It doesn’t matter how well-run your business might be or how excellent your product line, if you don’t master marketing, it won’t thrive. Marketing can be defined as the action a business takes to promote and sell its products or services. Since this requires a lot of strategic thinking, marketing also depends on good research and at least a basic understanding of human psychology for the advertising to be effective.
However, when you start marketing your business, you have to be selective about what kind of marketing techniques you use. While there are many possible methods you could use, not all marketing tactics are created equal. Some work better for small to medium businesses while others work better for large businesses.
Small-to-Medium Business Marketing
1. Brick-and-mortar businesses.
How does a brick-and-mortar business draw more attention to its brand? For instance, how does a hobby shop that specializes in selling a variety of toy drones draw more attention to its unique product line?
While traditional marketing, the use of radio and print advertising, will attract some attention, the more unusual a business idea, the more it needs to educate the public about what it can do. One of the best ways to provide this consumer education is through participating in industry events. So, in our example, a hobby shop could exhibit at events that focus on hobbies, toys, electronic devices, and so on. In other words, after identifying its niche audience, it could pick those events where they are most likely to attend.
Assuming that the business has an Internet presence, it should announce its attendance on social media and in its email marketing newsletter. It can then purchase event tents from Ins’TenT to assemble its product line of different drones, as well as get all the necessary signage. Reps at the event can explain how drones work, show different models, and can do demonstrations.
The important thing with attending industry events or trade shows is not to focus on sales as an objective. A better reason to attend these events is to build your brand. Your objective should be to create a solid brand for your business. By taking the emphasis of sales, customers will not feel pressured by sales reps to buy and be much more open to learning about the benefits of the products. Sales may increase after the event through word-of-mouth publicity.
2. Digital businesses
Many small to medium businesses are now exclusively digital businesses. This is because they sell information products or drop ship physical products. The best way to promote these types of businesses is to use Internet marketing tactics. For instance, it can use Google’s PPC for instant traffic and a blog to create organic traffic. It can also set up social media fan pages and create channels on video sharing sites like YouTube. A digital business can also experiment with using print advertising that invite readers to visit their website.
1. Large national corporations and multinationals.
The larger the business, the more it will benefit from traditional marketing channels like television, radio, print ads, or billboards. These methods don’t work as well for small to medium businesses, because they require generous budgets, a large business has more than enough market share to get a positive ROI from their advertising.
A large business can also benefit from digital marketing, using many of the same ideas that work for smaller digital businesses. For instance, Starbucks knows how to make its brand shine because it understands marketing, including leveraging its website, blog, and social media marketing to build customer loyalty. Despite its large size, it has managed to keep things personal enough on its social media to create a sense of intimacy with its fan base of coffee lovers.
In addition to using traditional marketing and digital marketing, large businesses do very well with blended or integrated marketing. With this form of marketing, traditional advertising may point consumers to the website while, in turn, the website points consumers to make purchases at brick-and-mortar outlets. Blended marketing works particularly well for big box stores like Walmart. For instance, some people love to shop at an actual Walmart store. Other shoppers are more focused on expediency and they can have their products shipped to their doorstep.
Marketing & Business Models
Marketing is a vast and complicated discipline of management science. For marketing to be effective, you have to select the type of marketing that suits the type and size of business you have. If you choose the wrong tactic for your business, you will waste time, money, and effort on your campaigns. When marketing, don’t just focus on making more sales, also market to build your brand.