On a basic level, marketing refers to the combination of all the things done to present a product or service right in the eyes of a potential customer. It, therefore, involves every part of your business, and often includes:
- Market research and its interpretation of your customer.
- Your brand and the core values that the customers relate it with.
- Communication with your customers and the most suitable language to use.
- Your business design, including business cards, a website, and even product packaging.
- Promotion and advertising of the business to your customers.
- Assessing the business impact and effectiveness of all of the above.
- Identifying whether you need push v pull marketing.
The term ‘marketing’ doesn’t go well with those who simply view it as junk mail or spam. To some extent, they are right. Those also entail marketing. But if they are only viewed as junk mail or spam, they are marketing done awfully!
Good marketing calls for careful thought and preparation. You need to understand everything about your potential customers to reach them at the right time and convey the right message. With the right approach to marketing, your potential customers are happy whenever you communicate with them since you’ve made their life simpler. You’ve informed them of the important aspects of you and your business. As such, they can make informed decisions on whether to purchase your product or use your services since they already know the benefits of doing so.
WHY IS MARKETING ESSENTIAL TO YOUR BUSINESS?
Marketing should be a vital part of any business plan. It is really essential for a couple of reasons:
1) To help with your business’s growth – to generate more income, you have to get new customers and convince the existing ones why they need to buy more from you. You will need marketing to get any of these things right.
2) For people to find you when they need to – people have a wide scope in terms of choices in the various areas of their lives. For you to stand a chance, your potential customers need to recognise you as a viable option, which will make them, in a way, find out about you. As such, you need to tell them!
3) To differentiate yourself from your competitors – with all their choices, you should give your potential customers a reason to choose you over your competitors. Marketing helps communicate your exclusive benefits to your potential customers, making them know why to choose you.
4) Building trust – when customers recognise your brand and relate it to positive attributes, they develop a trust which is a vital sales tool.
THE CHALLENGE FACING SMALL BUSINESSES
If you are new to marketing, it may feel somewhat overwhelming. The positive side to this is that chances are you have been engaging in some marketing, whether consciously or not. If you’ve got your name written on your store, that’s marketing. If you run a blog, that’s marketing.
Initial steps of overcoming a hurdle are often the toughest. As such, let’s begin with something easy. What sort of marketing are you already doing? Lay all that you have down in front of you? Are you pleased with it? Is it a representation of your business? Is there consistency? Is it professional? A quick evaluation similar to this helps you to see how things are and is a vital step towards making a step forward in marketing.