How to Start Marketing Efforts Right
Yes, Yes, Yes! We know! Every business knows it! Businesses of all sizes know it! Even though it can be fun and creative, it can still be a drag! Figured it out yet? Marketing… it’s risky, it’s expensive, and the uncertainties of the outcome of a marketing campaign can be daunting! Sure, it’s challenging and exciting in the way of having to constantly stay on top of trends, ads, campaigns, measuring the return on a certain campaign, and its efficiency in terms of the campaign’s objective, and it is one of the hardest areas in business to master.
In sales, processes are set, and the same process occurs to process a transaction and send customers waltzing away with his or her new product or service order. Production or service appointments are almost always routine. The basic procedures of business administration and other operating processes happen automatically as workers do the same thing every day. But then… there is marketing! The monster that never sleeps, is never the same, and is a definite attention whore!
This article will give some insight on how to start marketing efforts right and give direction with advertising as a business takes on the ever changing beast of marketing. You May want to check out our FREE tutorial “Facebook Page Marketing Strategy Tips 2014 – Before running Facebook Ads!” if your objective in marketing is to advertise using social media ads such as Facebook.
The results of marketing can create massive success in a business, but it can also destroy a business. The uncertainties associated with marketing can be huge, but every company does it, some better than others, so there is a way to do it right and master the art of marketing.
Getting Started with Marketing
Marketing actually starts at the start of a company. When drafting a business plan and choosing a business strategy that’ll carry out the business plan most effectively, a marketing plan is essential as the plan and strategy outline how the marketing efforts will target customers, who is the customer target, the budgets available, and specifies the trends and demographics of the chosen customer target.
Choosing a customer target and researching on the people within that audience is essential for a successful marketing campaign. Creating a campaign that doesn’t appeal to the demographics of those in the targeted audience is, in all honesty, a waste of time and money. Every product and or service needs a market; meaning, it needs a group of people who are willing to pay x amount of dollars for that product or service, and a business needs to figure out how much is x amount of dollars and who the people are that are willing to pay that amount and where they are located. That’s the basics of marketing.
In addition to having to figure out who the target audience is and where they are located, a business’s marketing efforts needs to figure out what that audience likes and what appeals to that audience. A broad audience will have pockets or segments of different people. For example, a business that sells vacation cruise packages will advertise to people between the age of 55 and 65 different than those between the age of 25 and 30. Each age bracket will need different advertising efforts, and even then, within those age brackets are different segments such as those people who love to party and drink lots of alcohol and those who are more into the food and entertainment events available on a cruise. Both those groups can be found in both market segments (age brackets and interest).
Demographics, Behaviors, and Interests
This brings us to demographics, behaviors, and interest. Some demographics are irrelevant to a business, as are some interests and behaviors. Demographics are attributes of a group of people such as culture, language, traditions, norms, physical attributes, etc. Interests are things that a specific market is interested in such as football, music, social media, furniture, technology, etc. Behaviors are things that people do such as where a group of people are employed, self-employed, what type of shopping habits a specific group engages in such as compulsive versus casual shopper, how economic trends influence a specific market in good time and in bad times, etc. So, some of these attributes can be irrelevant, and it’s just as important to know which are relevant as those that are irrelevant. For example, heavy marketing efforts of canned foods to college students aren’t necessary because they don’t have much of a choice in regard to food because of food budgets. There will be a market among college students for canned foods whether they see ads or not. On the other hand, advertising a laptop to people over 55 years old without mentioning the convenience of a large screen may discourage those who have vision problems and need a large screen.
The Four Marketing P’s
Researching a market segment is crucial! Drill that into your head, researching a market segment is crucial! There are four P’s which are mentioned in the above mentioned video tutorial that will help in researching a market segment. The four P’s include Product, Place, Promotion, and Price.
The first most important marketing P is the product. Without the product or service, there is no need to know the place, promotional method, or have a price. The product or service needs to have a market. If a business is selling under water basket weaving training sessions… first of all, that’s going to be a tough business to generate enough customers, and the lessons will be expensive since the business will need scuba diving gear, water, and trainers. By the way, who even knows how to do under water basket weaving? Once a product is determined to have a market and have a market large enough to sustain a business, the business will need to be able to deliver the product by producing enough units or have the resources to make and keep service appointments. The business will also need to know where its market is located to strategically market towards that market segment, the most efficient method to promote to that segment, and at what price that product will sell to that segment and still be able to bring in a profit.
Where is your market segment located? Are they scattered throughout the world? Maybe your market segment is located only at universities such as the case for companies that sell college text books. Can it be possible that your product only appeals to people who live where it’s cold or where there is water? The place affects all the other marketing P’s. The place or location of your marketing segments can tell you the language and culture of the people so the method of promoting a product can appeal to that language and culture, what products will appeal to those people given weather and other environmental determinants, the location can even help price the product according to the areas economic standing and other factors like currency.
This part is extremely important! As a business identifies the product and its market as well as the location of that market segment, it’ll then need to know how to promote a product or service to those specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. Social Media is a great way to promote and advertise, but not always the most efficient. A lawyer would find a smaller return on investment on social media than a clothing store or a sporting goods manufacturer that sells directly to customers. Social Media is only one avenue a business can take to advertise. There are also television commercials, bus stops, billboards, magazines, restaurant menus, blogs, website banners, and so much more. Along with the method of promotion comes the approach; meaning, what the promotion will tell its targeted audience and how it will approach that group. An ad displaying a very attractive young woman wearing the clothing that is being advertised will appeal to young women more than it would women in their 60’s. Those women in their 60’s can only remember what it was like back in those days, but most probably would not buy clothes that 20 year olds are wearing. This is an excellent example of why the four marketing P’s go together so well. The advertising featuring the stunning and hot young woman would be best near universities, high schools, shopping malls, or social media sites, blogs that attract younger crowds such as those on Tumblr, or advertising on YouTube videos that attract young women. The price would obviously have to be appealing to women in their 20’s and the clothes will need to stand out to woman in their 20’s and early 30’s.
By now it is obvious how the four P’s work together to create a marketing plan, strategy, and campaign efforts. Price is very important as well. Even though price may be more of an accounting thing, it is very important to marketing. Why? After a business has created a product that captures a market’s attention and locates that market, the deal isn’t closed until the customer likes and accepts the price. Price is the closing factor in a deal. Of course the delivery of a product or service is important and really closes the transaction, unless there is customer service available after delivery, but the delivery or customer service guarantees don’t happen unless the customer likes the price and is willing to value the product or service at that specified price. A lot goes into a price. After all, the price of a product or service needs to cover the direct costs associated with that product or service, taxes, and indirect expenses and still offer a profit. Price can be tricky, and the details of price will be touched on in a different post, but the important part to take away from price in this article is to know that it is very much associated with marketing. It’s not just an accounting thing, and it doesn’t only have to do with business operations, yet it has everything to do with how a customer will respond to that price given the situation and the targeted marketing segment.
As you move forward with your marketing efforts, remember, remember, remember that researching a market segment is crucial! Marketing is not impossible. In fact, every company has had a good campaign and a bad campaign, so don’t let a bad campaign be a turn off. Allow those good and bad campaigns to be lessons for future marketing efforts. Actually, marketing can be very fun, and it can be full of laughs and smiles if the culture of a business allows it to go in that direction. In many ways, marketing adds to the fun factor in business, so have fun with it and enjoy yourself!
To your marketing success!