Marketing has always been a major force in business. Ever since man began trading, marketing strategies have evolved to match the needs of the marketplace. The old order was to create a product, service, or idea that could solve a problem and get an appropriate price for it. Marketers today must think out of the box in order to survive in the marketplace. Marketing can be used as a tool to promote products, collect email addresses or generate leads, but its primary purpose is to create a sense of brand identity in order to create profit.
A successful marketing system is any structured process allowing many different market players to provide and demand the same product or service: encouraging buyers and sellers to interact and establish deals. Marketing is not as simple as creating a website and hoping someone will buy something. Because, you can buy YouTube subscribers, but without quality content, Instead, a marketing plan should include the following elements: Strategy – Create a strategy for your overall marketing strategy. This includes determining which audience you want to target, research your competition, and consider possible barriers to entry, your product, and your time frame.
Targeting – Create a list of targeted prospects. This should include both offline and online demographics. For example, if you are offering a dry cleaning service you would not only want to target professional dry cleaners, but also regular homeowners, vacationers, and seniors. If you are offering health care, consider your target market, young professionals, baby boomers, and those who are high risk. Your marketing plan should take into consideration these various demographic details to ensure you create a highly targeted group of customers for your business.
Research and Testing – Conduct research on potential customers to determine what works and what does not. Many small business owners prefer to test everything before investing large amounts of money in an advertising campaign. There are many free or low-cost marketing methods to test various elements of your new business. For example, social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow users to post short messages, which can provide information to potential customers that businesses would not otherwise have access to.
Call to Action – Set up a series of activities or events that provide the ultimate incentive for customers to make a purchase. Perhaps your office staff is always too busy to answer phones or respond to emails. Why not create a new phone queue that encourages calls to your office? Perhaps you could offer customers ten percent off their first purchase if they order from you for a minimum of three straight days? Once your prospective customers have decided to call for more information, you can remind them of the offer by way of message reminders or telephone calls.
Measuring Success – After identifying your target market and determining what works, it is time to measure your success. The best way to do this is through a call to action. How many calls or emails were answered? Which callers resulted in sales objections? These are all important metrics to help determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Call tracking – A critical component of your campaign is call tracking. When you have recorded the identity of each caller during a marketing campaign, you have the ability to view and track every call made. Knowing the effectiveness of your campaign becomes much easier when you can quantify results. Callers that hung up, who moved on to a competitor, or transferred to another extension are all useful metrics. Even if no sales were closed, a caller that left without an appointment can negatively impact your campaign.
Marketing is an ever-changing beast. Many changes in the law of supply and demand affect how customers perceive products and services. It is up to you, the business owner, to stay abreast of these changes and adapt your marketing system to meet the needs of a changing consumer base. By properly tracking your call-in rates and identifying your ideal clients, you will be able to successfully execute a successful marketing campaign. You will also gain invaluable insight into how to reach out to your ideal clients while also decreasing the costs associated with your efforts.