The purpose of marketing is to introduce and promote your products and services to potential customers. For your business to succeed, people need to know about it. Marketing creates the awareness necessary for increasing sales and establishing customer relationships (which prompt them to return and to continue purchasing from your business, versus competitors’). As your awareness grows, customers begin to spread the word – establishing word-of-mouth marketing. Marketing also creates brand name recognition. If your business meets customer expectations, it will develop a positive reputation. Marketing efforts support this, by communicating to customers why they are right to choose you! It gives them the extra confidence they need to make the purchase … and the complementary purchases! It gives your business a competitive advantage by informing potential customers that you are their best option.
To make the most of your marketing strategy, it helps to use a wide variety of platforms. A few options include website development, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, endorsements, trade shows, special events, and social media. Creativity is key! With so many different options, you will want to use your creativity to discover which platforms work best for your business. Looking at your marketing budget will give you a good idea of where to start … can you guess why social media marketing is so popular?
To design effective marketing materials, you need to first ask yourself, “Who is my target market?” Understanding the answer to that question will be the difference between a successful marketing campaign and an unsuccessful one. To really know whether your efforts are successful or not, make sure to track them. Set specific goals. Know what you want to gain from each marketing effort. By keeping track of click-throughs, numbers of coupon sales, increases in sales on an item you recently marketed, etc., you can use numbers to see spikes in sales. If one effort reaches or exceeds your goals, record it. Use it in the future. If another effort hardly makes a dent, record that as well. Remember that it wasn’t so successful. Go back and figure out what exactly it was that didn’t work well and fix the problem. As with any other part of your business, following through on your marketing efforts is crucial! So, instead of sending out an ad or tweet or email and checking it off your list, you need to track your efforts.
Your customers know what works best, so why not ask them? Surveys, when done correctly, can give you some of the most beneficial information you can gain. Ask the people you are targeting what they want, how they want to receive information, what convinces them to make a purchase, etc. Chances are, someone wants their opinion heard – take advantage of this opportunity to gain valuable insights into that very first question: “Who is my target market?”
A Final Recap:
- Marketing convinces customers to choose you.
- Ask yourself “Who is my target market?”
- Be creative when choosing marketing platforms.
- Track your efforts and follow through.
- Ask your customers what they want.