is also about choosing the right marketing technique to send the right message to the right audience at the right time.

You can use traditional or digital marketing techniques or a combination to promote your business. Let’s see the difference and which strategy can help you get more business in 2021.

Traditional marketing is not new, and we have been exposed to it at one point or the other. This a conventional mode of marketing which is offline and semi-targeted using platforms like

· Print (Newspaper, Magazines, etc)

· Broadcast (TV, Radio)

· Direct Mail (Catalogues, postcards)

· Telephone (Telemarketing)

· Outdoor (Billboards)

· Point of sales display

If your product is generic with a very wide audience to target, then traditional platforms will be cost-effective.

Sponsoring or participating in local events is also essential for local mom and pop shops to get noticed. Customers are more likely to shop locally when they perceive that you are contributing to the community.

Before investing in traditional marketing methods, it is worthwhile to understand the disadvantages of it.

Traditional marketing offers little or no interaction with your audience and it is difficult to get feedback.

It is costly and tough to measure the Return on Investment.

For many businesses, the conversion ratio is also poor.

The year 2020 saw the biggest pace of customers shifting from offline to online shopping. Therefore, it makes more sense to focus your budget to have a presence where your audience frequent most.

Digital marketing is targeted, measurable and interactive marketing of products and services using digital technologies.

Marketing is done mainly on the internet but also mobile phones, digital display ads, or any other digital medium. This is done through

· Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

· Google Analytics

· Search Engine Marketing SEM (Pay Per Click ads on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc)

· Social Media Marketing SMM (Ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube)

· Email Marketing

· Messenger Marketing (Chatbot Marketing)

· Video Marketing (YouTube or Facebook)

· Affiliate Marketing

More and more people are going digital these days, not only sometimes digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing, but it also is a more direct way to connect your target audiences globally.

Disadvantages of traditional marketing however exist. It depends on technology and sometimes technology breaks.

We are also seeing unsecured social media accounts of small businesses being attacked for ransom. Customers sometimes fear about the security of their private information.

As we have now seen a lot of information on both the methods, which one is better? Which one could work better for you? Can they work together?

Of course, some businesses may benefit from going one way or the other, but for most, both methods can thrive harmoniously.

To grow your business exponentially we have to rethink our marketing funnels. CATT marketing funnel is a powerful framework introduced by India’s top digital marketer Digital Deepak.

C — Content

A — Attention

T — Trust

T — Transaction

The crux of this framework is that your success and the wealth you can amass depends on the niche you choose. Niche is a mix of Passion, Talent, and Market opportunity.

To make wealth, we need more Transactions. For this, we will need the customers to Trust us. To gain trust we need to get their Attention through the various Content created by us.


Create high-quality content that attracts people from your niche. It is very important to regularly communicate with your customers to understand their needs. Only then it will be possible to create useful content.

You can use various channels to publish your content including YouTube for video marketing, website blogs, Facebook and Instagram posts, Quora, LinkedIn, or Twitter.


Content marketing is the best way to get attention by driving traffic to your website. For this, we need to do SEO (both On-page and Off-Page) of your websites, Paid ads on Social Media and Search Engines, Affiliate Marketing, etc.


Small business owners spend a lifetime building their business. In 2021 and beyond, Trust and performance are what are going to determine your success. There are various methods to achieve this.

· Have a professional-looking and secured website.

· As building trust takes time, have patience. Consistency is the key. Engage with your potential customers regularly through marketing automation tools

· Make sure to segment customers based on their needs and do personalized marketing. This is called deep marketing.

· Develop trust with Social proof (Testimonials and Reviews)

· Try to sell smaller value products and gain their trust.

· Retarget those customers to sell a higher value product using paid ads through social media.

· Avoid negative reviews by providing excellent customer service and deliver on your promises.


The transaction is the most important part of this framework. Once your customers trust you, it becomes easier to get sales. However, you do need some triggers to make the sales happen.

One of those triggers is making a good offer.

C.A.T.T is a framework on how a customer goes through all the stages of marketing.

Next is we will summarize this with the help of Integrated digital marketing which will help you to execute your strategy.

Integrated Digital Marketing

One has to combine all the aspects of a brand into one seamless experience for a customer, from advertising to social media. This is has become a necessity in 2021, more than ever.

The idea behind integrated digital marketing is that, while each strategy doesn’t have a huge impact on its own, when used in conjunction, you can create a more influential online presence.

Integrated digital marketing creates a consistent message to your customers, makes marketing strategies more effective, and saves money with faster ROI.

Personal Branding: MassTrust Blueprint

One powerful strategy that small business owners could try is to create a personal brand.

People generally want to hear from a person, not from brands.

It gives you authenticity and gives you an edge over your competition in social media.

Personal branding makes it relatable, boosts likeability, and trustworthiness.

Digital Deepak has coined the term name MassTrust for building a personal brand.

This is a six-step evolution process.

Learn and practice a new skill. If you are already skilled at something, improve it further.

Every learning can be shared with your audience by blogging on your website. When you write you learn better, you connect with your audience and simultaneously you are building a personal brand.

Once you have a personal brand, you can start consulting.

You can also mentor others who want to become like you.

You can then create your new startup with new products and services with the understanding you have gained.

Personal branding thus creates trust with your audience and sets the foundations for your future.


2021 is the year for small businesses to bloom like never before.

By using the marketing strategies we have provided here, you will emerge stronger sooner than you think.

Best wishes.

If you liked what you read so far, please leave a comment below.

This article was written as part of the internship program by Digital Deepak