What is marketing?
15 May 2019
‘Marketing’ covers such a broad range of activities that for many small and medium sized businesses it can seem difficult to define.
Successful business owners already have most of the knowledge that’s needed to market well. The hard part is knowing how to translate that knowledge into effective marketing communications.
Essentially, marketing boils down to understanding your audience so you can deliver the products and services they need. The next step is using your understanding to find, and be found by your audience, so, ultimately, you can communicate your message and encourage your customers to spend their money with you.
At its core, marketing comes down to three principles:
Getting a solid foundation in how to apply these marketing principles to your business will help focus your efforts and produce more effective marketing communications; before thoughts of advertising, SEO, brand and social media cloud your mind.
Knowing your audience
Without customers, you don’t have a business. So, the better you understand your customers, the better your chances of success.
Making sure you’ve clearly defined who you’re selling to, what’s important to them and the day-to-day need your product or service solves, is the best place to start.
Once you’ve defined your audience, it’s also worth thinking about who your ideal customer is. What type of person or business is most profitable for you to work with and who will get the most value from your offering?
By identifying your ideal customer, you can target your resources specifically towards the people and companies who suit your business and can best support your continued growth.
Understanding your customers is the cornerstone of your marketing; but it also informs your entire business approach, from how you develop and deliver your products and services to how you approach sales and customer service conversations.
Knowing what to say to your audience
We’ve all heard the adage ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’ Well, when it comes to marketing, a truer alternative is ‘It’s what you say AND how you say it’.
Once you’ve done the work to understand your customer, you’ll have a clear idea of what’s important to them. This makes it much easier to identify the features and benefits that will make the biggest difference – so you can put these messages at the forefront of what you say.
The next step is to make sure you’re talking to your audience in language they understand and telling stories they relate to – so your marketing messages get through easily and create an impact.
Getting in front of your audience
Once you understand your customer and know what you want to say to them the final step is to get in front of them and communicate your message.
This is another area where understanding your customer is essential. If you understand them well, you’ll know what types of media your audience engage with, why and when. This will help you choose the most effective channels to share your message and get found by your audience.
The good news is that nearly everyone we meet who runs a successful business already has a pretty good handle on these marketing essentials.
The next step is to translate what you know into effective designs and communications that reach your audience and generate more leads. That’s where an experienced agency like ie can help, using the tools and skills to turn your knowledge into compelling and effective marketing communications.
Have a look at our intelligent marketing process or give us a call on 0117 907 9930 to find out how we could help your business.
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