Marketing is More than Advertising
Most business owners, especially new owners, think marketing involves advertising. Yes, Advertising is a huge part of marketing. However, marketing involves the whole customer experience. Most will ask, How do I market this property? How do I sell this property? Who do I sell to? How can I advertise? These are all important aspects to consider, but, marketing is much broader than trying to push your product onto the customer through Facebook, billboards, Twitter, etc. Until you realize marketing is so much more than advertising, your ideas are narrow and not focused on the whole picture.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the process of teaching the customer or consumer why they should choose your product or service over a competitor. This is what any potential customer faces each time they purchase something whether in person or online.
Marketing involves advertising; what they hear and feel; the customer service interaction and follow up.
Follow up is a very large part of marketing. Does the customer get a call back from your customer service department to answer their questions and concerns? This is just as much a part of marketing as the advertising.
Marketing is the experience the consumer finds from your business whether online or in person. What is it that will draw the consumer to your business vs another one of your kind? What do you have that sets you apart and makes you better than others? Marketing invokes an overall experience that makes the consumer buy from you over anyone else. All of these things encompass marketing.
Communication in Marketing
Communication is vital to the success of every business. Marketing is all about communication. Let’s take Chick-Fil-A, for instance. There are so many reasons why people go there. Yes, the food and the atmosphere are great! It is always clean and the music is always pleasurable. The employees engage with the customers during their experience while dining. However, the communication of employee to the customer and the way the customer is treated coupled with all that is mentioned above, all invoke a successful marketing experience.
On the other hand, there are other companies who are notorious for horrible customer service. They advertise in large amounts through mailers, commercials, etc. They do provide a great product but don’t have a good name with customer care. They are known as a company who has proven, “We have a good product for you, but we don’t care about you.” They do not have a good marketing experience and, as a result, constantly lose their customer base.
The wellbeing of your company and its success is all dependent on the customer. You must rely on your customer service for the success of the company. It’s much more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep your current customer.
Market to Attract the Customer
Every phone call you take and every phone call you make is vital to your company. The goal is not to force your product or service onto the client at any cost to get the sale. The goal is to bring value to the customer and give them the attention they need in order for them to make the right decision on whether to buy or not.
This way of business may not get an immediate sale, but then again it might. If a sale is not made at that moment, you have created a pleasant customer experience. You’ve shown they are more important as a person than the sale itself. If anything else, you’ve created a future customer and your positive customer service experience will almost always get your business a referral from them. Market your service/product to acquire customers, but also have a marketing strategy in place to keep them.
Remember why you have your business. It’s not all about making a profit. It’s about helping and giving to others.
Believe in your Marketing
In order for your marketing to work you have to believe in it. It is a road of trial and error. Your marketing efforts are not going to work 100% of the time.
Marketing is ever changing. It changes constantly and you must keep up with it and your competition. If not, your competition will race right passed you and not care. Know where you're getting the most interest in your marketing. Once you know, channel that and move forward with it. Be willing to say, this didn’t work and move on and try again. For instance, in our business, if after three months we don’t have any leads from a particular advertising effort, we cut it off and try something new. You have to know your threshold. It may be you need to wait 6 months. Whatever that time frame is, be willing, to be honest with your marketing and make changes if necessary. Don’t lose faith in marketing If your efforts aren't working in a specific place. You just have to move on and try again. Not everything you do is going to work. Don’t channel your efforts where your audience is not present. You are wasting your time and money. Find your audience and market there.
Marketing is ever changing
Seven or eight years ago, Facebook was just a way to post statuses. Now it is one of the biggest marketing avenues for every business. If your business is not on facebook it needs to be immediately. With time there will be new platforms in which to market. Technology changes and marketing will too. RIght now we use smartphones for marketing. A few years ago this would not have been possible. Youtube is another platform to market your business when just a few years ago was hardly used. In another 10-11 years something else will come out and we have to move with the change and be willing to follow it.
Marketing and Technology
If your business is in the stage of needing to learn new marketing, don’t let your ego get in the way of making your business better. You’re limiting yourself by not learning new marketing strategies. Your competition will beat you every time. If you aren’t interested in changing and learning then hire someone and delegate that task for the success of your business.
For others, you just need to find someone to teach you how to market in today’s industry. It isn't that you can't learn, it’s that you don’t want to. You can learn. For some, the reason you don’t learn the technology of today is because you don’t have the time. Hire someone who can do it for you. Video production, design, podcast productions, etc., is a huge undertaking, and in most cases, businesses need to hire those who are talented in these particular fields. Be sure, however, you don’t dismiss the enormous marketing potential with today’s technology just because you aren't familiar with it.
Maybe you have a small business that has just started up and you feel overwhelmed with the marketing, etc. Know your strengths and weaknesses. You don't have to know everything and do everything. Find someone who’s strengths can help in your weak areas. It is ok not to know how to do all that encompasses marketing, just be sure you realize how important it is to the life and success of your business, and find someone who is gifted in these areas and delegate it to them.
On the other hand, if you are up to date with the newest marketing technology, be willing to accept when you need to change your marketing. Learn to ask for help. No one is an expert in everything. Be willing to get help.
Remember, Marketing is not just about advertising. Marketing includes the whole experience a potential customer will encounter when visiting your business whether online or a brick and mortar establishment. Marketing begins the moment the consumer sees your logo, billboard, commercial or business card. It continues the moment they step inside your establishment or click on your link to your website. It’s about the customer care they receive while visiting your business. It’s about the atmosphere, the look and feel they receive while there. It’s about the communication they receive and the value they feel you brought to their “shopping” experience.
Market to gain a valued repeat customer. When you achieve this, you’re marketing well.