There are five other very important sectors.

You CAN market your business on a budget and reap huge rewards. But even if you are a big business the simple tips revealed here will make a huge difference.

Many business owners actively market to their customers. But there are five other markets you must also include in your marketing mix. This concept is taught as part of the University Master of Marketing degree, but I have simplified it here for use by any business owner or manager.

To give you the greatest chance of success, there are six elements that must be included in any marketing plan. I have called it CRISSE because it is an easy to remember acronym.

In every marketing plan, include communication tactics with people in these six categories







Customers. Most businesses focus on customers and clients but there are five other areas that can greatly increase your market share and public profile.

Referrers. These are people who can refer business to you. Current and past customers, friends, networking affiliates, and so on. Market to them and ask them for their support in referring business to you.

Influencers. An influencer may not be a customer, they may never have used your business, but they can influence feelings about your business, because people listen to their opinions. They could be your local Mayor or President of the Chamber of Commerce. Market yourself and your business to them in a positive manner.

Suppliers. This is possibly the most under-utilized segment. Suppliers interact with you regularly and have the capacity to refer and influence business. Do not see this segment as JUST a supplier see them as a partner in promoting your business.

Society. If you work in the community, support charities, or have a philanthropic role, then market that as a positive component of your business. Do not brag, but allow this part of your business to be a marketing tactic. Many customers and potential customers, will value a business that cares about its community.

Employees. Your BEST ambassadors. Treat your staff as valued and empowered people. Share your appropriate fears and your dreams with them. Tell them and show them how they can help you, and they will take that message far and wide. Treat them badly and they will take THAT message far and wide too.

Advertising is NOT marketing. It is only one small tactic of a competent and wide-reaching marketing plan. When a business owner or manager starts to think about MARKETING their business not simply advertising it, then they are seeing the bigger picture. Review your marketing tactics and ensure that each of the six CRISSE sectors is included. You will find that marketing tactics can be easier to identify and implement, and be much more cost-effective, than only marketing to customers and potential customers.

Penelope Herbert is a marketing and public relations business owner with over 20 years experience in television & print media, marketing planning, brand management and PR. She has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and North America.

Her agency, Hot Pepper, provides services to corporate business-to-business clients. Her latest on-line business, Underdog Marketing Challenge, is a state-of-the-art, on-line skills development platform offering a 12-step mentored marketing program for business owners, managers, start-ups, marketers and comunications students.