Put simply, ‘marketing’ is the selling of a product or service to a target audience, and the associated measures put in place to ensure that the audience is made aware of it.
To sell a product or service to a wider audience we use promotion and publicity to tell the target audience about the offering.
To differentiate one company’s product or service from another, we need to create a solid and identifiable brand. This brand identity is built using a variety of small business marketing tools.
These tools are items such as imagery, tone of voice, advertising, supporting literature and websites. They should be designed to reflect who you are, and include any unique selling points (USPs) – that is, the key features of a product or service that differentiate it from its competitors.
Marketing is made up from many individual tools that must be carefully utilised to provide optimum results. The skill here is twofold. The first is to create effective messaging about the product or service via high-quality copy writing. Copy writing (or ‘content’ as it can also be referred to), is the essential building block that feeds all the component items in your marketing – therefore it needs to be carefully and consistently crafted.
The second thing to consider, is the allocation of available spend across the right mix of marketing activities, to establish a well-balanced strategy aimed at fulfilling your company’s sales and marketing goals. No matter what the size of business or budget, all marketing efforts need to have a direct bearing on company sales. Making each pound of your marketing budget work the hardest it can be vital.
The marketing mix
No matter what type of business you are in, the development of a brand and the tools used to promote it can be varied. You should always consider a marketing mix that engages with your audience effectively. That may include:
- case studies
- product and corporate literature
- social media
- website design (and management)
Many businesses rely on growing their customer base by word of mouth alone, but this strategy often returns only limited growth. Contrastingly, building a solid marketing campaign to influence a wider audience can make a real difference to a business. Smart marketing produces solid results.
No matter what the size of available budget, a well-distributed marketing budget is the fundamental ingredient for profitability and growth. So think about how best to create the right mix of marketing activity. This may not be easy, but once achieved, the benefits will provide an essential component to any company’s growth.