Marketing is the driving force of a business. As an entrepreneur, understanding how to market your business is an essential part of your job, as it will allow you to take an active role in making your business grow.
- TRADITIONAL MARKETING IS NO LONGER VERY EFFECTIVE. This is mainly a result of the growth and wide variety of marketing channels. The effectiveness of such things as television and radio commercials, flyers, coupons and newspaper advertisements has dwindled considerably. For example, not so long ago, there were only a handful of TV stations. Today, your television has hundreds and hundreds of channels available with programming from all over the world. Radio, regular mail and flyers have become similarly diluted. Even more so when you add online marketing (through Google, Facebook, etc.) into the equation.
- THE INTERNET HAS REVOLUTIONIZED MARKETING. The power of technology, especially the internet, has changed the way consumers shop. These days, it’s essential to have a website. Even if you don’t sell directly online, it has been shown that the vast majority of consumers will visit your website before visiting your business. In their minds, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. Furthermore, your website must include basic information to inspire consumer confidence. Today, the internet increases your possibilities of promotion tenfold.
- PEOPLE MAKE PURCHASES OUT OF EMOTION AND THEN JUSTIFY THEM WITH LOGIC. It’s very important for all of your marketing communications (your slogan, flyers, website, business cards, brochures, commercials, etc.) to contain not only the factors that justify purchasing your product or service but also factors that elicit the emotional responses that drive the decision to purchase. Therefore, your messages should include elements such as images, sounds and aromas that evoke and stimulate the senses.
- YOU AND ALL OF YOUR COMPETITORS ARE SEEN AS EQUALS. Because of the evolution of traditional marketing channels, their ease of use and their affordability, businesses are all seen as equal until they prove that they’re different. Once upon a time, being on television or the radio made a business different because not every business could afford to be there. A nice business card or pamphlet could inspire trust, but now, anyone can have them without “deserving” them (in the mind of the general consumer). Today’s consumers don’t give much importance to these things. You still need to have them, but they don’t carry the same weight as they used to.
- TRUST IS THE KEY. As a result of the abundance of information and the ease of obtaining it, today’s consumers focus a lot more on the element of trust. How they perceive you, how you and your product make them feel and how much confidence you inspire in them are all essential. These are the factors that motivate them to buy from you rather than from your competitors.
- RELATIONSHIPS GENERATE MORE SALES THAN PRODUCTS DO. In light of all the above, it’s important for potential customers to feel like they have a relationship with your product or service. This doesn’t mean that there actually has to be a relationship—they just need to feel as though there is. In my consulting work, clients have told me, “We decided to work with you because my wife and I feel as if we’ve known you for a long time.” This is a very powerful feeling, as it separates you from the competition and makes you different. It goes hand in hand with the trust factor.
- MARKETING MUST BE MANAGED LIKE AN INVESTMENT. Even today, there are still many people who think of marketing as an expense. But it isn’t. Marketing should never be classified as an expense because, by nature, it’s really an investment. The goal of marketing is to generate a profit. If you classify it as an expense, you’ll feel as though it’s taking money away from your profits and, as a good businessperson, you’ll naturally start looking for ways to cut costs (especially during hard times). But if you look at marketing as an investment, you’ll know that you have to do it well because your future depends on it. You’ll have to stay calm, pay attention and use the services of specialists when necessary.