Assuming all other factors are constant, the difference between successful brands and the rest is marketing. Though marketing is one of the most common words in the corporate world, only a few fully grasp what it entails.
To most, advertising equates to marketing. Although advertising is a crucial element, it doesn’t nearly encompass the broad spectrum that defines marketing.
What Is Marketing?
Marketing is a process of communicating value to customers to attract an audience to a company and its products. Its objectives include creating brand awareness, cultivating brand loyalty, and demonstrating product value, with the long-term aim of increasing sales.
Contrary to what many would suggest, marketing comes before the product. It begins with market research to identify suitable markets and your potential customers’ needs. This will help you define the niche that your business fits into. Who are your customers? What are they looking for? Use the insight you’ll get from such efforts in product development to mold your product to fill these needs. In essence, marketing influences all business operations, including distribution channels, advertising, and sales.
Types of Marketing
The goal of marketing is to reach your target audience. As such, strategies should be designed based on where your ideal customers are and when the best time to reach them is. Traditionally, marketing was as simple as word of mouth. However, through the years, it has evolved due to technological advancements that offer greater reach and allows businesses to connect with their audience in ways they never could have imagined.
For instance, at the start of the 20th century, print media was the primary form of advertising. This slowly shifted to radio and then television. Today, in the digital age, there are numerous marketing avenues that can deliver varying results for companies in different sectors.
1. Internet Marketing
This is the idea of making your company more available to the market by giving it an online presence. The primary inspiration for this is an online campaign conducted by Excedrin which wanted to create an immersive ad experience which resulted in a favourable increase in sales. In some ways, internet marketing overlaps with digital marketing and encompasses other forms of marketing. With internet marketing, the most important thing is being available online when your customers need you.
2. Blog Marketing
Initially, blogs were an avenue for individuals and creatives to write about themselves, their industries, and their passions. They’ve evolved into effective content avenues for companies across the globe. The purpose of a blog is to display your products and position your brand as an industry leader by providing relevant and insightful content to your audience.
Even with the surge in demand for online content, print media still remains effective. Newspapers and niche-specific magazines now have a better understanding of their audience. Businesses with similar target audiences can market via sponsored articles, ads, and photography.
4. Social Media
With over 3 billion monthly social media users, such channels are ideal for achieving different objectives such as advertising or increasing brand loyalty. One of the most effective strategies for marketing on social media is the use of influencers. These are individuals who have the power to affect the buying habits of others due to their authority of social media.
5. Search Engine Marketing
Besides making your business accessible via organic traffic, this is the traffic that lands on your website without the use of paid advertising, search engines can give your business greater exposure through search engine marketing. This is where you pay for specific pages to appear at the top of search results when users search for specific keywords. You will only pay for the clicks your page receives.
Videos are arguably the most engaging mode of delivering your business messages. With technological advancements making it easy to produce high-quality videos and the increasing multitude of platforms to upload them to, video marketing is highly effective in creating engaging and interesting content.
Understanding the Consumer Journey
Marketing all comes down to understanding your customers. The potential customers you interact with are at different stages of the buying journey. Some may not be aware that they need your solution, and others may not be sure if it’s the right fit for them. Aligning your marketing solutions with your customer’s needs will help them navigate each stage of the buyer’s journey while increasing your sales and becoming a brand leader.
Andy Bush is President of Bush Marketing. Contact him today at 416-214-4298 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion about how Bush Marketing can help your website do more for your business.