There are countless books and courses on marketing and how to do it right. You have probably read or attended some yourself. But do you feel that you have a good knowledge of marketing?
Do you fully understand all the processes involved and how to best apply them to your business? When all the cards are on the table, most small and midsize businesses don’t. Or at least, they understand these concepts.
What is business marketing?
Everything a company does, everything you do to sell products and services, is marketing. Every decision you make, whether it’s how to get your products or services into the hands of consumers, is business marketing.
The fundamentals of marketing are relatively easy to explain and understand. But mastering these essential concepts can mean the difference between success and failure.
You don’t have to micromanage all the marketing your company does. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to hire a professional. However, that does not replace the need to have a solid understanding of marketing strategy. Business owners should always take a proactive role in their company’s marketing tactics.
Essential components of a good marketing strategy
Not all marketing concepts will apply to all businesses. Some will be more relevant than others, but as an entrepreneur you should be familiar with all of them.
Think of inbound marketing as your workhorse.
It’s a set of marketing tactics designed to keep a steady stream of customers into your sales process. It’s not about boosting your brand to generate leads or direct conversion.
Inbound marketing creatively uses multiple channels to reach as many people as possible. Tools like SEO optimization and social media channels are ideal for this type of marketing. The goal is to drive high volumes of quality traffic that can drive long-term conversions through brand engagement.
If inbound marketing is your workhorse, think of direct marketing as your racehorse.
Direct marketing includes sales tactics designed to produce an instant response. Things like calls to action in online or broadcast media fall into this category.
Regardless of what you do, direct marketing is an important part of any marketing strategy. It allows you to instantly measure success or failure based on response rates.
Knowing how people respond to one offer versus another is crucial.
This is where the rubber really meets the road.
In outbound marketing, you’re approaching prospects and basically saying “buy from me.” This is typically what people think of when they hear the word marketing.
Outbound marketing includes sales calls, print ads, broadcast ads, door-to-door sales, and much more. Any activity where you are reaching potential customers with an offer falls under this definition.
Although it is a staple in countless marketing strategies, it is not very effective. It’s hard to tell if it’s really working and people are getting smarter and blocking most of this type of marketing.
This is the old and new way of marketing.
Most smart companies realize that people are okay with marketing, as long as they get something in return. For example, if you create great content, consumers will be happy to hear from you.
Therefore, every channel you have must start by giving value in exchange for the attention of your customers.
social media marketing
It is inescapable, omnipresent and omnipresent.
Marketing is about getting attention. If you can’t get people’s attention, you have no one to market to.
The biggest attention gaps these days are social media platforms. It goes without saying that any marketing strategy that doesn’t include social media is off to a bad start.
Start with a solid foundation
Each of these components has its own place in the puzzle. Some may be more important to your business than others. But only by understanding them all can you find your way out of the marketing madness.
Don’t be a passive business owner. Take control of your marketing strategies and stop wasting resources on marketing that doesn’t work.