Marketing is the art and science of making and creating new ideas or concepts that make products and services better, easier, faster, cheaper, and more attractive or appealing. It can also be defined as strategies and creative tactics used in a company to make, convey, deliver, and exchange goods and services to customers and clients on an effective and efficient basis. Marketing is also the process by which organizations make their products and services accessible to customers at all times.
The concept of marketing has multiple and varied uses, depending on the field it pertains to. Some of the more popular marketing approaches can fall under two main categories: traditional marketing and digital marketing. Traditional marketing typically makes use of mainstream media, such as print, radio, and television. Digital marketing uses technological means to communicate with customers, such as blogs, podcasts, videos, and email. While these two types of marketing can be differentiated mainly by how they reach the targeted audiences, there are other marketing methods or strategies that can be used to grow your business.
As mentioned above, there are many different methods and forms of marketing. For example, local marketing uses specific means of communication, such as community websites. Social media marketing, which falls under digital marketing, utilizes social media platforms to reach and engage with. These marketing methods can help businesses gain new customers, increase awareness, and build loyalty among existing customers.
How Does Marketing Help Businesses Grow?
The most important element in growing a business is attracting new customers and keeping them. It takes creativity and knowledge to market your products and services effectively. However, it’s important to remember that for the best results, you need to find a way to attract more customers. Aside from attracting customers, marketing can also help your business grow through other ways, such as:
- Build trust or enhance credibility: One way to increase the number of customers you have is by enhancing your credibility. For example, if you own a dog grooming business, you could set up a website wherein people can find out more about your services and meet with you to discuss grooming issues. This will instill a sense of trust in the customer, and, as a result, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
- Maintain visibility or stay competitive: Once you’ve created a good image, you should continue to support it by distributing brochures, giving away flyers or leaflets, giving out free samples, and talking to potential customers. This will not only give you a better chance of turning new customers into regular ones but will also ensure that previous customers will recommend you to others. To stay relevant in your niche market, your marketing efforts should be continuous, especially with new businesses and competitors trying to do the same.
- Broaden your reach: Marketing allows you to capture new markets or widen your demographic reach. By promoting your business to a broader audience, you’ll enhance your reach and improve your bottom line. If you want to increase your reach, you could consider buying ad space on television and radio stations. This might seem like an extravagant way to spend money, but if you look at the benefits over the long term, it could be the best investment you’ll ever make. Fortunately, there are also cost-effective marketing tools that your business can utilize, which you’ll learn as you read along.
- Learn more about your competitors: Some business owners don’t realize the importance of competitor research. There are marketing tools that not only let you learn about your customers and potential clients but also let you know more about your competitors. The data you can gather from competitor research is crucial in growing your business because you’ll be able to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
There are plenty more ways that marketing can help your business, but these are some of the most common. The more you learn about marketing, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to use it to grow your business and make profits. Marketing tools will help you achieve your business goals—it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones for your company.
Cost-Effective Marketing Tools For Your Business
Every small business owner can benefit from utilizing marketing tools. The use of these tools can help you develop a strong presence online and in your community. These tools will allow you to reach more customers and increase your overall sales. Limited capital is challenging to work with, especially if you’re just starting a business. The following marketing tools are either free, reasonably priced, or worth the spend:
1. Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing is a form of digital marketing, and businesses can take advantage of this method by using social media management tools. Social media has become one of the most important mediums today for companies to promote their products or services, and gain visibility among the masses. The role of social media management tools has, therefore, become very important. These applications assist in effectively managing the social media processes and information of the business.
Many people are dependent on social media for almost anything. It’s simply too convenient and too easy to use, whether it’s looking for a product or service, or getting in touch with other people. Therefore, your business must have a strong social media presence to fully take advantage of this dependence. Social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, are excellent ways for you to interact with customers and build a positive reputation for your business. When you interact with your customers through the use of social media networks, you’ll increase your following and web presence. You’ll also be able to reach a larger audience than you would if you’re to focus on traditional advertising methods.
One of the best benefits of social media marketing is that creating an account on your preferred platform is free. However, there are fees associated with sponsored posts and advertising on social media. Analytics and reporting may also cost less or more than USD$100 or more per month. If you’re a new business with limited capital, take advantage of social media management tools, like HootSuite, CrowdFire, and TweetDeck, which you can use for free for their basic features.
A professional marketing specialist understands the impact of the right marketing tools on any business. For social media marketing, an online marketing expert can help set up your profiles, create relevant content, and analyze data from social media campaigns. If you have a limited budget, take small steps by utilizing free social media management tools and work your way from there.
2. Direct Marketing
Although the focus of many businesses nowadays is social media marketing and other forms of online marketing, it doesn’t mean that other forms of marketing aren’t worth spending on. Direct marketing is when you market your product or service directly to potential customers and clients. In most cases, the marketers that take this route make use of postcards, emails, snail mail, SMS, and telephone calls using a marketing tool called auto dialer. Despite the prevalence of online marketing nowadays, direct marketing is still alive and kicking.
Many companies choose to use direct mail to promote their loyal customers or clients. These are called ‘thank you’ cards and they can contain several different things. Some can remind the recipient of previous good sales or of loyalty discounts that they may have enjoyed. Other examples can include travel vouchers for business trips or rental cars.
Direct marketing campaigns that include direct calls to customers work because they can catch customers off-guard. They come in the form of audio recordings, wherein the speaker can talk people into buying the product or service being advertised. Most people enjoy being talked to and would likely to respond kindly if they weren’t already interested in purchasing the product or service being offered.
Bulk direct mail or SMS messages are sent to potential customers looking for services or products. Bulk mailing is often used by businesses that sell expensive products or services. On the other hand, by sending out a large amount of advertising at once through tools such as Drop Cowboy Text Blast, companies hope to influence or remind many of their customers to purchase these products over time. Businesses still use these marketing tools to improve sales or to enhance a company’s reputation among customers. While direct marketing has its disadvantages, it’s also one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business.
3. SEO Marketing
Marketing professionals often work with businesses, especially startup companies, to improve the efficiency of business processes, especially where digital marketing is concerned. Some marketing specialists are hired to implement and ensure search engine optimization, both of which can help a business draw attention to its website.
What exactly is SEO marketing? SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the art and science of optimizing websites to receive organic, or unpaid, traffic from major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Organic SEO results in increased page rank (PR), increased inbound links, and increased traffic. On-page optimization refers to optimizing the content of a website through keyword density, titles, meta tags, site maps, and other on-page SEO techniques.
Keyword research is a crucial component of SEO optimization. A good way to save money in SEO optimization is to learn how to optimize your website and blog for SEO marketing. Learning SEO tactics like backlinking and image optimization also help increase your site’s page ranking and website traffic. Hiring a professional SEO firm to research for you can be costly, but the results will be worth it. There are also free SEO tools that you can use to gather insights, like Google Analytics and Google Trends.
Search engine optimization isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution. It doesn’t matter if you’re small or large, a new company or an established corporation, SEO needs to fit your unique needs. It takes time and work to rank well. Professional SEO companies understand how each specific clientele operates, as well as their specific search rankings requirements. They know how to optimize your website, your ads, your content, your PPC campaigns, social media accounts, and everything else that goes into optimizing your online presence.
4. Promotional Merchandise Marketing
You may have already received a freebie from a brand before. The items distributed are usually ‘branded,’ meaning there’s an identifying logo, symbol, or slogan attached somewhere. When done right, promotional merchandise is an effective marketing strategy.
One of the greatest benefits of promotional merchandise for your business is that you can brand almost everything that you want to reach as many people as possible. You can imprint your company logo, name, or message on almost anything that you want to promote your business. The great thing about this is that your company will always have something unique to offer. This type of advertising tends to appeal to everyone because it’s so easy for anyone to make a mistake when giving someone a free item. If you give them a pen, you won’t be able to easily make such a mistake as you would if you’re handing out t-shirts or other types of clothing. People feel appreciated when they receive something tangible and useful.
Promotional merchandise is also extremely affordable. Even though you’ll initially spend more initially to purchase the items, you’ll see great results in the long run because it’ll save you money on advertising and marketing costs. Many businesses opt to give away promotional items to gain new customers, which is one way you can find success with your business. It’ll also show potential customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile for them by putting them first.
Many businesses struggle from lack of effective marketing planning because they believe that marketing is only necessary if they have brick and mortar stores. However, the truth is that without an effective marketing plan, a business won’t be able to maintain its current customer base, and the business may even fail.
These marketing tools are just a few examples of the types of tools available for companies looking to grow their business without blowing their budget. There are other tools available that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. When you know which tools work best for your particular needs, you can easily promote your business and reach a larger audience than you would, without spending a lot.