What is Marketing?
To the layman, marketing may be one of the following: designing and distributing a flyer, convincing people to buy more of their product, or until recently, setting up social media accounts for people to interact with your business online.
All these are marketing activities or strategies but do not come close to marketing itself. Marketing is much bigger than designing a flyer or every other activity a business owner can undertake to get their customers interested in their offerings.
Marketing in its simplest form is a series of activities a business undertakes in order to promote the buying and selling of their products and or services.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as ‘the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
So clearly, marketing involves a lot of activities which come together to achieve one aim — to take a product or service, identify its ideal customers, and draw the customers’ attention to the product or service.
What is the Importance of Marketing?
Importance of Marketing
Administratively, there are five functional areas of the companies that are reflected in the organization chart of the same (as shown in the image) and all are of vital importance for the correct operation and profitability of the business.
On some occasions, entrepreneurs, mainly small and medium, give more importance to some areas such as Production / Operations or Accounting, but they are all a holistic set and have the same importance.
It is useless to have the best production processes or operations if the staff is not motivated (Human Resources area) or simply and simply sales are not what is expected (Marketing responsibility), which is a fairly common case.
Marketing, as a functional area within a company, provides different benefits to the company, which owners and entrepreneurs must take into account to achieve the profitability of their businesses. Here we list some benefits of having the Marketing area internally.
It is the department responsible for working with advertising, Public Relations, Sales, and Product Development, among others; all complement each other to provide a global approach to the Marketing strategy.
It detects and generates new business and opportunities for the company, for which it has the vision of making it profitable and disseminating the existence of the different products that are handled.
- It is the intermediate part between the client and the company, it is the department that knows the needs of the client and the company and clicks on both and makes them profitable. It is responsible for disseminating the company’s brand, its products, and services and thereby also increases sales and business profitability.
- It manages to generate competitive advantages for the company in order to differentiate itself from companies that have a similar line of business and are interested in the same clients. Marketing is a powerful tool that can grow any business and has the ability to identify customer needs and treat them as people.
- The marketing department of a company acts as an educational arm of the company. This means that they are responsible for educating the potential buyers or the general public about new products or services. The people who manufacture the product know almost everything about it.
But how about the consumers?
They need to understand how the product can help them. That is what convinces them to make a buying decision. The role of the marketing department is to take very complex information and simplify them in a way that the consumer can easily understand.
Usually, marketing messages highlight the benefits of the product or service and not the features. This helps consumers understand how the product will be of help to them.
- Marketing also “levels the playing field” for businesses. The business world is made up of industries and each industry is like an ocean of companies. In this ocean, there are all kinds of animals. The big ones and the small ones, each competing for the same food — the customers. The big fishes have a big budget while the small ones are a tiny one.
But marketing has so much evolved that even with a tiny budget, you can effectively have successful campaigns. There are various forms of online marketing such as social media marketing and email marketing that have given small firms the advantage of reaching a lot of people with a small budget. Whether it is a big firm or small one, the cost of getting an email service is the same. Social media is free and with good strategies, anyone can make a great impact online.
- Marketing sustains the company. It is supposed to create a relationship between the market and the company. With ongoing activity, that relationship is built and kept healthy. That is what translates into sales. When this relationship is kept healthy, it grows and as the customers grow, the business also grows.
This part of marketing focuses on feeding the customer so that the customer also feeds the company. The company provides value in order to build a relationship with the target market and then it benefits from the sales. Most people approach marketing as a one-time activity to boost their business. This is not ideal. From time to time, marketing campaigns can be introduced to achieve one goal or the other, but growth is gradual and so must the marketing effort be.
- Marketing creates engagement. A good marketing effort must seek to get customers talking about your business before they get in touch with the business and after their experience with the company, they take the conversation outside.
So it is not just providing information, it is providing a conversation. This is where small businesses have the advantage to provide customers a satisfying experience that will keep them coming back. This experience can be created in any kind of business.
If you walk into a hair salon and you are neither greeted nor smiled to, you have your hair done without a single conversation, I am pretty sure you will find it difficult to return to that place. New media has even made it possible to take these interactions beyond the confines of a brick and mortar business place. You can provide content that will keep your customers glued to you while they are away.
This can also offer them a medium to express themselves and turn to you whenever they need your products.
- Marketing brings sales. It is obvious that the goal of every business is to make profits. Marketing provides a number of activities that helps businesses to reach their customers, and provide appropriate education which will eventually result in sales. So we can safely say that the destination of a company is to make sales but the vehicle to that destination is marketing.
This is so important because a lot of businesses have big goals. They want to increase profit, expand and diversify. But in order to achieve this goal, they must put together effective marketing campaigns that will appeal to their market in order to drive the sales.
- Marketing grows the business. Marketing caters for the short term as well as the long term. In as much as the business needs to cater for its cash flow by achieving revenue goals per time, marketing is that effort that ensures that even the far fetched goals are achieved when the time eventually comes.
Marketing efforts do not only make customers buy but also make them ready to buy whenever the need arises. It means that someone may not need the company’s product today but because of the consistent communication through the blog posts, social media posts, emails, adverts and all other means of reaching the market, they are prepared to buy when they need what the company offers.
This ensures that the company is always on the rise because the present is taken care of as well as the future, thanks to marketing.
What is the difference between Marketing and Selling?
Marketing and sales are one of the most important parts of a business’s survival. Although the two are dependent on each other, a lot of people confuse marketing with sales and vice versa, which is a big mistake. Marketing operates through product design according to market and customer needs, product promotion, advertising, etc. as well as the establishment of a competitive price for the product.
Marketing is a combination of activities that drive sales. While on the other hand, the sales process is what you do to successfully sell a product or get a client. Sales and marketing are two combined forces that bring revenue to the business. Truly, one cannot do without the other. They are not just forces but also activities that can help a business achieve unimaginable results if deployed correctly. The success of a business is essential to the success of these two important activities.
Marketing is the backbone of a company of the future and the launching pad for sales. While the marketing process includes product design, advertising, etc., the sales process is the execution of all efforts that involves direct interaction with the customer; either, through in-person meetings or live calls or through networking. But there is still an ongoing rivalry between the two, with one claiming to dominate the other. Marketing is considered to have the upper hand because they design the products, define the strategy and also develop essential sales tools.
Others are of the view that sales is the result of marketing, and therefore should follow its instructions. Sales might not suit this point of view and be completely opposite in their opinion. They think it’s the revenue of people selling a product that makes the business money. But many experts believe that marketing must play a pivotal role between the two. The success of a sales marketing campaign will be difficult if people believe that sales are the main leader.
The most important role of the marketing department is to create opportunities for the sales department.
Marketing is like lifelong support for sales, which continues to back up the sales department and enable them to successfully deliver the end product. It should not be a race to win supremacy over another department, but a race to win the market and the customers: everything must work together and in harmony.
A lot of companies say they are bringing together sales and marketing, but in reality they have different goals. While the sales department is interested in meeting the requirements of what the customer has requested, the marketing department is responsible for studying what the market demands.
The goal of the marketing department is to predict how the market will form in the future. They should consider that their products will meet the needs of the market in the coming years and be prepared to make changes in the design of their products accordingly. The all-important business will have to integrate sales and marketing in a well-dated way. It is the proper integration of these two entities that fuels the growth of a business.
The sale should not be viewed simply as collectors of money. Each department has its own role and must go hand in hand in selling the company’s product and should be the first of the important criteria.
What are the 7 Ps of Marketing
The 7 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, Physical evidence) is a combination of marketing strategies that you can use in any developed market. The 7 Ps are controllable and subject to your surrounding internal and external marketing. By combining these different marketing tactics, also called a marketing mix, you will more easily understand the needs of your customers. Let us look at them in detail.
Marketing is essentially about a product. If you are not offering anything to any market, what then is the point of marketing? So what is the product that is being offered for sale? What are the advantages and benefits that your customers can enjoy by purchasing the products; a physical item or a service? This takes into consideration the benefits that consumers expect: style, quality, refills, accessories, etc. not just features of the product but how the product can help the consumer. All these answers can be obtained through effective research of new products in your market.
You need to have a pricing strategy for your products and services knowing how it will affect your customer base. You need to know how much your buyers are willing to pay, and most importantly, know your profit margin, possible payment methods and other costs. In order to attract more customers, it is considered to evaluate the possibility of offering discounts or seasonal offers. This will make it easier for you to assess the advantages of your competition. This strategy is known as promotion, which is one of the Ps in the marketing mix.
How to quantify a product or a service monetarily?
When you are able to set the right price for your products, you have the ability to maximize and maintain a better relationship with your customers. The right price allows you to avoid serious financial problems that you can have by having prices too low or too high. If you demand too much for a product or service you may be falling out of your market, if you charge too low you may be underpaid for your work, which is not. not necessarily better.
Putting a price on your product shouldn’t become stressful. You just have to remember that you are in business to make a profit. It’s much easier to decrease a price than to increase it and sometimes, decreasing the price can bring in more profit than increasing it. By doing your research, it will be easy for you to establish the right price. The right price should be the one that\’s right for your consumers. After all, they are the ones who will use your products and who are willing to pay!
An effective promotion includes a variety of communication activities that are geared towards educating customers and increasing their awareness of the product, which will increase demand and eventually result in sales as well other benefits such as an increase in brand value.
Based on the strategy in place, a marketing promotion can either be by personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, or public relations. It is a very important business activity as it promotes the product and its benefits attracts customers and increase business revenue. Usually, promotions are linked to specific marketing goals.
The place is where we can see and buy your products. It is very important that your customers can find you easily, this is one of the seven key elements to your success. Before deciding where to start the business, if this is the case, you need to do some research before making the decision. Take the time to find the perfect location because the location you choose can influence your success.
Your location includes anything from where your product will be manufactured to where it will be distributed. It is important to know where your raw materials will be sourced, if that is the case, and also where your market is located. This helps to know how transportation will be catered for. Do several research before making the decision.
People refer to the trusted people who work for the business, your team, your salespeople, including yourself! When you provide great service to your team members, who are mini ambassadors of your brand, you deliver an experience that your customers will want to relive again and again. They will speak positively about you and refer you quickly.
There is a principle in marketing called the 1/11/55 principle. It suggests that when you treat one person well, he or she goes on to tell on average eleven others who also go on to tell at least five people each. When you treat the person badly, there is a likelihood of it spreading faster. This principle offers a cheap way of marketing the business from the inside.
You can start by recruiting the right people. Train your staff to represent the image and culture of the company. This will develop their approach to customers and their customer service.
You absolutely have to develop a way of doing things, an effective process for distributing your products and services to customers. By having a good process in place, you can be sure that you have a standard protocol of service and that saves you time and money by having an efficient way of doing things. Think of big businesses that have offices in different places and have existed for years. They have been able to do so because they have established a process that has come to stay and been adapted from time to time.
Physical evidence (environment)
For the last P, consider the physical environment. This is the place where the main interaction will be with customers. For example The physical location where you offer your products and services, the interior design, the packaging, and branding. Also, the image of the team: their way of doing things, their clothing, their way of speaking, etc. Think about everything that could be beneficial for your customers to feel good and thus, you will make more sales.
The Marketing Process
The marketing process is the action by which a business opportunity is sought in the market, it is analyzed, a segment is chosen and a series of strategies are established to implement them.
This process is the basis of every beginning when starting to develop a business. When it is intended to carry out the start-up of a company, this process is essential to finding the type of market to target, establishing a detailed analysis to know if the product or idea would be accepted and, based on that, creating a series of actions to reach that market with guarantees of success.
Steps to follow in the business process
This is the procedure to follow to develop a successful business process:
- Search for opportunities in the market
First, it is important to look for existing needs and problems in order to create a profitable business in the future. Research, analysis and opportunities are the goals to work on in this first step. To do this, it will be very helpful to know some statistical concepts. Analyze data, see trends and check what society is demanding.
- Segment the market to target
The characteristics of the product that you want to introduce must be taken into account and based on that, begin to segment the market to which the brand is directed. The criteria to take into account can be economic class, level of studies, age, gender etc. Market segmentation must not only be on demographic variables such as age, gender and all that, psychographic variables such as personality, economic class etc. must also be considered. After analyzing all these data and establishing which are the most viable, it is important to target a specific segment. Targeting a segment is the most reasonable thing to do when you want to introduce a product to the market and you have to make an economic investment for it.
- Detailed market analysis
This step is essential because you have to handle a large amount of data that will later be used to create the strategic actions to be implemented. Analyzing the competition, and consumers, and establishing the strengths of the company itself, weaknesses and resources are necessary elements to take into account. Once the results of this process are in, the next step is to determine the necessary strategies.
- Strategy creation
After the previous steps, it is the turn to establish the strategies that will serve to introduce the product to the market. To do this, you have to take into account the investment that is going to be needed for it. Carrying out advertising campaigns to publicize the product is an example of this.
- Strategy implementation
Once the action plan for these strategies has been designed, it is time to implement them through a roadmap. Those responsible for executing them, the tasks to be carried out, the time established to carry them out, as well as the assigned budget must be designated. Finally, once they are carried out, measure the results generated by that implementation.
What are the goals of marketing?
A marketing goal is a goal that you set for yourself as a business, and you generally want to achieve in the short to medium term. All marketing goals are fixed according to the position of the company on the market. In order to know the position of the company on the market, a SWOT analysis must be carried out to determine what will be the most relevant goals for the business. A SWOT analysis examines the Strengths, Weaknesses of the business as well as the Opportunities and Threats that the business is open to. Strengths and weaknesses are more of an internal analysis while the opportunities and threats look into what dangers or favours the external environment could bring. This is what informs the formulation of marketing goals.
Why do you need to define your goals?
In order to enjoy consistent improvement and success in business, you need to commit to the habit of setting goals. Here are five reasons that prove the importance of setting goals:
- To determine your strategy and the actions to be taken
- To define your performance indicators and thus ensure the effectiveness of the campaigns carried out
- To increase your profitability by pursuing high-performing actions and eliminating unprofitable ones
- To better define your personas in order to take the appropriate actions
- To give you a boost when your goals are reached
How Do you define your goals? Think SMART
As we have just seen, setting marketing goals is essential to business growth. This mission may at first glance be perilous. But don’t panic, I’ll give you the miracle recipe: apply the SMART goals method. What is a marketing goal?
This acronym stands for:
- Specific: your objectives must be precise, clear and understandable by everyone quickly.
- Measurable: they must be able to be quantified using performance indicators
- Achievable: your objectives must be accessible in the short or medium-term but also sufficiently ambitious in order to maintain the motivation of the participants.
- Realistic: they must be relevant and not depend on chance.
- Time defined: they must be delimited in time with a due date and possibly intermediate dates.
“Increase your natural traffic by 10% within a year (i.e. by the end of May 2021)” is a SMART marketing goal. “To have more customers in future years” is not a SMART goal.
After having listed the goals you want to achieve, you must check that they meet these criteria, that is to say, that they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and defined over time.
Some Common Marketing Goals are:
In the case of the launch of a new product or service, it is recommended to follow a marketing strategy with the objective of informing customers of its existence of it. The same is true for the company\’s brand.
Improve the image
It may be that the products of your competitors are better regarded than yours, in which case one of the objectives of the marketing strategy will be to improve the quality of your offer. Sometimes, it is directly the image of the company that must be improved (participation in an event, partnerships, etc.).
Target new customer profiles
It is indeed quite common for a business to have the opportunity to expand into another type of clientele. For example, a company that provides services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and wants to reach large accounts or a company that only deals with other businesses (B2B) and chooses to open part of its business for individuals.
Improve customer satisfaction
Another typical marketing goal is to improve customer satisfaction. Companies are more and more convinced of the importance of this factor to build loyalty, and therefore, develop sales.
Develop the business in new markets
It is possible that after studying the results of marketing analysis (SWOT) you will identify an emerging market with high potential for your business. In this case, you could set as a marketing goal the development of your business in this new market (for example, to start selling in a new country).
Stand out from the competition
In general, if the company is in a competitive environment, it will rather choose a differentiation marketing strategy with the aim of distinguishing itself in the market (by offering additional services, based on innovation, etc.).
It\’s always best not to set too many marketing strategy goals. Moreover, if it is a small business, it is better to have a global objective and to achieve it, there is a need to have sub-objectives. Of course, it is not because we choose a global objective that we must leave the others aside: if the main objective is an expansion in another country, that does not mean that we should not improve customer satisfaction. The difference is that the marketing strategy action plan will be largely based on achieving the main objective. And as always, the key is to communicate precisely the marketing goals throughout the company.
What is a Marketing Campaign
A marketing campaign is an action taken by a company to reach one of its targets: customers, suppliers, partners, distributors, prospects, etc.’ It can either be to launch a new service, promote an offer or any other activity as the business seems fit; a marketing campaign makes it possible to communicate these intentions via several channels.
For a marketing campaign to be successful, it is crucial that it fits into the marketing plan in a coherent manner while relying on a unique value proposition adapted to its target. The convergence of the marketing and sales resources implemented and the mobilization of internal teams are also essential for the success of the company’s marketing campaigns and plan.
At each stage of the marketing campaign, it is essential to identify its strengths and weaknesses in order to adjust it and establish a campaign report allowing its effectiveness to be measured.
What are the types of marketing campaigns?
Marketing campaigns can be classified based on the product or the marketing goal of the company. In this case, we want to consider marketing campaigns based on the marketing goals of the company. To talk about this issue we have to understand that products project an image to our target. Consumers generate ideas about our brands through their experience and the ways they communicate with it. This is called positioning. When a company is its brand positioning, it must always be vigilant of what the target audience thinks of them and evaluate if it is achieving the appropriate communication objective.
Positioning the brand is something that is done gradually. Marketing should make the product known, arouse interest and get the positive attitude for its acquisition, satisfy in the test and create a habit of priority consumption. At each stage, corresponding to the life cycles of products, different types of marketing campaigns must be deployed to accomplish the goal.
- Campaign of intrigue.
This type of campaign seeks to generate expectations at the birth of a product or a drastic change. If we can develop a campaign that generates a lot of curiosity in people, the next stage will be well received. It is common for this type of campaign to be carried out when the product enters the market in an area where we have already identified strong direct competition or when the launch is intended to be spectacular.
- Launch campaign
It is carried out when the company wants to announce the release of a product to the market and wants to present a concept (To answer the questions, “what is it?” and “what does it do”). It is a delicate stage because what we tell the target market determines their perception of the brand hence the positioning of the brand. To achieve satisfactory results, the company must try to generate a breakthrough innovation, even if the product is similar to a pre-existing one.
- Maintenance campaign
This type of campaign seeks to accompany the brand in its “daily life” when it is received by the target audience in the way the company expects and there are no changes in the market.
For it to work effectively, it is important to maintain the same tone of communication and positioning of previous marketing campaigns, as well as a recognizable graphic style.
- Reactivation Campaign
Through this type of campaign, the company reinforces its positioning in the face of abnormal market situations, whether favorable or dangerous, such as special events, radical improvements in some marketing factors, exit of new competitors, drop in sales, etc. If positioning is severely affected, the reactivation campaign serves to boost it.
- Relaunch Campaign
It can also be taken as a repositioning campaign. It helps the company to refresh the values and the concept of the brand as seen by the target audience.
- Competitor Repositioning Campaign
When a new brand enters the market, it inevitably pushes the rest. Even indirect competition. To solve this problem, the competition and the new values or benefits it proposes are investigated to generate a strategy capable of counteracting it.
- Strong sales campaign
Marketing generally works for the long term, however, there are times when immediate sales are the main objective. More aggressive or faster persuasion strategies are used here. Phrases are used as a last chance, just for today, etc.
How do you write a marketing campaign?
What is needed for a marketing campaign?
The success of a marketing campaign depends on several factors. While you can\’t control all of these factors, some of them can be controlled. To maximize your chances of succeeding in your next marketing campaign, I have identified ten (10) elements that will guarantee you success.
- Clearly Define Your Target Audience
The first question you need to ask yourself is: who is your target? You need to make sure that every marketing campaign you create is directed to your ideal consumer or customer. If you want to talk to everyone, you won\’t talk to anyone!
How to define your target?
First of all, you must ask yourself what is the use of your product? What problem is your product trying to solve? Then you need to find out who your product is going to help. Basically, you have to define your buyer personas, that is, your ideal customer (s). There are no predefined rules for this, you can include as many criteria as you want, as long as they allow you to get a clear idea of who you are talking to. For example, some criteria you might focus on are age and gender, occupation, location, financial situation, family status, interests, etc. To better identify the segments of your audience, collect data on it with online tools!
Once you have defined your audience, the last question to ask yourself is, would these people be willing to pay for your product? If this is not the case, review your offer or your target.
- Set Goals
Before you take the plunge, you need to know what you want from your campaign, and what the goal is. Do you want to generate leads, sign new customers, engage your existing customers (and get them to interact with your brand), increase your visibility, increase your sales, and bring more traffic to your website? Define that in clear terms taking into consideration the SMART criteria.
You need to set realistic and concrete goals for your marketing campaign before you even start it. This way, you will be able to assess whether it is a success or not. To judge the success of a campaign, you will need to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to those goals. if your goal is to increase the number of subscribers to your newsletter to 1,000, your KPI will be to reach the 1000 subscriber mark.
- Define Your Budget
To achieve your goals, you need to know how much you are willing to invest in your marketing efforts. Think in advance about the costs that you will need to include in your budget such as, for example, the creation of the campaign, the internal and external resources needed, time, promotion etc.
- Create Targeted Content
Once you have your audience and goals in mind, you can start building your campaign. Constantly imagining original campaign ideas is not easy. If you are short on imagination, one solution is to identify the successful campaigns of your most popular competitors. This will give you a clear idea of what appeals to your audience. Never copy a competitor\’s work! Instead, use it as a starting point for your own marketing campaign and add your own dough, creativity, and added value to make yours the better or the best.
- Engage Your Audience
Make your audience want to participate in your campaign. The easiest way is to add a price to your campaign, preferably related to your business (to avoid cheating). You can also invest in visuals like images, infographics, videos to get their attention more. Another solution is to use gamification. Everyone loves to play. The key is to provide moments of fun and interaction for your audience. By offering them to participate in a quiz, a memory, a jackpot or any other fun campaign, you will engage more people and increase your participation rate.
- Offer Something Useful For Your Audience
Not everyone will buy your product or service immediately after seeing one of your campaigns. Use each of your actions to show your product (and how it can solve your audience\’s problems) or your expertise and help your prospects get to know you better. Call-to-actions play a major role here. Give your prospects something free, useful and unique (a video, a case study, an ebook, a free consultation, etc.) to differentiate yourself from your competition, and also give them the opportunity to ask for more information.
- Increase Your Chances of Virality
Make your campaign easy to share! If your campaign isn\’t designed to be shared, you\’re limiting its potential. Here are some ideas:
- Your campaign must be easily shareable on all social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Encourage your participants to share your campaign on social networks in exchange for a free gift or an additional chance to participate in your campaign
- Participants should be able to easily share your campaign with their friends and invite them to participate
- To spark dialogue around your campaign, let your audience comment, take photos, send videos, vote, etc.
- Disseminate and Promote Your Marketing Campaign
Now that you’ve created your marketing campaign, it\’s time to promote it. You first need to choose the right channel to reach your target audience. There is no point in creating a great campaign if no one sees it. There are several ways to deliver your marketing campaign:
- Share it on social networks;
- Send an email to your subscribers to inform them of your campaign or include an image in your newsletter promoting it;
- Submit a press release ;
- Spend some money on advertising (Facebook or Linkedin ads, sponsored tweets, Google AdWords, radio ads, etc.);
- Change your Facebook cover photo or profile photo, add your marketing campaign link in your Instagram bio;
- Measure Your Success
As mentioned in point 2, after each of your marketing operations, you must measure its success rate based on a given objective. What\’s the point of running campaigns if you don’t measure the results? Ask yourself the right questions according to your goals. How many new subscribers have you had? How many leads came through your marketing campaign? Did your call-to-action meet its objectives? Collect, analyze and take into account all your data. This will allow you to create even more relevant campaigns afterwards. Data enables you to test, optimize, learn and react quickly with objective measurements.
To measure your Return On Investment (ROI), you can use built-in measurement tools. A lot of digital platforms today provide you with metrics and numbers for your campaigns, which is a good place to start.
- Continue on Your Launch
Now that you\’ve made contact with your prospects, you can start nurturing your leads. Track the channels through which your prospects arrived, send them relevant information, talk about your business, etc. You must continue to collect data in order to get to know your users better so that you can provide them with personalized content.
Keep the dialogue going until you become known and trusted. The day they want to buy, they\’ll think of you! Obviously, it\’s not something that is built overnight but if you stick to these few tips, your results will certainly be positive.
What is a marketing plan? (Interchange this with marketing strategy)
A marketing strategy is a coordinated action plan implemented over the medium or long term by a company to achieve its commercial and marketing objectives. Marketing strategy is one of the components of business strategy. Depending on the case, the marketing strategy can be understood at a company level or only apply to a product or a family of products. It is thus possible for a company with a varied activity to combine several marketing strategies according to its fields of activity. The marketing strategy is developed from an analysis of the company\’s marketing strengths and weaknesses and a study of its environment (SWOT).
What makes a great marketing plan?
Whatever your marketing strategy, its effectiveness will depend on how you execute it. That\’s what a marketing plan is for. Like a roadmap, making a marketing plan will allow you to define your goals and what specific actions to take to achieve them. It will also allow you to measure your results and learn from your mistakes.
Using numbers and facts, a great marketing plan spells out all the tools and tactics you will use to gain and retain customers, and achieve your goals.
It generally includes:
An analysis of your market and your competitive positioning, an Identification of your target audience, a list of your goals, a strategic description and planning of each marketing action to be implemented, budgeting and usually a short summary of every section.
A marketing plan is not necessarily long or particularly well written. Above all, it should be readable and straight to the point, so there must be tables and bulleted lists when developing it.
Purpose of a Marketing Plan
The purpose of the marketing plan for your business is to help you focus on how to sell your products or services to consumers. It doesn\’t matters if you are an individual service provider or a major corporation with 1,000 employees in multiple countries. Marketing is what drives sales and without sales, you can’t get the money you need to stay in business long term.
Although a marketing plan is a very important element, many business leaders do not spend enough time or resources to develop and plan marketing strategies that allow them to build their business with a purpose.
Instead of assuming your product is perfect for everyone, the plan helps you focus on the key people who are most likely to buy it. Generally, the marketing plan of small businesses or freelancers is completely referral-based, that is, offering the best possible result for existing customers to tell everyone they know you.
While this type of strategy is widely used, it is rarely enough to sustain a new business during years of growth and development. Ultimately, it doesn’t help a large business that needs to capture a larger market to be profitable.
Before you start developing a marketing plan, ask yourself these two key questions:
What problem do you solve for your clients?
What makes you different from everyone else on the market?
Once these questions are answered, it will form a strong basis for the preparation of your marketing plan.
Elements of a company’s marketing plan
- Market research . If you want to know what direction to take, you must have identified the habits of your consumers, know their tastes and needs, as well as the market you plan to attack. Knowing any current trends is vital for your business.
- The target market . You must know who your potential buyers are, segment it and thus be able to offer them what they really need.
- Positioning . What is the perception of your brand in the market? For example, if you sell cosmetics, do customers see you as a place to go because it is an option with affordable prices, or as the place they can go because they offer the highest quality products? This information will help you create a marketing campaign that clearly communicates how you want to be perceived.
- Competitive analysis. Another of the main elements of a company\’s marketing plan is to know the competition, and what are the characteristics that make you unique. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of your competitor will help you better position your business and stand out from the competition. Here are some tips on how to research the competition through your salespeople.
- Market strategy. Your marketing strategy is the path to your sales goals. Analyze the entire market and then decide what actions you will carry out to meet your objectives: Promotions, online seminars, email marketing campaigns, content marketing and everything that brings you closer to your customers. Here are some marketing strategies to generate more sales.
- Budget . Pay special attention to how much money you are going to allocate for each activity. If you don\’t have a return on investment, you are doing something wrong.
- Metrics The marketing plan of a company must have a follow-up, for this nothing better than establishing metrics to measure its success. So you can easily evaluate the results and change what doesn\’t work for you.
What is a marketing research
It can be defined as the collection and analysis of information, with regard to the world of the company and the market, carried out systematically or expressly, in order to make decisions within the field of strategic and operational marketing.
It is, in short, a powerful tool that should allow the company to obtain the necessary information to establish the different policies, objectives, plans and strategies that best suit its interests.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines it as: \”the systematic collection, recording and analysis of data about problems related to the market for goods and services.\”
Any company that decides to implement a marketing strategy will necessarily begin with a market study. The different types of market research gather a systematic set of data that serves to prevent and limit risks, in addition to minimizing uncertainty in decision-making during the development of a marketing strategy for the business.
For the data collection process there are various types of market research that are distinguished according to the objective of the strategy. Some of these tools involve the use of resources such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, statistical and observational studies.
The role of Marketing Research
Market research plays a vital role in the development of market strategy for the firm. It serves as a guide for business decisions, giving you information about your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers. By giving you the ability to make informed decisions, market research will help you develop a successful marketing strategy.
Market research helps reduce risk by allowing you to determine products, prices, and promotions from the start. It also helps you focus resources where they will be most effective.
Types of Marketing Research
Before we delve into any of them, we need to recognize the kinds of research from which their types emerge. Although this classification is not the only one, it serves to guide us in determining which one to use.
According to the method on which they are based, a research can be inductive or deductive. The first is used to analyze the observed phenomenon; the second serves to verify the observed phenomenon.
Exploratory or qualitative research
It is a model that is associated with the inductive method. You can run it through surveys or tests to obtain information about consumers, their preferences, economic situation, among other analysis factors. It serves to define and clarify the nature of a problem.
Its process involves identifying the questions to be solved, establishing a hypothesis and supporting the investigations. This type of market research serves, above all, to obtain broad information on a specific topic.
The procedures with the best results are: surveys and online communities, interviews with experts and experimental field research.
Conclusive or quantitative research
In this research, which is based on the deductive method, a large number of people are surveyed. The target audience must be large to increase the precision of the data and statistics that result in more concrete and easy-to-interpret conclusions. The way you collect data varies between surveys, observation, and groups. This type of research looks for information about the characteristics of consumers, image of products, strengths and weaknesses, and market segmentation. It serves as a complement to verify the results formulated in research.
Primary research or field research
It is an investigation that aims to obtain data from the competition; for example, information about what products you sell, at what price, how much you produce, or who your buyers are. Field research is one of the most comprehensive, combining observation and exploration with individual consumers. It integrates these functions:
- Establish what the target market is.
- Set a goal for those types of consumers. How will they react to this product? What are the characteristics that seem most attractive to you?
- Define how many people will be included.
- Do the research and collect the data.
- Analyze the information and create a report.
In primary research, data is generated from the company’s customer base so there is a guarantee that this data will inform a quality market strategy which will in turns meet the needs and concerns of the consumers. A great example of primary research is online surveys. Social media is a great place to collect such data. Even the social media platforms themselves use this method of research to collect data.
Secondary research or cabinet research
Through this research, information is obtained from a public source and, therefore, anyone can have access to it. This type of research is done by another individual or organization and the result has been published in books, articles, white papers etc.
Secondary helps you gain a better understanding of the data available to your industry and helps make decisions that are not specific to your firm but can help it put together a better marketing strategy. Some information about external factors will not be revealed by doing surveys or polls but could be made available on industry websites or white papers.
Having access to industry-wide information will not only keep you on your toes but also help you understand what you are up against as far as competition goes. It also helps you identify the areas you must improve in order to achieve the goals you desire.
Steps in Marketing Research
The steps involved in carrying out a marketing research or a market study is much easier than it seems, it does not matter if you have a large company or if all you have is a business idea in your mind, anyone can do it. But how do you go about it in order to get the best out of it.
You just need to follow these 7 steps:
- Define the objectives of your research
To begin, you need to consider what the objectives of your research are; that is, the reasons or the need for which you have decided to carry out this research. Having the objective of your research very clear will help you to better pose your questions or the criteria on which the data collection will be based. A market research can be carried out with very different objectives. The most common goals are:
- Help the development of a company or business.
- Satisfy customer needs through the ideal product or service.
- Determine the degree of success or failure that a business idea can have.
- Define the target audience for market research
No research can be done without the target audience being well defined. It is mandatory and crucial to the success of the research as well as the purpose it is intended to serve. To help in this task, it is essential to create your buyer persona, that is, the representation of the ideal client and who will probably buy your products / services. This more detailed understanding will help build more assertive questions and the data collected will be more useful.
For you to fully understand the difference between the target audience and the buyer persona, these are their main points of difference:
- The target audience has a broader definition, such as: Men, ages 25-35, who work with digital marketing.
- The buyer persona provides more complete information, such as who this person is, their habits, their work, etc.
In market research, you can create both profiles. If you want a more general search, to know the acceptance of a possible product, doing research with the target audience in mind is the best option. Whether it is to measure the level of satisfaction or discover the pain to create solutions, working with the person will bring better results.
- Decide on the method
Now that you know the objective of your research, it is time to decide what method you will use to collect the data. Will it be online surveys, observations or Interviews? There are many alternatives available and that allows you to obtain data from your clients or potential clients directly.
Remember: it is also important that you select a field sample; that is, a representative sample of your market.
What is a field sample and how to select it?
A field sample is the technique by which a sample of the population to be investigated is selected. Whenever you do market research, you need to select a sample. The reason for this is because it is obviously very difficult to interview or observe all your clients or prospects.
It is important that you take into account that the larger your sample, the greater certainty you will have about the results obtained in the investigation. That is, the fact that 20 people say they would be willing to buy your product does not mean that it will be successful. It needs to be a representative sample in your locality and this can be determined in two ways: Through probability or random sampling and non-probability sampling.
Probability or random sampling consists of selecting people at random from a given population. This technique allows all people in the population to have the same probability of selection and inclusion in the sample, which guarantees that the selection of people to participate will not be manipulated.
On the other hand, non-probability sampling looks for different types of people to form a representative sample of the total population. To select these people, their demographic and psychographic characteristics are taken into account, such as age, sex, gender, interests, average income, etc.
- Collect the data
After being very clear about the method to use and the number of people you will use as a sample, it is time to collect the data and, for this, you need to design your instrument. For example, if you have selected the interview or survey as your data collection method, you need to design a questionnaire.
Following this, it is time to collect your research data. This is something that can take days, weeks, or even months; it all depends on the size of your sample and the collection method selected. The important thing is that all the people involved in the investigation commit to collaborate throughout the investigation and, above all, are willing to act according to the results.
Market research is a technique that will allow you to know everything that nobody will ever want to confess to you, such as, for example, that your product is something expensive, that your business idea does not interest anyone, that your product needs to improve, etc. .
And many have the question: where to start research, especially if an audience has not been built? Start with people close to you, like friends and acquaintances. The search can be simple, like a question on WhatsApp, for example, and thus follow the conversation. The important thing is that all the people involved in the investigation commit to collaborate throughout the investigation and, above all, are willing to be honest.
- Study the competitors
Within market research, the study of competitors is a fundamental part. After all, if they are successful and present in the market, it means they did well. And there is nothing wrong with finding out what it is and always trying to do better.
- Collect data from other sources.
Crossing data is important to know if your business is moving along with the market in general. Therefore, you can analyze research from other (reliable) sources and collect other data to complete your research.
- Analyze the data and present the results
Once all the information and data about your market has been collected, it is time to analyze them. This is a very important step: there is no use designing a great instrument and spending time gathering all the information, if the data will not be analyzed correctly or, in the worst case, it will end up hidden in a folder.
Analyze in depth each of the data that you get with your research, do not make the mistake of underestimating any comment or statistical data no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Prepare a report that summarizes the results of the investigation and, above all, the solutions, recommendations or next actions to take.
Research is a great strategy that can help you put a new spin on your business, develop a great idea, or avoid failure. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of underestimating the power of market analysis for fear of wasting time, money, or because they simply consider it unnecessary.
Lean Market Research and Its Advantages
Seeing how important market research is to the growth of a business, it is easy to conclude that it is cheap. Experts have quoted that many companies spend billions of dollars in research in order to be able to obtain the right information and use it to make products that really impact its consumers. The hard truth is that not everyone can spend that kind of money on research but every business needs to grow. Every business owner desires to understand their market\’s pains and frustrations, their demands and with that information, make products that will meet their needs and bring the company a lot of profit. The concept of lean market research drawn from the lean startup concept seeks to derive valuable marketing insight from consumers without necessarily breaking the bank.
The concept of lean market research operates with the following principles:
- The research should engage customers directly and not through third party research companies.
- The research should focus on a small number of high quality conversations and not just large data from surveys.
- Marketing efforts should focus on collecting insights through each interaction with the customer and not wait for some occasional research studies to bring in insight on the customer.
- Marketing activities can be effectively deployed using low cost research tools, as opposed to expensive ones.
- Marketing must become the medium through which the voice of the customer is made known to the company, and the insights used to transform the business, as opposed to conducting research in a vacuum.
How to perform market research (in a lean way)
Below are ten ways you can effectively carry out a market study at a low cost:
- Direct Access to Customers: instead of outsourcing market research functions to third party institutions, the lean approach suggests that you ensure there is direct access to your customers. If you operate an online business, there are a lot of data collection tools built into the softwares that you use to reach your customers. Some of these tools do not only collect data but also analyze it in a way that can help you take decisions.
- Focus on Quality not Quantity: When the research is mentioned, a lot of people think about gathering a huge amount of data and stuck up their files with questionnaires. They focus so much on the process so much that they tend to ignore the purpose of the activity. At the end of the day, whether you collect data from millions of people or just a few people, if you are able to lay hold on quality information that will help your business, you have accomplished your aim. A smart business owner or marketer will focus on an existing customer or ideal buyer persona, depending on the situation and ask pertinent questions that will provide the kind of answers that you are looking for. This simple but effective activity has proven to be more effective than carrying out a “big bang” research.
- Ask the Right Questions: The outcome of a research depends on the kind of questions or information sought from the subject which in this case are the customers or the target market. With the lean approach, the marketer must save time by asking the right questions. What you ask a customer that is not pleased with your services is not the same question you will ask a different customer who is pleased with you. There is therefore the need to use analytics to understand the market’s reaction before coming out with research questions.Product quality and pricing are major issues for customers and most of their decisions are based on these two factors. It is the duty of the marketer to get the customer to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction on any of these variables.
- Collaborate with Customers: Even though your customers would want your business to thrive in order for them to continue buying from you, their main goal is to have their needs met at the best bargain possible. If you prove to them that you will no longer be able to help them, they turn to the next available person. So when you are turning to customers to obtain information to improve your marketing strategy, you must inform them that the information you are providing them will make a better product for them. You can send them prototypes of your new product and solicit their views before putting together the final product. Software companies achieve this by sending out better versions of some of their customers to use and have their feedback. It is key to let the customer feel that their opinion is important as you are making the product for them. This will provide you quality information at a lower cost.
- Research Never Ends: the lean marketing research method sees the research process as an ongoing activity. In this method, there is no particular time in the calendar of the company for research because it is designed to feed the business with information about the market on a daily basis. While this is in place, the business benefits from the abundance of information and with this, quality decisions can be made at any time.
What are the types of marketing ?
- Traditional Marketing: traditional marketing is a technique which consists in using the media such as radio, television, newspapers or written press… and advertising posters to disseminate one\’s message and present one\’s product / service. The principle of traditional marketing is for a company to go to the consumer. Its benefits vary from the use of viable and quality support to the fact that consumer targeting is much more local and also because the message transmission is quick and easy. This does not mean that it does not have any demerits. It is usually very expensive and difficult to measure impact and Return on Investment. Traditional marketing is selective and therefore not accessible to everyone
- Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing is all about reaching potential customers who might be aware they have a problem, but who are not actively seeking a solution. Methods such as distributing leaflets, buying newspaper, magazine and television advertisements, and billboards are often criticized for being expensive, too broad, and unable to calculate the cost. In addition, telephone and email prospecting is also frowned upon because it is perceived to be \”vulgar\” and intrusive. And who wants to take care of this? However, despite all these flaws, outbound marketing can be very effective when done right and it also allows you to see the results of your efforts immediately instead of having to wait weeks, months, or even years.
- Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is all about attracting potential customers who know they have a problem and are actively looking for a solution. It encompasses things like search engine optimization , blogging, building an email distribution list , speaking at conferences, and establishing a leader. opinion in your space. The main advantage of inbound marketing is that it costs less. Inbound leads cost an average of 61% less than outbound leads. It\’s not surprising. It\’s easier to convince people who have already expressed an interest in your offer. However, it\’s important to understand that while inbound marketing is cheaper, it\’s not free . You either have to produce the content yourself , which takes time, or hire someone to produce it for you , which costs money. Inbound marketing also requires a lot of upfront work, and it may take a while before you start to see meaningful results (think at least 1-2 years of constant effort if you\’re starting from scratch).
- Digital Marketing: Digital marketing refers to all the marketing techniques used on digital (online) media and channels to promote products and services. In digital marketing, an essential notion emerges, interactivity or engagement. We can also talk about web marketing since the difference is mainly related to the environment, here the internet. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing puts the customer at the heart of its strategy. Digital marketing is the result of two developments: marketing applications linked to the Internet and those linked to new information and communication technologies. Digital marketing can be dispensed in the form of social media marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), email marketing among others.
- Search Engine Marketing(SEM): To understand what Search Engine Marketing is we must first of all clarify what a search engine is. Oxford Dictionary defines it as “a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web.” Examples of search engines include Google and Bing among others. So SEM involves buying advertising on search engines or websites that are part of their advertising network (Google Display, Amazon Ads, etc.). The three main types of ad purchases are:
- Purchasing keywords on search engines ( Also called search advertising)
- Display of banners on websites (Also called display advertising )
- Displaying video ads on YouTube
- Content Marketing: content marketing is a marketing strategy based on the creation and dissemination of valuable, useful and informative content in order to communicate with its audience and develop its visibility. Content marketing is a component of inbound marketing. The goal of content marketing is to attract visitors to its website and turn them into consumers through editorial strategy, targeted and valuable messaging, and storytelling techniques. It increases its visibility with the audience, on search engines and social networks. It differs from traditional advertising, considered too intrusive by the consumer. The creation of interesting content then makes it possible to attract the attention of qualified prospects, to influence the behavior of potential consumers and to raise awareness of your brand or company.
- Social Media Marketing: This is a type of marketing that comes on social media platforms. As you would expect, this notion includes a wide variety of activities that only have social media in common. So if you want to promote a blog or organize a recruiting campaign, and if it is done in connection with Facebook or Twitter, it is social media marketing. In fact, most of the strategies adopted on social media are not exclusive or revolutionary – it is simply a matter of adapting old recipes to new types of media. Doing social media marketing has become a must for all kinds of businesses and organizations. Social media gives you access to a huge audience through free or paid advertising, an audience that you can shape and grow yourself.
- Video Marketing: video marketing can be seen as the set of uses of video used for marketing purposes. The use of the term video marketing has developed in conjunction with the use of video on the Internet, although there were previously some forms of video marketing, in particular through institutional videos or films. In the context of digital marketing, video marketing combines many uses:
- advertising videos linked to a campaign with space purchase
- viral videos
- social videos
- institutional videos – brand content video (tutorials, assembly instructions, program videos)
- product / service videos for sales support
On the Internet, video marketing often uses video platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Watch among others. It has also given rise to the rise of video analytics.
- Voice Marketing: voice marketing makes it possible to set up marketing actions based on recognition, research and voice synthesis. It was in 2011, with the first voice assistant Siri, that Apple introduced voice marketing to the market.
With such innovation, the functionality of smartphones and iPhones will be completely transformed. Indeed, integrating the voice exchange, even within your phone, to do research is a feat of inventiveness. Especially since Apple has gamified the use of this voice search feature with the famous \”Hey Siri,\”. It is this expression that will allow Siri to activate, and use the principle of voice requests, even when your hands are already occupied. A stroke of marketing genius.
Voice marketing then became a phenomenon. Fun, with family or friends, but also very practical, easy to use and above all precise in the results communicated, the voice assistant Siri has started a new era of digital marketing with a concept that is in line with innovations technologies of the sector. Other companies have also introduced voice marketing. Amazon has Alexa while Google has Google Assistant.
- Email Marketing: email marketing refers to the design and sending emails as channel direct marketing. Long assimilated to mass direct mail, it is today based on the consent of contacts and the personalization of messages. Email marketing is a pillar of the digital marketing strategy and the most important direct marketing channel with an estimated ROI of 3800%. It is impossible today to have an online business without having an email list. It is a must-have for online businesses. From order confirmation email to newsletters, they are indeed essential for the management and growth of your business.
- Conversational Marketing: Conversational marketing is part of direct marketing, yet it is starting to supplant the term. While direct marketing relies above all on personalized communication addressed to customers, conversational marketing insists on the notion of mutual exchange of information between the brand and the consumer. By reaching out to customers individually, conversational marketing responds to changing trends. In particular, niche marketing has made a place for itself alongside mass marketing. While we used to only speak of target groups, the individual is now increasingly taken into account. Instead of taking a database of customers as a whole and bombarding with information, the dialogue tries to be made in a personal way.
- Buzz Marketing: buzz marketing campaigns are designed to get people talking about a brand and what it does. Sharing is not enough, the goal being for people to talk about it as much as possible to those around them. Buzz marketing can work with all types of marketing including content marketing, guerrilla marketing, social media marketing, etc. Buzz marketing goes beyond brand awareness and relationships. It\’s also a great way to showcase a business with short term impulses that have long term impact.
- Acquisition Marketing: customer acquisition is the act of getting new customers. It includes any method used, both offline and online, to find new customers and encourage them to make purchases. Common customer acquisition tactics include cold calling and direct mail, and online tactics such as email, social media, content marketing, SEO, paid display, and paid search ads.
- Contextual Marketing: contextual marketing is about combining data with context to deliver the most appropriate message at the right time. For example, let\’s say Gloria Google searches for “red christmas dresses”. She then goes to Facebook and sees an ad for these types of dresses, which she clicks to check out the latest styles. The next day, she is out walking and her phone shows her the latest deals on red christmas dresses available on Amazon or any other online store. The possibility that this ad will get Gloria to buy one of them is very high, thanks to the fact that the ad is in the right context and time. In fact, contextual marketing takes advantage of the data and information it has on its potential consumer to then adapt its communication strategy to the environment that it transits and the scenarios that this consumer usually occupies.
- Personalized Marketing: Personalized marketing consists of personalizing promotional and communication actions according to the profile of each customer. Personalization can relate to the channel or medium, the message or the offer. Personalized marketing remains theoretically more modest in its practices than one to one marketing because personalization is often done only at the level of personalization of data relating to the recipient, the offer can be common to the target or to a segment.
- Direct Response Marketing: this type of marketing, better known as direct response, is designed to generate an immediate response that helps consumers take a specific action. Direct response campaigns have their own \”language\” and use the spaces in the media differently, always using calls to action and in many cases incentivizing them in different ways. To be successful in a direct response campaign, you must apply the principles of performance marketing and always look for a media mix that guarantees the clients we need at the target price.
- B2B Marketing: B2B stands for \”business to business\”. It brings together all the marketing techniques used in the context of business-to-business commerce. B2B marketing is generally based on the same techniques as B2C marketing with however the necessary adaptations to the specific characteristics of B2B commerce. Among these characteristics specific to B2B businesses, we can cite the following elements:
- customers / consumers are companies
- fewer customers / prospects but the potential unit value is higher
- the buyer\’s information search can be be very in-depth and mainly done on the Internet
- purchasing and decision cycles can be very long and involve several interlocutors (decision-maker, buyer, user, etc.)
- the perceived risk can be very important for the company and the personal career of the decision-maker for heavy investments
- customers / prospects are mobile (internal and external professional mobility)
- buyers are normally more rational and sometimes professional buyers
- payment / invoicing methods can sometimes be complex
- product prices can be personalized and pre-negotiated according to each client
- the value of a business client can be very high and represent a large part of turnover.
- in some areas, the buyer is looking more for a global solution than a product
- B2C Marketing: B2C marketing or \”business to consumer\” marketing brings together all the marketing actions aimed at and addressed to the individual consumer. This is often what is meant in the broad sense by the evocation of the term marketing. B2C marketing is therefore made up of the most visible and best-known marketing techniques, actions and campaigns identified by the general public. B2C marketing differs from B2B marketing which is less visible and less known, and this despite being the basis of the vast majority of commercial exchanges.
- H2H Marketing: H2H marketing, or human-to-human marketing, represents the concept that behind every business is a living human being, who makes decisions about a business. The principle of human-to-human marketing is therefore very simple: one human being buys from another. As Hill Holliday put it so well in his “Welcome to Human Era” report “being an H2H brand isn\’t just about saying you\’re more ‘\’human’. It requires storytelling and genuine expertise delivered consistently through an inspiring experience. It takes a lot of work — establishing customer-centric organizational values and commitments, while guiding them towards day-to-day decision making. So to sell well, you must prioritize people for the benefit of the consumer, relegating the authority and power of the company to the background.
- Brand Marketing: Brand marketing or branding aims to position a brand favorably in the mind of the consumer and more precisely of its target consumers (personas). Branding, in order to be effective, combines the most suitable advertising devices to survive over time without running out of steam and to remain relevant to consumers. Brand marketing allows a brand to be memorable, recognizable, to unite a target community around it thanks to the values it conveys and to communicate within a specific framework without deviating from it. Brand marketing includes all the aspects involved in the image and brand content of a company such as its territory and its style of expression, the description of the quality of its products, its values, its signs of presence therefore ultimately its visual identity. It gives a company a strong personality and a unique identity.
- Stealth Marketing: Stealth marketing is the set of marketing techniques that consist of using social networks, blogs, forums, customer reviews and other community spaces to disseminate information favorable to the brand or its products without the message appearing to come from the brand or its agency. Stealth marketing practices can sometimes be illegal (by non-compliance with the mandatory information) or at least unethical. They may also go against the guidelines of certain media (YouTube policy with regard to product placement).
- Native Marketing: Native ad, also known as “native advertising”, “integrated advertising”, or “chameleon advertising”, is a type of online marketing that is used more and more today. The reason is that display advertising is no longer as effective and that many Internet users are using ad blockers. Native advertising designates a type of advertising which by its form, its location and its content closely resembles and integrates with the editorial content usually disseminated by the supporting site which disseminates it. Social advertisements of the “Facebook ads” type integrated into user flows or the formats offered within the framework of content recommendation offers are examples of formats falling under “native advertising”.
- Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is a form of pay-for-performance marketing where an affiliate sells items on behalf of a merchant for an agreed-upon rate or percentage of the sale. This is a great form of advertising for e- commerce stores since funds are only exchanged after a sale is complete, but it works for all business models. As long as you have a product to sell, or can find a product to promote, you can participate in affiliate marketing. What sets this form of marketing apart is that it benefits everyone involved. On the customer side, they are able to find products they might not have found on their own and get the endorsement of someone they (likely) trust.
- Partner Marketing: Partner marketing is about joining hands with a person or business because they have a relationship with an area of a market that you’re interested in reaching out to. By collaborating with somebody, you’re able to introduce your brand to a new audience. For example – some years ago, the Jordan shoe brand partnered with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) Football club to introduce their brand to the French market.
- Product Marketing: Product marketing refers to all marketing decisions directly related to the product or service to be marketed. It also covers product policy. Product marketing includes in particular:
– the definition of the product and its characteristics
– the choice of the brand
– the range policy
– the creation of the packaging
– the styling (design)
We can also consider that product marketing includes marketing studies aimed at determining and analyzing consumers\’ needs and how they perceive the product created.
- Account-based Marketing: Account-Based Marketing (ABM), is a strategic approach to B2B marketing which consists of concentrating its sales and marketing resources on a defined set of target key accounts and developing personalized campaigns in response with each key account. With ABM, the marketing message is based on the attributes and needs of the key account being targeted, hence its name. But why concentrate its marketing resources and its sales force on a group of customers selected with an ABM strategy? The marketing and sales team selects and targets high value-added accounts, able to generate more income, and which are strategically significant or influential in the market. Think about it as the application of the 80/20 principle in marketing.
- Customer Marketing: Customer marketing can be defined as bringing together all the marketing techniques that make it possible to address more or less directly to current or potential customers and to better manage relations with them. Customer marketing therefore includes: relationship marketing, direct marketing, customer loyalty or satisfaction, support among others.
A broad vision of customer marketing will also include advertising and promotional communication actions .
- Word of Mouth Marketing: In a marketing context, word of mouth is initially a phenomenon of oral propagation of information or opinions relating to a product, service or organization. Word of mouth is generally spontaneous, but it can also be encouraged, even rewarded, in the context of sponsorship actions. Word of mouth is generally positive (recommendation effect), but it can also be negative (warning). In some cases, it can be a very powerful promotion or denigration movement. The effects of word of mouth can, for example, play a very important role in the case of certain products which do not have a budget or a very important promotional potential before their release. Likewise, spontaneous or encouraged word of mouth plays, for example, a very important role in the recruitment of new customers. These days, because of the use of the internet, word of mouth has gone beyond just oral recommendations, it has gone on to include social media posts, comments and reviews.
- User-generated Marketing: also called “Customer Generated Content”, is the opposite of Brand Generated Content or “brand generated marketing”. It is where the content of your marketing is generated by the users of your platform. The content generated by your customers can be comments, sharing photos or videos, recommendations, ratings, customer reviews etc. Examples of platforms that use user-generated marketing are: Wikipedia, Quora and social media platforms.
- Campus Marketing: this type of marketing is deployed when a brand or product has students as its target market. This is done by engaging students to market the brand or its products to other students. This could be done by getting some students sign up as brand ambassadors or have them in a group on campus where they organize events, social media campaigns and other direct marketing activities that can help them achieve their marketing goals on campus. This is effective in the sense that it allows students to provide specific strategies that have proven to work on their campus.
- Proximity Marketing: as its name suggests, proximity marketing refers to all the marketing techniques used to reach prospects or customers located near a point of sale or service. Historically, proximity marketing was first used on proximity advertising media and letterbox media, which made it possible to address individuals within a catchment area. The development of digital marketing and its geolocation capabilities then made it possible to develop new functions for web to store issues ( local SEO , geo targeted AdWords campaigns, geolocated advertising , etc.). The concept was then applied to mobile marketing and fine geolocation techniques which make it possible to address a consumer and possibly recognize him when he passes near or within a point of sale. Proximity marketing can therefore be used in drive to store/walk to store logics or within the point of sale to personalize offers or study purchasing behaviour.
- Event Marketing: event marketing brings together all of the marketing techniques that consist of mounting more or less unusual or exceptional events to promote a brand, product or organization to different audiences.
The objectives of event marketing can be, among others:
– to attract the attention of consumers and to make an impression
– to obtain media coverage and social benefits
– to promote the image of the brand being the subject of the event.
Event marketing includes \”classic\” event communication actions.
- Experiential Marketing: according to Bernd Schmitt, experiential marketing is a device that aims to provide a memorable experience to a customer before the purchase. The author makes a difference between the customer experience when purchasing a product or service and that is included in an advertising or promotional framework. Experiential marketing is focused on customer experience. It focuses on the quality of the welcome, the environment and the information given to customers. All of these elements must be particularly pleasant for the customer. Salespeople can also rely on sensory or immersive marketing to intensify this aspect of experiential marketing.
- Interactive Marketing: Interactive marketing includes all marketing actions or techniques allowing immediate interaction with the consumer exposed to the marketing action. The term interactive marketing originally appeared to refer to marketing techniques used on the Internet. In particular, these allow immediate interaction by clicking on an email, on an advertising creation or on any other clickable element. There are also interactive marketing applications outside of the Internet or mobile context. TV advertisements can be interactive and this is also referred to as interactive display. The term interactive marketing is tending to be replaced by that of digital marketing.
- Global Marketing: It is the application of marketing strategies in an environment different from where the business currently operates in. The specialist must interact with cultures and realities foreign to his usual environment and which oblige him to pay particular attention to certain factors which will be decisive for the introduction of products on the market. One of the marketing responsibilities is to retain customers, for whom the product in question must meet their needs. In international or global marketing, it is important that the expert is clear about what these needs are and how the product to be marketed can meet them.
- Multicultural Marketing: multicultural marketing is designing and executing a marketing campaign that targets people of different ethnicities and cultures within a brand\’s overall audience. Not only does it help you connect and resonate with minority groups, but it also recognizes their ethnicities and cultures and helps majority groups realize that most countries are melting pots and are not dominated by a main ethnic group or culture.
- Informative Marketing: informational marketing tells exactly what a product or service is and used for. It seeks to educate the market about the product or brand. This includes its benefits, importance, what distinguishes it from other products as well as where you can buy it. Informational marketing, when done correctly, should leave no stone unturned. Informational marketing means understanding that a target market needs to have a good understanding of a product in order to prepare them to buy.
- Neuromarketing: neuromarketing is the study of the buying process, and even more, the study of the decision-making process of consumers or potential consumers before buying, while they are buying and, of course, after the purchase. A discipline that allows finding the formula to improve the conversion of a brand\’s products and services through scientific study, together with the monitoring of the behavior of its consumers. Many people tend to think that the purchase process begins with the user\’s doubt and ends once the purchase has been made. Nothing could be further from the truth. The buying process can begin at home, on the street, on a trip not necessarily with the product or service and ends once the consumer assumes and assimilates that they have bought a product or service and can make use of it and enjoy it. It can even arrive after having made use of it, hence the user experience is extremely important in neuromarketing.
- Persuasive Marketing: Persuasive marketing is the way to attract a partner and give him confidence to show that the product he wants is a product good and sumptuous. The persuasion can be done through a sensory approach to the individual, that is to say, force him to buy, causing him more or less convincing emotions such as appetite , fear of buying. In other words, the customer is ready to make the sale from the start but is reluctant to make the purchase. Persuasive marketing allows the seller to provide trust between the two individuals and the seller lets himself be guided and gets caught up in a desire to buy and the sale is concluded. This method of stimulating the individual is clearly the strong point in a purchase between two individuals during a sale, the customer often asking to lower the price of the product but the seller having a fixed breakeven point. Often, it is advisable to put a price in the eye but reasonable to be able to realize a discount calculated in order to seduce the customer. The latter agrees to make the sale and the sales technique is set in motion by the price of the product. After that, the seller decreases the price of the product by 25% to attract the customer later, it is the customer who accepts and asks him to lower the price of the product and there, the emotion is triggered by the seller who tells him that the price is too high and that it is not worth the cost of manufacture the customer feels ready and finally buys the product.
- Cause Marketing: the terms cause marketing can have two partly distinct meanings. The term can first be used for marketing or advertising actions aimed at promoting a cause of general interest. Advertising campaigns against smoking or violence against women are thus examples of cause marketing. In this case, the advertiser or the issuer is usually a state body or an association/foundation. Charity marketing is also an example of a cause marketing in this direction. In a different sense, cause marketing can refer to a marketing or advertising action by which a brand claims the defense of a cause. In this case, it is naturally difficult to distinguish between the real will to defend a cause and its opportunistic \”exploitation\” for image and visibility purposes.
Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is a form of online marketing that involves partnering with a celebrity to promote a product or service.
This method of marketing combines the old way of celebrity endorsement but adds a new approach which is the modern-day content marketing strategies. That is what makes influencer marketing a big thing. Influencers are not just celebrities.
The reason why this type of marketing rides on the back of influencers and not just celebrities is that influencers are not just people with huge social media followings, they have the power to affect the purchase decisions of their followers because of their authority.
They also operate in distinct niches which means that their followers also have a high interest in that niche. Therefore, any organization that partners with influencers benefit from their influence. Usually, influencer marketing efforts will succeed based on two things: the size of the followership and the quality of the influencer’s brand.
Relationship Marketing: This is the type of marketing that focuses on the long-term goals such as customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement other than short term goals such as customer acquisition and sales.
The major goal of a business is to make a profit but in order to ensure the sustainability of the business, effort must be put into retaining customers and offering them more services while putting other strategies in place to acquire new ones.
If a business’ focus is solely on acquiring new customers while no attention is paid to the existing ones, they will start seeing a decline in profit because it takes more money to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Relationship marketing aims at creating strong or even emotional ties between the business and its customers that will lead to ongoing business, and free word-of-mouth promotion that can lead to more leads.
Companies implement relationship marketing because sometimes a customer can decide to make a purchase with no intentions of coming back again, but it is the intentional strategies implemented by the company that builds that cordial relationship between the customer and the business and makes them feel connected to the business.
Viral Marketing: The word “viral” refers to something that spreads quickly and instantly gains popularity among a certain audience online. Viral marketing is therefore a deliberate attempt by a company to reach more people online by creating a message and encouraging each recipient to keep sharing it.
This usually happens organically as viral marketing is not powered by advertisement. Viral marketing was very common in the early to mid-2000s but one of the earliest and most cited examples of viral marketing dates back to the year 1996 when Hotmail, a web-based email service included in its users’ outgoing messages a very simple message with a link to invite others to experience the service.
Viral marketing is still very common these days, especially with the advent of new media platforms and social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Youtube etc. Virality has become a daily activity. There are a lot of influencers who are now teaching how to create viral posts, a process they call the virality protocol. Viral marketing may be deliberate or accidental depending on the situation.
However, a viral message has three basic components which are the message, the messenger and the environment. All these three components come together to create a viral message. A viral marketing campaign can be less expensive than a traditional marketing campaign. Sometimes, for a message to go viral, it may require the help of an influencer.
Green Marketing: Also called ecological marketing, green marketing is the use of the ecological positioning of a brand or a product as a selling point, or the communication on the environmental actions of the company to enhance its brand image. In other words, it consists of selling products with an added social or environmental value with an ethical argument and then promoting them. Green marketing is essentially based on the ecological characteristics of a product such as ecological raw materials or recyclable products, on sales promotions promoting environmental protection or on the environmental promises of the company such as the foundations, and ecological actions. All industries around the world are embracing green marketing.
Keyword Marketing: In this day of online marketing, there are so many ways businesses take advantage of the online space to market their products or services. One of such ways is using keywords. Because people are constantly searching for information online by typing in keywords in their search engines, it is possible for businesses to provide information on their websites and optimize such information so that when people search using words known as keywords, their websites will show up. So a keyword designates a word or expression used by Internet users to carry out research on the Internet.
There are mainly 2 types of keywords known as; generic keywords and long-tail keywords. To attract traffic to your website, it is important to rank for a large number of keywords. The use of keywords is crucial in the field of Digital Marketing since Internet users conduct their research on the Internet by typing in keywords or phrases.
Your chances of increasing the effectiveness of your online communication are high if you choose the right keywords. Likewise, based on the queries most used by Internet users, you can refine your advertising campaigns and better reach your targets. Keywords play a key role in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of a website, be it an e-commerce site, blog or otherwise.