Some business owners presume that marketing and advertising are one in the same. If you agree with them, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to generate sales by truly understanding your market as well as your customers. Think of marketing as a car and advertising as the engine. Without the engine, the car can’t get very far. But, without the rest of the car parts, an engine is just an engine. By utilizing all aspects of marketing, your business will make great strides in its ability to not only reach the right customers, but also more easily refine the products or services you offer in order to keep current customers happy and new customers coming.
Advertising and Public Relations
Advertising comes in many different forms such as commercials, emails, banner ads, pop-ups, post-cards, flyers, landing pages and keyword campaigns to name a few. Effective advertising gets the word out to the world that you are open for business.
In addition to effective advertising, it is increasingly important to have positive PR, or in other words, good customer service. No matter how large or small your company may be, do your research and make certain that every aspect of a customer’s experience ends in their complete satisfaction. Because your customers can easily write reviews online and influence other consumers decisions on whether or not to purchase your product or service, treat your customers as the most important medium of advertising.
Pricing and Product Development
A balance must be achieved when it comes to pricing. You must ask yourself several questions about your product or service. First, is your market too saturated with others offering the same thing? If the answer is yes, you may need to drop your price or figure out a way to make your product or service superior to the competition. Secondly, does your product have an effective cost vs. return ratio? If needed, make adjustments to your price or find a way to lower costs.
It is important to develop your product or service over time in order to continually meet the needs of your customers. Product development is cyclical.
- Step one: Determine whether customers still like the product.
- Step two: Make changes to create an improvement.
- Step three: Sell your improved product and collect the feedback again from your customers.
- Step four: Repeat
Remember that with pricing and product development, it doesn’t matter how great you think your product or service is – it’s your customers’ current opinions that truly count.
Find Your Target Market and Test It
It’s possible to find customers who will come back to you again and again. Naturally, these are the customers you want. Don’t waste time striving to be one out of ten choices for everyone. Rather, do your research and become the number one choice for one out of ten people.
Market testing is about finding the right audience, having the right timing and giving the right offer. It’s easy to read results of marketing tests incorrectly. Careful tests must be developed and conducted in order to get an accurate reading. To achieve this, you must test each marketing effort individually. Something as simple as the wrong subject line of an email campaign could be to blame for a loss in sales. If you are not testing each aspect individually, it will be difficult to determine which aspect needs to be addressed.
Many companies have found cloud marketing to be an extremely effective tool for any and all online marketing. It takes out the guesswork and tediousness that comes with market testing.
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter attract attention and encourage viewers to share information within their social network, which, in essence, is free advertising for you. With practically everyone belonging to some form of social network today, utilizing this outlet could mean great things for sales.
The bigger picture of marketing is very important. Don’t let your engine just be an engine. Give it a transmission, wheels, leather seats, a steering wheel and a shiny body. It isn’t just about getting the word out. Use your knowledge of complete marketing to reach the right audience at the right time and with the right message.