If someone asked you ‘what is marketing?’, would you stutter?
The dictionary defines marketing as “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising”.
For people that don’t always have a dictionary at hand (so, everyone), it’s probably difficult for you to define marketing so succinctly, even if it is a part of your everyday life.
When done right, marketing should overlap with advertising and sales and should be present in all stages of the business – from beginning to end.
Marketers should have a firm finger on the pulse of your target market at all times. They should be researching, analysing, surveying and focusing on what that market wants from a business, not just what a business wants them to have.
The act of marketing should result in your market being aware of your business and becoming interested in it. If you are marketing without this goal in mind you are very likely to fail.
Marketing is crucial to success in every area of business, including product development, distribution, sales, branding and advertising.
Marketing, as we understand it, only truly began in the 1950s when the consumer’s attention was spread across more channels than just print. The television entering households was the catalyst of modern marketing.
As a marketer, you need to think like this: I need to spend my efforts where my consumer spends their time. It’s up to you to work out where this is and, therefore, what direction your business should aim to be moving in.
Channels of Marketing
Today, there are almost an endless number of channels where you can market your business. So, what do you choose?
Here are four channels of marketing that I think are particularly relevant today. Some new, some old:
Social Media Marketing (Ronnie’s favourite!)
Social media marketing is without a doubt the newest marketing channel on this list. Businesses have several different platforms to choose from, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Snapchat. Which platform you choose depends on your business model, target market and your marketing goals.
Search Engine Marketing
If you understand the way Google thinks and the way users search, you have a lot of power over the online world. Marketers can utilise search engines to ensure they are appearing above their competitors for search terms. You can learn more about search engine marketing here.
‘Blogs’ and ‘Articles’ used to be something exclusive to the author. Now, many brands publish blogs on behalf of their company to provide information to their target market. You can use this type of marketing to capture the attention of users in your market searching for information. Having lots of content on your company’s site is also a surefire way to improve your SEO.
Although not necessarily as strong a channel as it used to be, print marketing has stood the test of time and is still a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal. If you are a local business, would you say no to having a page in your local newspaper or magazine? I don’t think so. Print marketing can be a huge boost to certain types of businesses, and if it’s right for you, it can offer huge ROI for your company.
Did That Help?
Hopefully, if someone asks you “what is marketing?” now, you won’t have to stutter. Marketing intersects with all areas of business, and companies can collapse without it, so it is more important than ever that you understand what it truly means.
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