Updated: Sep 12, 2019
When it comes to growing your business, marketing is something that you cannot neglect or think will ‘just happen’ without too much effort. It is one of the few factors that you do have total control over as a business owner. You may not always be able to control the technological changes, the economy or the political conditions, but you can control how you market your business.
It helps if you look at marketing like it is the road map that will lead you to the business success you want. While it can seem overwhelming and a little intimidating, especially if your skills & expertise are in other areas, it can be so much more straightforward if you get some guidance and help from marketing experts. Don’t underestimate how important it is to have some sort of marketing plan, as this is what is going to help you make decisions and be clear on the actions you need to be doing.
Marketing will directly impact your growth, which is why you can never become complacent with how you are marketing your business.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to focus on marketing if you want to grow your business:
1 - Marketing attracts attention
Advertising, promotions, and content marketing all help in getting new customers for your business. These can start brand awareness. Through these different marketing efforts, you are creating the first touch point with potential customers especially those who are not yet familiar with you. This informs them of the existence of your brand and your products. Every business can benefit from good promotions. This is how you can reach customers, both old and new. This makes your brand visible to people and allows you to target your ideal audience. It makes your brand recognizable and trustworthy. This helps in spreading the word about your brand and in driving people to your front door.
Effective promotions and marketing must be attention-grabbing, as well. This is one of the many battles that a business has to win. Attention is already the new currency in the information age. It is limited and expensive so the goal is to grab as much attention as possible through your marketing. One consumer is bombarded with hundreds of messages daily and you need to compete with those messages to get to your target. This is why you need to capture attention right away. With good content and promotion, you are able to keep people’s attention in your brand and keep them talking about you. In turn, you make them into paying and loyal customers.
2 - Marketing communicates your business
How your business is presented to the market can make or break you. Your branding communicates your business’s essence. Choosing the right visuals, like the font, colors, and images will help speak to your customers in a lot of ways. This is the heart of your business and it communicates your brand. It’s a mix of actions and messaging that you’re intentionally showing to your market. This also sets you apart from the rest of your competitors.
It answers the fundamental questions like what your business is for, what you want it to be known for, and how it wants to make people feel among others. It should also clarify what your business is and is not. Your brand gives personality to your business and improves the market’s impression of you. This drives the narrative of your business and communicates the value of your products.
With marketing, you communicate your brand to your target. It tells your audience what you do and how well you do it. It gives priority to the kind of quality that your business embodies and ensures that this is conveyed properly. Marketing takes advantage of your brand and leverages it to nurture interest and increase sales.
Remember that branding is not just a one-time thing. It is a continuous effort and process that should be integrated with your processes and growth as a business. You need to go back to the essence of your business in order to ensure that your message is in tune with your branding.
3 - Marketing educates audiences
Marketing goes beyond self-promotion. It is also about education. This is how you’re able to inform your audience about your product or service and its value. Today, customers want to be familiar with a product and the brand before making any purchasing decision. They need to know the ins and outs before engaging with any business. More customers are also able to access this information through the internet. So, you need to provide the information that they need.
Content-driven marketing always works better compared to sales-driven ones. This focuses on educating the consumers instead of just telling them to buy from you. You teach them and through this, you gain their trust. Share knowledge about your industry and demonstrate the best way to use your product or service. Answer their pressing questions. Tell them information that they might not yet be aware of. Fulfill their needs. By offering valuable content, you are able to convert more people. You make yourself a trustworthy authority. Customers are also more likely to engage with your brand once you’ve established yourself and your brand.
Through marketing, you can educate customers about the benefits of your products or services. They are able to see the value that’s uniquely yours and able to identify your brand from the rest. Once they have all the information that they want and need, they are more than ready to make a purchase and engage with your business.
4 - Marketing involves customer experience
Not many people see customer experience as a part of marketing. However, this is an element that drives word-of-mouth marketing. Your customers’ experience is the essence of marketing. Excellent customer experience is a key factor in growing your business.
Customer experience marketing focuses on meeting customer expectation and creating more personalized experiences for everyone. You need to know your customers well enough in order to give them what they want. You need to listen to them and make them feel good to create outstanding word-of-mouth marketing as a result of an unforgettable experience.
Memorable customer experience will be a sure driver for the best word-of-mouth marketing. You don’t have to spend a lot on anything but excellent service and your customers do the talking for you. Consumers trust their friends. This is why word of mouth shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Customer experience is important because it can either paint you positively or negatively. You need to invest in delivering value to customers. People don’t remember mediocre experiences but they never forget the amazing ones. This is the cue for you to provide service beyond what is required. Doing so increases your potential for great word-of-mouth marketing.
Word of mouth doesn’t stop with just one person. After one interaction, the next person will tell another and then another. Thus, a chain is made with just one interaction. This is a great method for growing your business without paying a cent. It’s an organic method of spreading information. This is even worth more than just paid advertising and has more benefits for your business. It starts small but can potentially grow viral.
5 - Marketing is collaborative
When collaborative energy is used, marketing can be powerful. Working with other businesses that have a similar target audience can impact your growth by reaching more people effectively. It is a potent marketing strategy that minimizes costs while increasing sales.
Complimentary or similar businesses that are like-minded can partner up for collective strength. Aligning your business’s resources and marketing with another can help you accomplish more. You are able to do more than just being on your own. This can strategically highlight your strengths.
Collaborations allow you to create unique offering and experiences that wouldn’t have been possible. When businesses come together for a shared goal, they tend to achieve more. This partnership creates a greater presence and more influence than just the sum of the parts. It helps in getting more leads and creating stronger campaigns that are mutually beneficial. This helps you become more competitive especially in a challenging business landscape.
Collaborative marketing is more efficient and boosts exposure and credibility.
It’s also beneficial to both businesses as this doubles their reach. Your business will reach the followers of your collaborator and vice versa. This improves brand recognition and customer retention for both businesses. Collaboration also builds strong relationships in the industry while bolstering your bottom-line.
The key to growth is to have an effective marketing plan and you are ‘doing’ what you planned to do. Once you have started to achieve marketing momentum, you will start to see the magic that savvy marketing is able to achieve. When you don’t have a marketing plan in place, you have no path to follow and you risk losing customers to your competitors.
Marketing is a foundation that has to be established in order to grow. You are never on the wrong path when it comes to investing in effective marketing strategies that will nurture your business. It grabs attention to create lasting impressions that in turn increases sales and revenue. Marketing highlights your strengths and provides value to your customers. All these are what will help to propel your business towards the growth you want.
Tiffany Bennett (Small Business Marketing Strategist)