Marketing is vital to any business. It is what gets the word out to others that your business exists and the services your business offers to others. You may offer an excellent product or service, but if no one knows about it, then you will not have any customers. Marketing is how people get to know about it. Marketing is also about delivering value to your customers.
However, marketing is a lot more than simply promoting your product. In fact, a business should follow 7 key marketing functions:
- Marketing Information Management
- Product Management
Distribution and Your Business
When it comes to marketing, distribution refers to where you make your products available to your customers. Are you selling online? Or in brick and mortar stores? Or both? Depending on where you want to sell your products, your marketing activities will vary. If you are selling online, then you will want to advertise online using social media ads, etc. If you are selling in brick and mortar stores, you may want to market in local newspapers and magazines.
Financing and Your Business
In order to market your business and its services, you must have financing to pay for the marketing efforts. Setting up a good marketing plan should include how the marketing efforts will eventually pay for themselves. For instance, the marketing plan should show that spending money on Google ads will bring in a certain amount of revenue that should be higher than the initial ad spend.
Marketing Information Management
In order to properly market your business to your customers and prospects, you must know who your demographic is. Are they male or female? Are they Millennials or Baby Boomers? Where do they live? All of these questions are vital to developing a marketing strategy that converts. Once you know the answers to these questions, you have to maintain this information somewhere. That is where Marketing Information Management comes in. All research and data is kept up to date in order to make sure your marketing is as effective as possible.
Pricing and Your Business
If your price is out of the affordability range for your potential customers, they are not going to buy. Part of marketing your business is choosing prices that both appeal to your prospects and make you a good profit. Marketers must research and beta test pricing models to find what will work for your business. And remember, pricing should not stay stagnant; it should fluctuate with the market, to ensure you are still making a profit and your customers will still want to purchase your services and products.
Product Management and Your Business
Your products are the key to your business. What you are selling and offering your clients is what keeps your business afloat. A key aspect of marketing is managing those products: developing new products and adjusting current products to meet market fluctuations and client demand. If you stick with a single product that is decades old, your client base will dwindle and so will your income. You must stay on top of market trends.
Promotion and Your Business
Promotion is also called advertising. This is what most people think of when they think of marketing. Promotion is about keeping your business and services top of mind to your customer base. This is about informing, reminding, and persuading your customers to want to buy your products. Promotion can also be used to promote your business overall; that is, your company’s image. If you want your customers to identify with what your company stands for, this type of marketing is great for you.
Selling and Your Business
Selling is the main goal of any business owner. And selling is also the end goal of marketing. This is when you deliver on the value you promised your customer. When it comes to marketing, selling does not just mean taking customer’s money in exchange for your product, however. Selling also refers to the entire selling process. Is it done face to face? Over the phone? Over the internet? It is vital that every aspect of the selling process is outlined and researched to ensure the overall customer satisfaction, which in turn will increase the likelihood of customer retention.
Marketing Is Not Set in Stone
Remember that marketing will shift depending on what is going on in your market. If your client base is facing an economic downturn, make sure to lower your pricing and adjust your promotions to appeal to these factors. If your client base is facing an economic upturn, adjust your marketing efforts to reflect this as well.
Moreover, your marketing may shift depending on how and where you are reaching your clients. For instance, for those products you are selling online, you may find that using short social media videos are the most effective way to get the product out to the market. However, for those products you are selling in actual stores, you may find that email communication is the most effective way. Do not market all of your products and services all different ways. Find the most effective ways and focus your energy, time, and money on those. When it comes to marketing, a targeted approach is much more effective than a fire hose approach.
With any business, marketing is one of the most important activities you can spend your time on. Marketing should be the first thing you and your company focus on and it should be the last thing. This is because marketing and marketing research will influence all of your decisions, from product development to product delivery, as well as advertising.
Marketing may seem confusing at first, but all you have to do is remember that marketing is about people. Once you understand the people that you need to reach out to for your business, the rest will flow easily.
Paying attention to the above seven aspects of marketing will help to guarantee your success in your business and all of your business endeavors. It will also help to guarantee your customer’s satisfaction.