What does ‘marketing’ even mean? And how can I use it?

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Marketing… It’s a BIG word. The definition of “marketing” is constantly changing and evolving with the times. Social media marketing wasn’t even a blip on anyone’s radar 20 years ago. Now, if you don’t have at least a Facebook page, your business may be looked at as outdated.

Marketing is… identifying and utilizing means in which to acquire your company’s goals.

Marketing is… getting the word out there about your company and keeping it out there.

Marketing is… Advertising, blogs, direct mail, printed materials, articles, emails, lead generation.

If you want to get technical, according to businessdictionary.com, marketing is the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer.

If you want to get conceptual, marketing is the elbow grease that enables potential customers to hear about your company and what it’s doing and what it offers. Marketing is turning the wheels of your audience base to drive them to you.

Woah. That was intense. Just give me 5 tips to help me start marketing my product:

First: Identify your core audience. What are their needs, likes, wants, dislikes, demographics, income, location, etc. What else do they like to buy? What do they read, listen to, eat, where do they shop, what’s their favorite color? This is called building a “buyer persona”.

Ok, the last question was a joke, but you get the idea. Become an expert of your audience’s likes and needs. Through these findings, you can identify areas to market your business that you may have missed or not have known about. You can also identify places that may be unnecessary or not worth the ROI.

Second: Divide and conquer. List your marketing platforms out individually and address how each one can serve you best. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), email marketing, advertising, printed materials like flyers and business cards, website, reputation sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, and mobile messages are all examples of marketing platforms. Seeing them in one place, listed out will help you see the overall picture and help you assess where most of your efforts are needed. Then, create goals for those efforts overall and by platform so you can measure their success.

Third: Be clear and concise with your call to action. What action do you want your potential customers to take? Call? Email? Click? Is this action obvious in all marketing materials? Be clear about your expectations to your audience and set a direct path to achieving your goal. The more actions a potential customer has to take, the less likely they will be to complete your goal.

Fourth: Know the value of video. According to wyzowl.com, 88% of businesses say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy. Depending on what your business wants to portray, videos can be as simple as a quick cell phone video or as elaborate as a professional video shoot with actors. Why videos? It’s simple. People connect with people. Showing a face, a voice and a personality associated with your company gives it a human touch. Plus, with average attention spans shorter than 7 seconds, visual communication is growing in importance.

Fifth: Your time is valuable. Sure, you can do this on your own, but what is an hour of your time worth? If you’re taking yourself away from your main job, what is the effort of marketing costing you? Track your time for all marketing efforts. You may find it easier and more effective to go with an agency.

For more information on how Pushing the Envelope can create results-oriented, award-winning marketing communication strategies for your business, contact us.

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