Marketing a product in the vast arena of business is something that, whatever the size of your company, whether a small local business or a large organization spanning across multiple sites, you need to be able to use the trick of advertising a product or a service to your advantage. With so many different apps and platforms to use now, the possibilities are endless. And as we approach the new year with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, businesses will be looking to give themselves a shake-up in this department.
While marketing and advertising are two different terms on the face of it, they go hand in hand. Marketing takes care of the ideas in which a product is presented to the masses while the advertising is the method, such as the advertisement or the short film or poster. The issue with the internet is that while the opportunity to reach millions or billions of people is there, you have so many other competitors to deal with who all have the same idea as you. It’s a hard world to get your small business, that is selling the exact same thing that you are with the same slant, that it is too easy to be drowned by the competition. So, it begs the question, what can you do to make sure that your head is above the others? Let’s answer the question.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF DOING BUSINESS
What are the things you need to be thinking of when it comes to mass-exposure? The 3 C’s: Customers, Competitors, and Carrying The Message. How do we achieve this?
Know Your Enemy
In other words, your competitors. Those that are your contemporaries in business are the ones to be wary of. They are selling the same items, and they are the ones that you need to either align with or to understand how they are operating so you can distance yourself from them in aesthetic. In knowing your competitors, it should help you to forge your own unique identity. Your identity will help you to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and what platforms are best for you to advertise your business on.
Develop Unique Marketing Practices
It is all about how you carry the message, and this is a subject all in itself. But the basics can consist of making yourself rank high in the search engine results, which can comprise of many different SEO techniques or just advertising your business in the right local places. Whatever the size of your business, you need to communicate an ethos that is in keeping with your style, for example, a home-run family business selling chutneys would carry an ethos that is rustic and warm or a technology company would likely carry a dynamic and trendy image. It is all grist to the mill, and developing your own unique marketing practices is synonymous with your business ethos.
Think About Your Business Image
What are you presenting to the world? Everything that you do goes back to your image, whether it is the front of your office building to your website. Be sure to make tweaks to your image to keep up with the changes in trends, and this links back to your USP. What makes you different to other businesses? Is it your personality? Is it your product? Or is it your unique approach to everything?
Work With Your Customers, Not Against Them
Understanding what your customer base is and what matters to them is key to establishing a symbiotic relationship. There are so many different factors that will make a customer more tentative when it comes to purchasing products, such as economic conditions, so what is it that will make customers purchase from you right now? Your service, or the product, or even the fact that it is a low price currently? Understanding the customer’s motives will help you to tailor your marketing strategy and sales pitches.
Keep Looking For New Markets
This is key to increasing your customer base. Not just selling in person, or over the phone. Start to look for what is out there which you can take advantage of. There are upcoming trends in selling on platforms that you may wish to take advantage of:
Using Instagram To Sell Directly To Users: Instagram is fast overtaking Facebook as the most popular social media channel, why? It is a great way to communicate something short, sharp and so very quickly. There are so many different ways to stand out on Instagram, and you can create videos clips, explainer videos or dynamic images to get yourself across.
Live Video Streaming: Nearly everyone of a certain age has the ability to make video clips using a smartphone, so how do you make yourself stand out further? A lot of companies are taking to streaming to give an immediate and exciting way of marketing. As an ad on the phone can be easily dismissed by a flick of the finger, having a live event commands more attention.
Using Pinterest To Sell To An Individual: The way that Pinterest works to cater for someone’s specific interest is something that many businesses are trying to figure out to make their marketing strategies more direct. Pinterest is using the Animated Cinematic Pin, which is set in motion when a user scrolls and stops when the user is “away” from the clip. This highlights how interactive you need to be now to grab the customer’s attention.
Don’t Just Stand Up, Stand Out!
Be different to everyone else, otherwise, how will you get the elusive customer? Your USP should be what appeals to your customers. So, by evaluating what makes you different, you can then play on that as your marketing weapon. If your USP has been identified and nurtured, it wouldn’t be a difficult process. If you need to go back to the drawing board, then it is worth it just to forge your own identity. You can spend lots of time and effort pushing a product, but if it is not what is helping you gain a profit, then make sure that the marketing strategy is watertight.
Look After Your Customers
Taking care of your current customer base is as important as finding new ones, and how do you do this? The first thing is to make sure that your customer service is completely up to speed. Your competitors will be eyeing them up and finding their own ways to take your market, so you need to keep them sweet while fending off the competition. Loyalty schemes, credit terms or discounts are all things to be thinking about when it comes to keeping a customer coming back. And remember, it is actually cheaper to keep a customer than it is to try and find brand new customers.
Keep Looking Forward
Plan ahead for growth instead of standing still. Go and research trends in the market. Look at what technology is going to be big over the next 6 months, and keep developing yourself. It is very easy for businesses to get stuck in one mode just because they have found their niche. But that is no way to keep pushing forward in the industry. Marketing and advertising using the latest apps, or tech that pushes new boundaries is all that is important in getting your message across. The 3 C’s of Customers, Competitors, and Carrying The Message are what you need to think about when you are looking to expand on your current success. Always keeping these three points in mind will really help to push your company further than it has ever been before.