Demands for businesses are changing as we enter the new age. In the field of marketing, it is without question that social media is dominating a huge part of the landscape, and without a doubt learning how to market on the different social media platforms has become of utmost importance—not only in getting new customers but also largely for the survival of a business.
And if that wasn’t daunting enough, emerging technologies are taking marketing further into the next level. Keeping up with all the technical mumbo jumbo has now become priority for most businesses. But don’t worry, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy trying to read through all those self-help e-books just to keep up with the top marketing trends. Fortunately, we are here to help.
Before we get to the main tips, a bonus tip to start things off properly:
New market trends are not something to be scared of. Instead, we should use these current trends to our advantage in growing our business. New technology brings up new tools to build and launch startups. Having technology do the work for you just makes perfect sense and should be the way to go in this modern age.
We have made an easy go-to marketing checklist to assist you in your marketing woes. The following are the top things to consider if you want to rest easy when dealing with your marketing issues:
Determining who is likely to want and need your products should be your first and foremost action. Identifying a need, and preferably a niche need, helps you figure out a product or service that builds on and capitalizes that need. Having identified a ready motivation and the correct audience to sell to, you have just made yourself a niche by segmenting the market.
Marketing to a niche market is like selling candy in front of a nursery. A piece of cake. Now all that is left is the candy. Decide what that candy is and develop the hell out of it.
Contrary to common perception, “noise” in marketing means attention. And attention is everything. Creating a message that rattles through the tubes (TV) or pulses across the box (radio) helps attract the right audience. Remember, any media attention is better than no media attention at all.
Making the proper message for a specific target audience accounts for a large part in getting the attention of potential customers. Messages on advertisement posters and ad flyers have to be audience-specific. Demographic research helps to properly address the needs of, say, children as opposed to those of adults. So always keep in mind to make the message relevant to who you are targeting, as each audience has different tendencies.
If this point has not already been stressed enough, then it has now. The more you know about your audience and market, the easier it is for you to find key selling points. Various methods that are worth mentioning are survey questionnaires and interviews. They provide you with insight into customer demographics and behavior. Use them. Learn from them.
In connection to the previous point, having an idea who your competitors are in the market and how they operate also helps in your marketing efforts. Knowing whether they are offering new products or how they are attracting customers aid in giving you more ideas for your marketing plans and campaigns.
Assessing other areas not covered by competitors additionally provides you with a prospect of a niche market. Ring a bell? Remember—niche.
As important to our personal lives and vital to every form of relationship, communication is key to keeping your business up to date with the happenings around the market and anything happening with your customer.
In addition, keeping communication lines open helps you understand a client better and helps them understand you as well. Simple gestures of appreciation for the business they give you helps build personal relationships that lead to loyalty for your business. So do not neglect a simple communication plan. It goes a long way.
Some ways to make sure communication is not hampered:
1. Mobile-friendly website – If there is anything easily accessible and handy at the same time, it is our smartphones. No other device has had more impact on our daily lives, personal or business, than the advent of mobile phones. Mobile phones present for more Web searches nowadays than any other device. In relation to your business, having your website conform to mobile-friendly parameters greatly aids your marketing efforts, so make sure you have tools to create responsive design.
No business can exist without a site that customers can access through their mobile phones. Development has just reached a point where being tech-savvy has become a requirement. You’d have to adapt or slowly die out.
2. Content building – The more content you have on your website, the more searchable the site becomes. A lot of people go online for a host of different reasons. Most simply want fast and direct answers to a variety of questions. Providing answers through content helps customers locate your site when doing organic searches on different search engines.
Starting e-mail campaigns that educate customers also helps in getting through information about your product without having to beg for their time. This makes them ready and receptive to your product once an opportunity presents itself. This consequently saves you time on having to explain about your product and its benefits.
3. Start a blog – Flex those fingers and get that inner writer in you out of the box. This is another way to create noise about your products and your business. Be creative. Talk about anything related to your product. Think “them.” Be the customer. Ask things in conjunction with your product or service.
Then be the authority, the go-to guy to ask anything related to your industry. Connect with other bloggers. Expand your media circle. The more known you become, the more online viewers you will likely have. Et voilà. Brand recognition—at the fraction of the cost.
4. Create social media channels – Create different social media accounts. Have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, Instagram. The more social media channels you have, the more potential customers there are. This is a bold new age and speaking out gets you found. Just remember to post the kinds of content appropriate to the platform and the user base. Let ‘er rip!
5. Build an email list – Once you prepare a for-profit email list, start taking note of return customers by making customer profiles. This way, you are able to identify what the customer orders, how frequently he does it, and the quantity he buys. This also largely helps in forecasting and inventory planning. Two birds—or perhaps three—with a single stone. Not bad.
6. Promotions and incentives – Start an incentive program focusing on referrals. This is also a way of getting the word out about your products and services. Some businesses are very selective when it comes to suppliers, and getting a referral from a trusted supplier helps in gaining the trust of a new customer. Creating promotional offers like discount coupons also help in creating interest in the site and in your products.
7. Customer reviews – In connection to referrals, customer reviews are helpful in getting potential customers to trust in your product and company. Survey and interview forms can be helpful in doing this. So have your customers rate you and publish their comments or reviews.
The more reviews you have, the more you gain credibility with potential customers. Let your viewers know how happy your customers are and the amazing relationship you have with them. Adding a personal touch to the business definitely helps gain customer trust and confidence.
With all that is happening with the advancements in technology, marketing is certainly moving at a very fast pace, and keeping up with it becomes a primary, smart goal. Technology is not a bad thing but instead should be considered a tool to advance your business even further. Think of it this way—we no longer have to hit the streets just to market our product. We can do it at home, at the comfort of our easy chairs and hot cups of coffee.
Business today is being molded and changed, with even small-business marketing checklists rewritten by technology. Of course, the old reliable methods are still applicable, but are they still that reliable? The age of the traditional salesman is over or, in a way, certainly nearing its limits if it cannot adapt to this change. Technology will only further develop and improve, and take the markets with it.
Your business and products should likewise have the flexibility to adapt to inevitable changes in society in general. Humans adapt. That is what we do. And so should you and your business. Only the most adaptable survive.