On Being Your Own Marketing Department
|On Being Your Own Marketing Department|
Hello there, This article is written by Carleen Moore.
Management consultant and professor Peter Drucker once famously said, “Business has only two functions, innovation and marketing, everything else is cost.” If you’ve started your own business, you’re probably already an innovator. Now, on to the second function of your business: marketing.
Especially these days, marketing can take a wide variety of forms, from digital marketing to more traditional routes, so it helps to have a detailed plan in place, not to mention an understanding of the medium. Today, Winsome Ismail presents a guide to help you start your marketing journey.
First, you’ll need a roadmap
The first step on any journey is to have a clear, concise map of your destination, your route, and all the steps you’ll need to take along the path. Your marketing plan for launching a product or service should ideally be a ready-made market
strategy template that shows you how to get to your destination with all the stops you’ll need to make along the way.
That way, you don’t miss critical points, get blindsided by obstacles, or run out of gas (in this case, your cash and assets) along the way. It will include things like your business and marketing plans, your target audience, and your sales strategy.
Once you’ve got that in place, you’ll be able to use your time and resources more effectively. Along with your marketing template, you’ll need to explore all your options, like what methods you should use.
Explore all marketing channels
According to Gartner, a marketing channel is the people, organizations, and activities that make goods and services available for use by consumers. Things like direct advertising, outbound calling, trade shows, and mailers are all examples of marketing channels.
● The channel most business owners are eager to take advantage of is online searching. A recent study has shown that 89% of consumers use search engines to make purchases. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is how high up on a page certain websites appear in searches. Learning what keywords will work best, keeping your content fresh and updated regularly, and ensuring your site is “mobile phone friendly,” are ways to improve SEO.
● Social Media sites like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are marketing channels that allow you to interact with a broad audience, introducing your business, yourself, and your product or service. It’s interactive, so it allows for a kind of one-on-one engagement that you don’t find in most other types of marketing channels. It takes time to build an audience, but email marketing is another avenue that you can explore and a great way to reach a huge number of potential customers. Remember that subject lines are critical, though. You want them to be as specific as possible, since emails with the generic subject, lines are likely to go unopened.
● Word of Mouth is the most sincere type of marketing because it’s not paid for, per se, but earned. Hosting forums, open houses, and meet-and-greets allows you to network and incentivize your audience with giveaways of products or services for them to try out and then tell their friends about.
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Have a clear message
Your marketing and business message is an idea you wish to communicate to your target audience. How do you want your audience to feel about you, your business, and your brand? Your marketing pieces should tell a story with an attention-grabbing headline and an image that draws the viewer in, along with the message you want your target audience to keep at the top of their mind when thinking of your product or service. It should then end with a call-to-action, inviting them to act by purchasing, calling, or contacting you.
You don’t need a degree in marketing to be your marketing department, but learning everything you can before starting, and as you go, will pay off in time and money spent. Whether you take professional classes, teach yourself with books, movies, and online articles like this one, or find a friend or colleague to tutor you, you can get more bang for your buck if you know how to spend those marketing dollars wisely.
Marketing is like inviting people to your party; make it sound like a place they not only want to be but where they need to be. Hosting means knowing what your guests want, and marketing means knowing what kind of invitations to design and who to send them to.
In the end, to quote the great Peter Drucker again, “The purpose of business is to create a customer.” So happy customer creation, and good luck!
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