When it comes to growing your business, we all know that marketing is one of the key factors in achieving success. But the problem is that “doing marketing” is not enough, especially if you’re all over the place because you're trying to do everything all at once.
You keep on looking for “tactics” so you’re going to try every idea or system you come across. You’re going to take another online course about “Facebook Ads that Convert”, you’ll run a promotion on your website, you’ll create a landing page (...or ten), and you’ll launch your uber-creative Facebook Ad, the list goes on and on.
What’s going to happen next? Uhm, nothing...turns out you just spend more money than you make...sound familiar??
Marketing and its Meaning
If you’re taking online courses because it promises you a specific result...only to get disappointed, that’s because you’re executing tactics without a concrete and well-thought-out strategy. Remember that you need to have a clear direction...and your direction will most likely be unique to you and your business. What's your game plan? What do you want to achieve for your business? How are you going to communicate effectively to your target audience?
Throwing together a landing page and a Facebook ad are not enough because they’re not equivalent to marketing, they’re merely advertising.
So here’s the million-dollar question...what is marketing really? According to Hubspot, “Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising.”
In other words, it's a process composed of strategies to provide a deeper understanding of your products and services that is valuable to your consumers. We’re talking about your business as a whole, its identity, and its core. And for us to market effectively, we’ll have to think about an effective strategy for your business.
Here’s the simplest definition of marketing you’ll ever read:
If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Showground Saturday,” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the Mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity. And if you get the Mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.
If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions, and, ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales. And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing. ~Author Unknown
Marketing Strategy and Marketing Tactic
Don’t get confused between a "marketing tactic" and a "marketing strategy" because they are different things. The tactic is about doing an activity to achieve a specific goal, while strategy is all about the bigger picture, a comprehensive long-term plan for your business.
Having a concrete and long-term plan gives you a sense of direction. It’s like a map that you can follow, whether you’re riding a bike or a car going to your desired destination, you will never get lost as long as you’ve laid out everything and you know where you’re going.
Marketing Strategy and its Elements
An effective marketing strategy should be composed of these essential elements to help you know your product and offerings in depth.
Presenting, the Marketing Mix a.k.a the 4 P's of Marketing. (This concept was formed by E. J. McCarthy in 1960)
- Product/Service - It’s all about the service or goods you’re providing to your consumers. You have to make sure that you do your research and really know what you’re offering your market, it's relevance to their lives, its benefits, and strengths, even it's weaknesses.
- Price - What is the cost of your product? You have to determine the price of your offerings based on perceived value. How would you like to position yourself in the market, affordable or expensive?
- Place - Where do you want to sell your product? If you really know your product/service, you have to make sure that you’re selling them in the right place. Put your products where your target consumers usually go.
- Promotion - It is all about Advertising, PR, Social Media, etc. Whatever communication tools you're going to use, you must effectively communicate your company’s message to your consumers. Why do they need you, your products, and your services?
In 1981, Booms and Bitner developed the Extended Marketing Mix and added 3 more elements to better determine the essence of “company services” and not just the physical products.
- Physical Evidence - We’re talking about proof that your company is a legitimate business, and trustworthy. It can be your social media presence, website, and the look and feel of your physical store. Reviews from your customers are also an example of your physical evidence.
- People - Every member of your team is your company’s representative. So having excellent company management is also a vital factor to gain trust from your consumers.
- Processes - How can you effectively provide the best products and services to your customers? With the help of technology, there are many tools that can help you with your sales process and customer service. Do your research and don’t hesitate to innovate in order to provide the best for your consumers.
Marketing Strategy and its Types
Now that you’ve got all the essential elements of your marketing strategy, it’s time to discover the different types. There are actually a plethora of strategies out there but let’s focus on these 5 digital marketing strategies that are proven effective, especially for small business owners.
- Social Media Marketing - This is one of the most trendy strategies due to social media’s popularity all over the world, and relatively low ad costs. SMM is not just limited to Social Networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, but it also includes Social Games, Live casts, Livestream, and other platforms to reach your target market. You can use whichever tool is applicable for your business. It’s proven effective if your goal is to increase your brand awareness and engagement.
- Search Engine Optimisation - SEO is a process of making your site more visible on web searches. It's about attracting organic visitors to your websites. We all know that competition is tough on the world wide web and everyone wants to be on the top of Google's SERP, that's why this strategy needs a lot of planning and regular updating. A successful SEO strategy means more revenue for your business.
- Pay Per Click Advertising - PPC means paying a fee whenever a visitor clicks an ad. This strategy may be costly, but the potential profit is definitely worthy. Every click will cost you but if you want to ensure you get on the first page of Google and other places on the web, PPC may be the strategy that you need.
- Email Marketing - One of the more direct strategies in connecting with your prospects. It’s also an effective plan for converting your warm leads into loyal customers.
- Content Marketing - If you’re thinking of how to promote your credibility and attract engagement, content marketing is the strategy for you. Through this, you can build confidence and a more meaningful relationship with your existing and potential customers. Like SEO, it may be time-consuming and needs a lot of in-depth planning and research but will definitely give you success when implemented correctly.
Note: Remember to always apply and consider the 7Ps of Marketing in every strategy that you’re going to map out.
No matter what business or niche you work in, every business will benefit from implementing a strategically planned marketing engine. You can achieve this through developing a habit of regular research and creative thinking, and testing. So stop experimenting and wasting your hard-earned money. We’re here to help!
Are you ready to stand out, gain new customers, and build more revenue? So are we!
Let’s talk about your business and discuss the best and effective marketing for you. Book a FREE strategy session with us today.
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