Marketing Tactics and Strategies that Grow Small Businesses

Your Must Have SMB Marketing Basics Pricing Guide for 2023

marketing fundamentals small business marketing Feb 24, 2023
small business owner filling orders

Stop looking longingly at large brands, like McDonald’s, Eddie Bauer, and Google, instead focus on the SMB marketing basics that can move your business forward. 

You’re not a huge brand so why are you trying to market like one? This SMB Marketing Basics Pricing Guide will walk you through the 4P’s of marketing and then give you examples of how you can implement some marketing tactics and what pricing you can expect for each of these investments. 


What is SMB marketing? What does SMB stand for in marketing?

Straight away SMB marketing stands for Small- & Medium-sized Business marketing. There are various organizations that identify what is considered a small or medium size business. In fact, the Small Business Association (SBA), Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) all have different definitions of what a small business is. 

I’m not going to dive into those in this article, but what you need to know is that if you’re not a big business (corporation) or a not-for-profit organization (Non-profit) you’re business is more than likely an SMB. 

So it only makes sense that you should be implementing marketing campaigns and tactics that align with your budget, goals, resources, and knowledge. Imagine taking out a Superbowl ad for your local town bakery?! That wouldn’t have a huge return on your investment because the 4 P’s would be misaligned for your firm's SMB marketing. 


What are the 4 basics of marketing?

By now you might be wondering what are the 4 basics of SMB marketing. Well, the marketing basics or fundamentals of marketing are the same no matter what size business you own.  Sometimes called the marketing basics, the four principles of marketing, marketing fundaments or …the 4 P’s or the marketing mix. The 4 P’s are:

  • Product 
  • Price
  • Place 
  • Promotion

And its origin can be traced back to a professor in the 1940s at Harvard University.


Marketing Basics: The 4 P’s

What does product mean in marketing?

A product in marketing means any product (or service) you sell to service your customer's need or want. Products can be tangible products or intangible products-services. Some examples of tangible products are cars, jeans, flowers, and coffee. Intangible product examples include education, haircuts, medical services, and tax accounts. 


Marketing Basics: Product (or Service)

Depending on what product or service you’re looking to sell in your business the pricing can vary dramatically. Consider a new RX prescription - the cost of this product is very high and includes things like product R & D, testing, etc. 

It sometimes makes more sense to consider starting your business service or low-cost product. Now doing this depends on what your ultimate goals are and what industry your business falls under, if you’ll require trademarks or copyrights, health, and safety reviews and concerns, etc. 


Marketing Basics: Price

Simply stated, price is the amount of money a consumer is willing to pay for a product or service. This price is linked to the real and perceived value of the item or service and takes into account supply and demand, supply chain issues, seasonal discounts, retail markup, and competitors' pricing. 


Marketing Basics: Place

Place talks about where your clients find your product or service. In today’s world many times we find what we are looking for online through a variety of devices - computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. But some products or services can only be purchased by working with a salesperson, owner, or service provider. Still many of us still find ourselves shopping in retail stores. 

To optimize your SMB marketing basics strategy you want to look at all four of the 4 P’s and be sure they are positioned well for your overall strategic marketing mix and other offerings. 

When I was an adjunct instructor at Central Connecticut State University, I use to explain Price and Place this way:

Say I’m selling a bottle of water and I’m out on campus trying to sell it for $1,000 will someone on campus buy that bottle of water from me for $1K? It’s unlikely, right? Now, take that same bottle of water and pretend I’m deep in the desert and there is nothing else around. That same bottle of water now seems very reasonably priced. If I’m thirsty, I may very well be willing to pay for that water and if you’re the only store selling that water in the desert, you can be sure I’m going to buy it from you. 


Marketing Basics: Promotion

Promotion is a marketing tool used by a seller to communicate with the buyer. It’s a specific and thoughtful action that reaches the target audience for that specific product. Promotion is most often thought of as advertising, but it can also come in the form of education, campaigns, press, etc. 


SMB Marketing Bascis Pricing Guide by Kristyn Neal

SMB Marketing Basic Pricing Guide

For small businesses not all marketing tactics make sense. Here we have outlined the top five we believe every small business should consider. 



A form of endorsement or social proof that customers provide about your brand, business, or service. This doesn’t need to come from a famous person or influencer and should be authentic.

Common content types:

  • Social media 
  • Google Reviews
  • Home page testimonials
  • Video testimonials

With the exception of paying someone to put this on your website or if your going to run a social media advertising campaign this tactic is free to a few hundred dollars to implement. Price $0- $300

2) Personalized Email Marketing

Email marketing done well is still a very effective way of marketing to your list. Most clients I work with tell me that every time they send an email they have new bookings/sales.

To be more effective it’s important to personalize your email marketing to the audience or person. You can do this by using the personalization feature available on my email marketing tools or by segmenting your list based on your clients interests.

For example, if you sell items for pets you may segment them by dog owners, cat owners, and dog and cat owners. Doing this ensures that the right content is getting in front of the right potential consumers. It also makes the receiver feel like you understand them. 

Typically email marketing tools are priced based on the number of contacts. For small lists, you may be able to start with a free or low-cost plan. If your business has a large number of contacts then the service provider may cost you several hundred dollars a month. While you can DYI your email marketing you may also choose to have this service completed through an agency. Depending on your package/number of emails you want to send this also varies in price. 


  • Newsletters
  • Blog post emails
  • Behavior-driven emails

At a minimum to do DYI email marketing expect to spend $0-$350/month. With an agency, the average price of email marketing is an additional $300-$500 and scales with the volume of emails and list size. Larger businesses could spend $2k - $10k/month on email marketing. 


  • DYI - $0 - $350
  •  Agency $300-$900 (Average for small businesses) 


3) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) 

With Email Marketing still being a powerhouse, there is a huge benefit in converting website or social media visitors onto your email list. Small businesses can do things by looking at the three tactics below and making sure each one of these is converting well. 


  • Ad
  • Landing Page
  • Optimized Lead Magnets 

To improve your CRO you may choose to run an ad, revisit the wording on your landing page, or make changes to your lead magnet. 

Because each of these is a very different approach, it makes sense to identify your budget and work backward to accomplish the highest possible conversion rates. That is if your lead magnet is not interesting to your website visitor it doesn’t matter what you put on your landing page. And you won’t want to spend your budget optimizing your Facebook ad if the landing page doesn’t compel the reader to take action. 

As with most of the five points listed in this SMB Marketing Basic article, you may choose to DYI these tactics. Doing so will keep your budget down, but it does require time. 

If time is of the essence to you then consider hiring a content marketing company to create the lead magnet, a copywriter for the landing page, and a social media ad specialist to promote it through Facebook or Instagram or other social media ads. 


  • A written lead magnet - flyer or ebook ranges from $200 - several thousand dollars. 
  • For a micro video course - expect to invest $1k -$2K at a minimum. 
  • And for landing page copywriting you’ll likely pay between $400- $600
  • Finally, for social media ads, you’ll pay an expert (depending on scope) several hundred to several thousand dollars. 

Still, the majority of this approach is a one-time investment that when done properly will generate email list-building leads for years to come. 


4) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

SEO is the process of developing content and updating website parameters to help those searching for specific information on the internet to naturally find your content. If you are versed in SEO and website development you can do this at no additional cost when you DYI your website. 


  • Webpages
  • Infographics
  • Blog posts

The thing that you have to understand about SEO is that it’s a moving target and requires you or your marketing team to stay on top of it throughout the year. 


According to WebFX, “Most SEO projects in 2023 cost between $1500-$5,000 per month based on the project scope. A one-time project will range between $5,000-$30,000 and hourly rates for consultants fall between $100-$300 per hour.”

If you do choose to DYI your SEO, you might consider a tool like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz to help you navigate your impact and outcomes. 


5) Guesting 

When you provide content, make appearances, or blog posts to other sources to reach your target audience. 

These tactics work well for service-oriented small business owners who have some knowledge to share and are willing to spend their time broadening their visibility and becoming known as an expert in their field. 


  • Guest Blog Posts
  • Podcasts
  • Speaking Engagements


Many times you can find places to provide a guest blog post or be on a podcast at no charge. The time spent researching these opportunities by your or your team is often a good exchange for the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise to a new audience that is aligned with your business. 

Speaking Engagement come in a variety of different forms and have similar results. You may pay a fee to be a presenter at a conference or workshop. These fees can range based on the size of the audience and the amount of time you’ll be speaking. Typically, panelist speaking engagements are the least expensive.

Additionally, you might be able to speak for free at some conferences or be paid to speak. These typically depend on your level of expertise, speaking experience, and influence in the industry. 

Guesting Marketing can range from $0 to thousands of dollars, and sometimes paid engagements and offer social proof about your knowledge and experience. 

When considering which marketing basics you want to include in your SMB marketing plan consider your budget and your implementation factors. Who will coordinate or organize, oversee, and execute? One or two tactics done well will likely result in better outcomes than five or six executed at half-throttle.