Marketing expert, Stuart Britt, once said “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does”. If you are selling a product or service, but are not investing the time or money into marketing it, how will people know you exist? Unless you already own a well-known business, you need to actively create brand awareness. Setting even a small marketing budget will go a long way in reaching more customers and building a brand.
Constructing a creative and strategic marketing plan will allow you stand out within your industry. If your ads and marketing materials are well designed, well thought out, and placed strategically, customers will take notice.
For example, say you own an office supply company, Supplies ‘R’ Us. Your main competitor, Office Plus, has half of the market share. To set yourself apart from Office Plus, you decide to run a Supplies ‘R’ Us social media campaign, specifically targeting your ideal customers. More and more customers start seeing your ads on social media sites. As a result, Office Plus customers start shopping at Supplies ‘R’ Us, and you begin to gain a larger share of the market.
If you’re a small business or a new company starting out, chances are you have a pretty limited budget for marketing your brand, products, and services. Yet, the fact that you’ve at least thought about doing marketing to promote your business, means you understand the importance and value of using marketing services and tools to help boost your company - so congratulations on taking that first key step!
Now that you understand the need to market your company, it’s time to decide how to spend your money in the most efficient and strategic way to increase your odds of attracting new leads and clients. In today’s complex Internet marketing world, there are hundreds of different ways to promote your company and solutions, thousands of tools to help you do it yourself, and thousands of marketing agencies to help you along the way.
Yet, the question of where to start and how to allocate your money still remains. To help you, we’ll share with you what our marketing strategy team shares with our existing clients when faced with this question.
Before we jump into exactly what services you should consider, it’s important to note that not every business will need the same services as every business is different, has different goals, different target markets, budgets, etc. Thus, the following list of services is not meant to help every company, but only those who’d benefit from marketing their products or services to a target audience that can be defined through online marketing services with a wide range of people.
Note: Items are listed in order of importance, with number one being the most important. Depending on your exact marketing budget, you may or may not have enough money to invest in all five services listed. When that is the case, we suggest that you invest in the most important ones first.
It’s noisy out there.
And I’m not just talking about on the street.
I mean online. There is so much action every time we dial up (hopefully you’re not still actually using dial-up) that it can be almost overwhelming to keep your sights straight.
It’s even more overwhelming when you are one of those businesses adding to the noise. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely should be. The jury’s out as to the impact of an online presence (for those late to the game the answer is a resounding YES). The internet is a great way to get your message heard. Be loud and proud. A lot of people will hear.
But you might be asking yourself what an online presence exactly entails? There’s a lot to do and see on the internet. Where should I focus my attention?
Is it on having a professional website? Maybe it’s Facebook? Or perhaps I should post more consistently to my blog?
Those are all important. In fact, you should have at least one foot in each one of those doors. But there exists an older and arguably much simpler answer to this puzzle. An answer that today seems to get ignored by many businesses but realistically could generate more leads than all those other options combined.
That answer is email.
Marketing has evolved from the days of Mad Men. The key to marketing success in the 21st century is not flash and glamour, but engagement.
Engagement is building and fostering long-term relationships with customers through continual contact.
And email is the best way to build engagement.