Marketing is complex and can encompass a wide range of disciplines, strategies, and perspectives. For any business leader or associate, developing a solid understanding of how this field operates can be difficult. Honing in on each function of marketing, ranging from strategy to content and all the way to analytics can take many years of education and dedication. However, being knowledgeable about the best practices of marketing is integral to the growth and prosperity of both the individual and the company.
While it may be hard to figure out where to begin, we’ve composed five of the most important things that every business-person needs to know to get started in marketing.
What is Marketing?
Simply put, marketing is about educating and convincing consumers that your product or service is superior to competitors in your field. It includes the creation of the product, identifying who may purchase it, how to promote it, and how to move it through the appropriate sales channels. The primary purpose of marketing is to capture the attention of your target market, provide consumers with a specific action to be taken and persuade them to buy your product or service.
Understanding Your Target Market
Having a clearly defined target market can make it much easier to determine where to market your brand. The most important things to consider include: looking at your current audience to establish a set of common characteristics and habits, analyzing your competition to see how you can set yourself apart from them, analyzing the best features of your product or service to compose a list of consumers who may benefit, identify specific demographics to target which include age, location, gender and income among many factors and finally, considering the psychographics of your audience or in other words, the behavior and more personal characteristics of your intended audience.
4 P’s of Marketing
The use of a marketing mix is the best way to ensure that your product or service is being put in the right place and is crucial to understanding what your product or service will offer. This marketing mix is commonly executed through what we call the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, Product, Place, and Promotion.
Price: Price is the amount that the consumer is expected to spend or pay for a given product or service. This will directly impact how the product sells, as a product priced well over its perceived value will perform low once it is at market and vice versa. Price explains the importance of understanding how your target market sees your product.
Product: It is extremely important to understand what problem your product or service is solving in your industry. All products follow a life cycle and it is crucial for marketers to understand and prepare for any challenges they may face along the way.
Place: Distribution is a key element of placement and a product’s placement strategy will both assess the channels best suited for the product and determine its performance in the market.
Promotion: A large majority of marketing communication strategies and tactics fall under this category. It is important to establish a difference between marketing and promotion, as promotion is simply the communication portion of the actual marketing function. This may include public relations, advertising and sales promotions.
Types of Marketing
Where you choose to market your product is entirely dependent on where your target market spends the majority of their time. While it is up to you to analyze your consumers and decide which strategy is best optimized for your audience, here are just a few different types of marketing that are most relevant today:
Search Engine Optimization: Also known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization is a process by which content is optimized on a website so that it appears in the top results of a search engine such as Google. It is often used by marketers to target consumers who conduct searches that may imply interest toward a particular product or industry.
Email Marketing: Considered one of the most valuable forms of marketing in the industry, email marketing simply consists of sending emails to your target audience to encourage them to engage with your brand.
Social Media Marketing: Companies may utilize social networking sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to build impressions and brand awareness over time.
Content Marketing: Blogs (like this one) are used by businesses to show thought leadership on industry-specific topics. They provide businesses an opportunity to target specific verticals by catering to the interests of potential customers who are browsing for relevant information on the internet.
Internet Marketing: Whether it means having a website for your company, or engaging in any sort of online activity, having an online presence is a basic, yet essential type of marketing.
The Lifecycle of Marketing
The process of marketing begins with a creative idea for your product or service and continues long after the product is in the hands of the many consumers who bought it. Although your customer may have made a purchase, your marketing efforts shouldn’t stop there. A large portion of your marketing should be targeted toward new customers, but don’t forget to continue marketing toward existing customers so that they remain loyal to your brand.
Like any other business function, marketing requires skill, knowledge, and dedication. However, learning and implementing these basic fundamentals of marketing is sure to give you a headstart and result in the success and stability of your business in the long run. If you need assistance with any aspect of your marketing strategy or have general questions, let us know in the comments below (or contact us).