Marketing is a tricky but thoroughly necessary aspect of running a business, whether it’s a brick and mortar store or an online business. You might offer a really great product or service, but if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t get anywhere. Of course, what used to work for marketing won’t work anymore – so you need to stay up to date on marketing patterns and trends. Here are some principles for marketing in the modern age.
Market remarkable experience.
Whether you are marketing a product or a service, you want to market a remarkable customer experience. You see this in commercials all the time; advertisers don’t just tell you that a particular chocolate tastes good, but instead show a customer having such an amazing chocolate eating experience that he or she is transported to another world. That’s just an example, but it’s true in many successful marketing campaigns – the goal is to define the customer experience is being extraordinary, even if what you are selling is a product and not a service.
Interact with your customer base.
In the age of social media, interacting directly with your customer base is easier than ever. At one point in history, you wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to interact with people until they’d already become likely customers – the point at which they entered your store. Now, in the digital age, you get the opportunity to interact with your potential customers online before they’ve even made the decision to enter a store or come to your website. Now, they can hear about you through social media. It’s up to you to make the most of this. Be prompt in responding to comments and mentions on social media; it’s the first step toward creating the impression that you offer good customer service.
Don’t ignore data.
Make use of whatever data you have at your disposal. Look at website analytics, social media follows, mentions, and comments. Just looking at your data isn’t enough, though; you also need to think about what your data means. If there’s a spike in traffic, you need to look at what you did differently to create that spike or figure out where that new traffic is coming from. Also, you need to figure out if what you’re doing is just attracting passersby or if it’s attracting actual customers – and tailor your marketing and content creation efforts accordingly.
Listen to customer input.
If you’re starting up a small business, you might not have a lot of customer input. As things grow, though, you will. Not all customer input turns out to be valuable; sometimes people suggest something that they want but nobody else wants – but often you won’t know until you try. Obviously, when customers request something expensive like an entire new product, it requires some research on your end to decide whether to go through with it. However, if customers are making suggestions about how to make your website easier to navigate or if they’re making packaging suggestions, you should try to listen to them – or at least give it a shot. When it’s easy and doesn’t cost a whole lot to give something a try, it’s often worth the effort even if it doesn’t work out.
Find a niche.
Although marketing to a particular niche may seem like a way to limit your options, in fact it helps your bottom line. Marketing to particular niche ensures that you have a better conversion rate because you will be able to better target your marketing to the specific demographic of people you have decided to make your niche. For instance, if you are running a gym – or an online workouts site – and there is a lot competition in your area, you might do better by marketing to a specific niche. A women’s gym or a gym for elderly people might do better than a plain gym because it will enable your product to stand out as the obvious number one choice to a specific set of customers instead of just seeming like one of many equally good choices to a large number of customers.
Respond to change.
Marketing methods and strategies change. A few years ago, companies didn’t market on Twitter; now it’s a key component of many companies’ marketing strategy. In order to stay at the forefront of marketing trends, you need to stay tied in to social media so that you’re aware of the next up-and-coming social networking site that could become a major marketing venue. Aside from responding to change in the world of marketing, though, you also have to respond to changes within your company. Every time your alter your product or service offerings, you need to reevaluate what effect such changes might have on your marketing needs and strategy.