What is Marketing?
Marketing is not simple. It is not a part of the sales process nor is it something that can be done at night, last minute, just so you have a website online. The reason we all think marketing is simple is because the dictionary tried to define it. As small business owners, we want Webster’s to be right and marketing to be as easy as the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market. Yet at the end of the day we all know it is the one aspect missing from our business and we all know it is needed to make money. So, what is marketing really? Marketing is knowing the value of your customer and how you want them to feel. Marketing has two sides, like every coin. One is the psychology of your business brand. The other is knowing your quality trumps quantity.
The psychology of your brand
You offer a service or product to your customers. But marketing wants you to entice your target audience with the wonder that is your product or service.
In other words, you want to know who is most likely to purchase your product or service, your target audience. You want that target audience to feel a certain way when they see your logo, website or marketing material. You want your product to make your target audience feel a certain way, so they keep coming back for more. You want them to associate your product with that emotion, the emotion you tell them to feel.
This is how you create loyalty. You create these emotions with colors, fonts, wording and your actions. When a customer sees your website or material, the colors should portray your wanted emotion. The fonts should match your emotion and be easy to read. Your content wording needs to read with that emotion in mind. You staff should use that emotion to determine how best to handle all daily interactions with customers. That emotion is your brand and should be a part of your company culture. Your sales force should be promoting the product with that emotion and branding in mind. You do not have to be a psychologist to make marketing work for you. Fast Company’s Rob Rosenthal broke down the 5 tactics used to the advantage of marketing firms all over the country, read more here.
Quality over Quantity
The other side of marketing is the numbers and the price of business, but this must come after you have your marketing brand done. This is because you need to know your target audience before you can gather the numbers. You need to know how much it costs to make your product at the quality necessary to attract your target audience. Then you need to figure out the right price to sell your product or service at. It is usually assumed higher prices mean lower volume, you know supply and demand.
The last step is distribution. This step is the most important because a lot of money gets lost in this step.Distribution, if you sell a product, starts with your supply vendors. You need make sure you are getting the supplies for your product at a quality that is right for your target audience. But you need to ensure that those supplies arrive on time and for a cost that meets your company goals. Once those supplies arrive, you need to track what it costs to ensemble your product. With your product manufactured you need to next look at the cost to get your product to the customer. This is where you start the numbers if all you offer is a service. Ask yourself, how do you sell your completed product or services to the customer? How many possible prospects do you need to solicit before you make a sale? If you have a retail location you need to add in the cost of rent and utilities in the numbers of distribution as it is an additional over-head cost.
Once you have all of your numbers gathered, add them up. Make sure you add a salary or wage for your self. Then you’ll know the right price for your product or service. That is right, marketing should be the deciding factor in the cost of your goods sold. The price that will make your business a profit!
Marketing isn’t hard, if you make it work for you. Take the time to really get to know your product and how you want to offer it. If you love your product, marketing is easier because you can find all the positives about your product or service and honestly show those positives off to your target audience. Remember marketing is not sales, it should control your sales strategy and guide your customer service interactions. In close, whether you like it or not, you should know when your marketing is working because it is making more money than it spends. End of story.