Nothing is more central to your business’s ability to make sales than marketing. It’s how you create a connection with your customers and establish mutual value. But many companies are falling behind by not following tried and tested marketing strategies. Instead, they launch themselves into the world of business without having taken the time to do the necessary research. Companies can often end up spending thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that won’t ever yield a decent ROI. And it’s usually because they’ve got their assumptions all mixed up.
The purpose of this post is to expand on some of the basic marketing principles that you need to apply in your business. It’s time to get smart and get selling. Here’s how.
Don’t Make Assumptions About What Your Customers Want
Some entrepreneurs believe that they know best what product their customers want. But this is foolish logic. You might believe that your product is fantastic. And perhaps it is. But it also has to meet the needs of customers. Frankly, what you think about your product is irrelevant. You may even believe that it’s bad and can’t understand why customers buy it all the same!
The trick here is to listen to what your customers want and do research. You shouldn’t just assume that a market for a new product exists. There needs to be evidence from proper market research that shows a market exists. When a business only builds products for itself, it ceases to be profitable and goes out of business.
Improve Yourself And Your Business
In the past, business owners could get away with not educating themselves. Business models stayed roughly the same over the years, with minor tweaks here and there. But in the 21st century, it’s all change. Businesses have to adapt to rapid shifts in the economy – including in the marketing space.
So what does that mean doing in practice? One thing you might want to try is dedicating 15 minutes every day to learning about new developments in your industry. Staying up to date like this will inform your work on a daily basis and give you ideas for how you can improve your marketing strategy.
You should also get an education on the latest digital marketing strategies. Like any field of endeavor, there are complexities here you wouldn’t expect. Read more from Simplilearn for those who are interested.
Finally, you must attend workshops and seminars at least once a year, and probably more. These are an opportunity to educate yourself and learn about the latest developments. It’s a no-brainer.
If You’re A Business-to-Business Company, Get Smart
Many businesses tend to think that blogging is just for people who travel and makeup blogs. But blogging is essential for lead generation if you sell to other businesses. B2B companies generate something like 67% more leads on average than similar firms that don’t run blogs. So what’s behind the difference?
One explanation is that blogging helps your customers to understand what it is that you do. B2B products are often complicated and require more explanation than can be fit on a small advert. Lead generation in this way is important since many other businesses aren’t ready to buy there and then. You need extra content to nurture those leads and turn them into sales.
Position Your Brand
It’s often been said that to be successful in life, you have to create a “tribe”. A tribe in this sense is a group of people who both agree with you and depend on you for some type of product.
That’s why it’s so important to define your target audience and then position your brand based on their values. If your target market is the environmentally conscious, then do all you can to show how you share their values. Perhaps your business only uses recycled paper. Or maybe you only source your inputs from sustainable suppliers. Advertise this fact and get your customers to relate to your brand.
Remember, it’s your reputation that counts here. If you lose it, you’ll lose that connection you have with your customers.
Inbound Marketing Is Your Friend
When is generating leads the easiest? It’s easiest when the customer comes to you. That’s why it’s good to focus on inbound marketing. The average cost per lead is about half that of outbound marketing.
There is a certain skill to it, though. It won’t do to just bombard customers the moment they arrive at your website. You have to do things more intelligently than that. Effective inbound marketing is all about timing. Instead of interrupting your customers with annoying pop-ups, you have to think of ways to give them the content they want just as they need it. That could mean delivering an entertaining and informative blog, or adding an ebook option when they sign up to your mailing list.
There’s a reason why some of the biggest companies in the world invest so much money in their websites. They are fantastic for lead generation. If you’ve ever visited the likes of Dell or Citroen, you’ll have noticed their smart web design. Using these sites is actually a pleasant experience.
Now contrast that with the experience you had last time you went to a small business website. I can almost guarantee you it wasn’t as good. There’s really no need for this difference. Quality web design is just as accessible for small firms as it is for large.
But what does quality design involve? For starters, pages have to be responsive. Customers have to know where to go to find what they want. But it’s also a little more than just practicality. Your website has to have a design language that reflects your company’s brand and ethos. It has to communicate a distinct purpose to the customer.
There’s no need to overcomplicate your website, though. Just look at the success both Google and Amazon have had with very simple-looking platforms. Skip the music and the video on the home screen for now and have your first priority be directing people to the right places.