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The Importance of Marketing: Why You Should Be Marketing Your Business

JUNE 28, 2013 BY KASIA MIKOLUK6 COMMENTS

Marketing is possibly the most important activity a business can partake in. It is the one activity that most directly affects the amount of recognition and sales that a company gets and this determines the level of profitability. Basically, if youre marketing your business well, it will make profits and if youre notyou could be in trouble. Even the most brilliant products and services wont survive without marketing efforts. How could a business continue if nobody knows about them? The marketing umbrella covers many different fields, from advertising to public relations to promotions to sales. Marketing combines all of these fields in order to introduce your product or service to your potential customers. If youre not using the channels in the best way, your potential customers wont have any way of knowing about your product or service! Many great companies have a hard time or end up failing because their sales are dropping due to lack of marketing efforts. One of our courses, Lean Marketing for Startups, examines some great marketing tactics that even small companies can pull off well. Affiliate Marketing Training explains the concept behind Affiliate Marketing, another great way for your company to advertise itself on the cheap. The good news is that marketing isnt rocket science. Though it does take some smart ideas and thoughtful execution, marketing can be simple and incredibly cost-effective. Here are a few reasons why Marketing is important to your business.

Awareness and Recognition

In order for your business to succeed, you need customers to know and recognize your brand and product. Unless your business name is known and you already have connections built with all your potential buyers, it is extremely important to promote your company and build awareness. Without marketing, you wont be able to maximize your full potential because your customers wont be aware of you and your services. Using Marketing methods increases your chances of being utilized by prospective customers.

Increased Sales
As soon as potential customers begin to recognize your company, your chances of making a sale are increased. Your company will start to see a hike in sales if marketing campaigns are doing their job well. They also encourage new customers to spread the word about your company, causing even more word-of-mouth promotion. Keep close track of your sales during different marketing campaigns so that you can determine which ones are directly impacting sales and which ones might not be working as well. Our course, Get Your Marketing In Order For Higher Profits, provides more information on how stellar marketing drives sales.

Building Trust
The more familiar consumers are with a company, the more likely they are to purchase something from you. Marketing not only increases awareness of your brand but also builds your customers trust in you. Your audience will be thrilled to hear about your successes, campaigns you are running, giveaways, and other activities because they all work together to form an image of your company as a sturdy, reliable business that they can depend upon. As this trust is nourished, your business will continue to expand and your sales will increase, too.

Contributing to a Marketplace
A healthy marketplace operates on competition. By marketing your brand, you are outwardly competing with other businesses like yours and this is the idea of healthy competition. Consumers have more than one option to choose from and they get to pick the option that most appeals to them. You can leverage this in your favor by making sure you have the best product or service on the market and also by being clever about the way you market yourself. Make sure that your company image is friendly, trustworthy and reliable in your

marketing and you will succeed in competing against other businesses on the market! For more information, consider this course on the basics of Marketing your business: Marketing Principles.

Importance of Marketing
Author: Exforsys Inc. Published on: 6th Nov 2009 | Last Updated on: 4th Jan 2011

Marketing is a very important aspect in business since it contributes greatly to the success of the organization. Production and distribution depend largely on marketing. Many people think that sales and marketing are basically the same. These two concepts are different in many aspects. Marketing covers advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales. It is the process of introducing and promoting the product or service into the market and encourages sales from the buying public. Sales refer to the act of buying or the actual transaction of customers purchasing the product or service. Since the goal of marketing is to make the product or service widely known and recognized to the market, marketers must be creative in their marketing activities. In this competitive nature of many businesses, getting the product noticed is not that easy. Strategically, the business must be centered on the customers more than the products. Although good and quality products are also essential, the buying public still has their personal preferences. If you target more of their needs, they will come back again and again and even bring along recruits. If you push more on the product and disregard their wants and the benefits they can get, you will lose your customers in no time. The sad thing is that getting them back is the hardest part. Marketing Promotes Product Awareness to the Public It has already been mentioned in the previous paragraph that getting the product or service recognized by the market is the primary goal of marketing. No business possibly ever thought of just letting the people find out about the business themselves, unless you have already established a reputation in the industry. But if you are a start-out company, the only means to be made known is to advertise and promote. Your business may be spending on the advertising and promotional programs but the important thing is that product and company information is disseminated to the buying public. Various types of marketing approaches can be utilized by an organization. All forms of marketing promote product awareness to the market at large. Offline and online marketing make it possible for the people to be educated with the various products and services that they can take advantage of.

A company must invest in marketing so as not to miss the opportunity of being discovered. If expense is to be considered, there are cost-effective marketing techniques a company can embark on such as pay-per-click ads and blogging. Marketing Helps Boost Product Sales Apart from public awareness about a companys products and services, marketing helps boost sales and revenue growth. Whatever your business is selling, it will generate sales once the public learns about your product through TV advertisements, radio commercials, newspaper ads, online ads, and other forms of marketing. The more people hear and see more of your advertisements, the more they will be interested to buy. If your company aims to increase the sales percentage and double the production, the marketing department must be able to come up with effective and strategic marketing plans. Marketing Builds Company Reputation In order to conquer the general market, marketers aim to create a brand name recognition or product recall. This is a technique for the consumers to easily associate the brand name with the images, logo, or caption that they hear and see in the advertisements. For example, McDonalds is known for its arch design which attracts people and identifies the image as McDonalds. For some companies, building a reputation to the public may take time but there are those who easily attract the people. With an established name in the industry, a business continues to grow and expand because more and more customers will purchase the products or take advantage of the services from a reputable company. Marketing plays a very essential role in the success of a company. It educates people on the latest market trends, helps boost a companys sales and profit, and develops company reputation. But marketers must be creative and wise enough to promote their products with the proper marketing tactics. Although marketing is important, if it is not conducted and researched well, the company might just be wasting on expenses and time on a failed marketing approach. Read Next: Types of Marketing

Types of Marketing
Author: Exforsys Inc. Published on: 7th Nov 2009

The concept of marketing encompasses a wide coverage and may even be associated with sales. In fact, sales and marketing are two different concepts although both are closely coordinated.

Marketing is the presentation of the products and services and making them available to the customers with the goal of generating profits. Sales, on the other hand, is the output of marketing implementations. A business produces good product sales out of effective marketing programs while poorly planned marketing plans end up in low sales generation. Focusing more on the concept of marketing, a business organization must invest in intensive marketing activities, what with the stiff competition that exists in almost every kind of industry. Marketing introduces your products and services to your potential customers and target market. It is an important factor in the success of a business. Marketing is otherwise known as advertisement of the products and services that your company can offer to the market. So, the old maxim that no advertising is the worst kind of advertising remains to be true especially at this time when modern marketing methods have been introduced. Marketing can be conducted in various types and techniques. A company can invest in any marketing technique that works best and is effective to the customers. But in this article, let us mention three proven types of marketing that most companies have been using in their product and services campaigns. Offline Marketing The advent of modern marketing has been very helpful for most business, but traditional marketing is still as effective and powerful as it used to be. Not to be overlooked in this age of computers and internet technology, offline marketing is still widely used by many businesses. Tri-media or advertising through print ads, television, and radio have proven to be effective means of advertising and increasing product awareness even until now. Newspapers continue to be used actively and widely circulated by many print media organizations where businesses occupy portions and spaces in the Classified Ads to introduce their products and services. However, companies reap more benefits if online and offline marketing methods are combined. A good example is the use of direct mail in order to lead customers to the company website. In fact, a company can save a lot with proper combination of marketing methods since offline marketing can be costly. Online Marketing

Online marketing is equally powerful and effective as offline marketing. In fact, companies save a lot on their marketing campaigns which are done through the internet. Small-scale businesses can benefit greatly from online advertising if marketing budget is an issue. Apart from the savings a company can get, it can also advertise its products alongside large-scale companies. Affiliate marketing is a common type of online marketing where a company ties up with an affiliate or an online advertiser that will take care of advertising the companys products and services to thousands of online users. Another example is online video campaign with a production cost that is a lot lesser than television advertising. One particular advantage of online marketing over traditional forms of advertising is that it can easily reach a huge number of individuals in a short span of time. Plus, the advertisement lasts longer and is unlimited. Word of Mouth Advertisement Word-of-mouth marketing is probably the best form of advertisement a company can ever invest in. Not a single penny is spent by the company with this kind of advertising; only excellent customer satisfaction is needed to make this campaign effective. Always keep a proactive approach in dealing with customers and go the extra mile. Building good relationships with customers keeps them in the business. The good news is they will tell their friends and people they know about your company and the kind of customer service you have. With an effortless process, your customers gradually increase in number which in turn increases company profit. In business, companies must understand that everything is a risk. Even the cost of investing in marketing campaigns is a risk since it is not a guarantee that the company will succeed. But a company that will not make the move to be known to the public will also run the risk of losing the business eventually because of lack of public awareness on the products and services. Any type of marketing can be effective as long as a proper marketing strategy is designed.

Marketing - Place (Distribution) Strategy


This BIZguide information is also available as a PDF which has been formatted for downloading and printing.
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1. 2. 3. 4.

What is it? Locating your business Channels of distribution Logistics

What is it?
Its the method you use to get your product or service through various distribution channels to the ultimate purchaser or end-user in other words, how and where the consumer buys your product or service. It is a vitally important activity that focuses on how to reach your target market and the: location of your business location of your target market how to reach your target market warehousing of your stock transportation of your stock Back to the top

Locating your business


The location of your business depends on a number of factors as outlined below: are you retailing direct to the public or working through an intermediary? is it convenient for customers to visit you? where is your target market located? how important is exposure to your business? where are your major competitors located? what is the occupancy cost? Back to the top

Channels of distribution
Distribution options include:

In some instances, multiple channels may be used. For example, a manufacturer may: sell to a wholesaler

have a website or shop selling factory direct to the public have representatives selling party plan to the public have agents or distributors selling in other territories In determining the best structure (or structures) for your business youll need to consider the following questions:

what is the most convenient means for customers to obtain the products or services they want? what is the specific level of customer service standard required? what is the most cost-efficient way of providing accessibility and service? how many customers are there, where are they located, what is their average transaction value? what structures do your competitors use and how efficient are they? Back to the top

Logistics
Logistics is how you plan, implement and control the physical flow of raw materials, final products or services and related information from your business, or source of supply, to the final end-user (or consumer). You will need to consider: how you will plan and schedule production how you will order and receive raw materials or finished products from your suppliers how much of each finished product you should carry in stock and what are the re-order points how you will store the products to ensure they are ready for delivery to your customers in good condition how you will deliver the products to your customers what stock control, invoicing and transportation administration systems you will require

Conclusion
Place (or distribution) is a critical element of marketing after all, marketing is about getting the right product, in the right quantity, to the right place, at the right time. Back to the top

What's next..

Marketing - Promotion Strategy


Promotion is the method you use to spread the word about your product or service to customers, stakeholders and the broader public. This BIZguide information is also available as a PDF which has been formatted for downloading and printing.
Download the BIZguide Marketing - Promotion Strategy (4-page PDF 694KB) for printing

Once youve identified your target market, youll have a good idea of the best way to reach them, but most businesses use a mix of advertising, personal selling, referrals, sales promotion and public relations to promote their products or services. 1. 2. 3. 4. Advertising Selling Sales Promotion Public Relations

1. Advertising
What is advertising? Advertising is a form of communication designed to persuade potential customers to choose your product or service over that of a competitor Successful advertising involves making your products or services positively known by that section of the public most likely to purchase them. It should be a planned, consistent activity that keeps the name of your business and the benefits of your products or services uppermost in the mind of the consumer. Why advertise? The objective of advertising is to increase your profit by increasing your sales. Advertising aims to: Make your business and product name familiar to the public Create goodwill and build a favourable image Educate and inform the public Offer specific products or services Attract customers to find out more about your product or service The rules of advertising There are four rules to consider when planning any advertising activity ie: before you prepare and book any form of advertising. Aim - What is the primary purpose of the advertisement? Is it to inform, sell, produce listings or improve the image of your business? Target - Who is the target? From which sector of the public are you trying to achieve a response? For example is it male, female, adult, teenager, child, mother, father etc. Media Bearing the aim and target in mind, which of the media available to you is the most suitable ie: TV, radio, press or Internet? Competitors What are your competitors doing? Which media channel do they use? Are they successful? Can you improve on their approach and beat them in competition? Developing effective advertising Good advertising generally elicits the following four responses: Attention It catches the eye or ear and stands out amid the clutter of competing advertisements. Interest It arouses interest and delivers sufficient impact in the message or offering. Desire It creates a desire to learn more or crave ownership. Action It spurs an action which leads to achievement of the ads original objective ie: it prompts potential customers to purchase or use your product or service. Making sure your advertisement is legal Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act (Cth) 1974 prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct. You must consider the advertisement as a whole and the ordinary meaning of the words used. You must determine if the people to whom the advertisement is directed are likely to be misled or deceived by its content.

You can use humour, cartoons and slogans to make your ad stand out, but be sure theyre not likely to mislead or deceive your audience. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides advertising guidelines in information circulars that are available from the local office of the ACCC, or from www.accc.gov.au. Commonly used media There are many media options open to advertisers. Which media you use will depend on who you are trying to reach, what you want to say and your budget. Often a combination of media (the media mix) can be used to good effect. Remember to keep your branding and message consistent across all media. This includes use of colours, logos, design elements and fonts. Stationery Stationery, which includes letterheads, envelopes and business cards, is a means by which your business image or name identification is projected. Good quality stationery, used with care and attention and with a high standard of presentation, is an everyday means of presenting your business image. Window display or office front The external presentation of your business office or shop is one of the principal ways of establishing your business image. An attractive, well maintained exterior with clear, bold sign writing is an essential start. Windows should be bright, attractively presented, scrupulously clean and well lit at night. The display should be arranged neatly and aimed at projecting an attractive company image and providing a reason to buy your products or services. Above all it should have sufficient impact to attract attention. Press advertising This is a commonly used form of general advertising and includes advertising in all press such as newspapers, magazines and journals. Press advertising is suitable for image building, information dissemination and sales campaigns. It is also a very affordable option for small businesses. Radio Radio is considered by many advertisers as an ideal medium due to its ability to reach specific target groups e.g. teenagers, racing followers or grocery buyers. Radio advertising covers spot adverts (usually 15 or 30 second), promotions or talkback/DJ discussions. Most radio stations offer packages which include production and extension of your radio campaign through their websites. Television Television is a powerful advertising medium because it creates impact through sight, sound and movement however the cost of producing the advertisement and procuring sufficient air time to allow the campaign to work often makes it prohibitive for small business. Direct mail This is a broad category covering direct communication with the consumer through email, post or fax. It can include newsletters, catalogues and letters. If you plan to use email, be sure to comply with national anti-SPAM legislation which makes it illegal to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages. Visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority website for more details - www.acma.gov.au. Outdoor This is any type of advertising which is done outdoors, including static advertising such as billboards, backs of street benches and bus shelters or mobile advertising displayed on buses, trains, taxis or towed signage. Ambient Refers to any form of advertising that occurs in a non-standard medium outside the home, and usually where your consumers are likely to be. Its limited only by your imagination and includes things lik e advertising on the back of shopping receipts or toilet doors at the cinema, placing branded coasters at the local pub, projecting onto buildings, advertising inside lifts or distributing branded cups. Cinema

You can purchase cinema advertising by individual cinemas or screens for a set amount of screenings or runs. Most providers offer packages which include production and screening of your advertisement Point of Sale Advertising at the point where the consumer makes a purchase decision eg: floor stickers, in-store digital advertising, shopping trolley signage, shelf or counter posters or playing interviews about your product in store. Online The options for online advertising continue to grow rapidly. They include advertising on your website, advertising on other websites, creating links to your website from other websites, publishing blogs, offering online product games, social networks and forums. Directory listings Many consumers use business directories to find a supplier. Directories include the yellow or white pages, union directories, trade directories or local business directories. Evaluating the effectiveness of your advertising Famous American department store merchant John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was attributed as saying Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted the trouble is I dont know which half. This quote is often still true today as many businesses do not evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising. Evaluating effectiveness can be as simple as staff asking every new customer How did you hear about us? or asking every customer that responds to an advertised special where did you see or hear our advertisement? Whatever method you use, it is absolutely critical in getting top value for your advertising dollar by finding out which media works and which doesn't. Back to top

2. Selling
What is selling? Put simply, selling is the exchange of goods or services for an agreed sum of money. Depending on the circumstances, a sales transaction can include one, some or all of the following stages. Prospecting and qualifying identifying qualified prospects ie: those that are likely to want or need your product or service and can afford to pay for it. Pre-approach undertaking research about prospects to assist in the actual selling process. Approach making actual contact with the prospect in person, by phone or in writing. Presentation and demonstration presenting and demonstrating the features and benefits of your product or service in order to convince the prospect that their want or need can be satisfied. Handling objections demonstrating the product or service value to overcome real or perceived objections or misunderstandings that are impeding the purchase decision. Closing bringing the selling process to a successful conclusion by either asking for the order or responding to a positive decision from the prospect. Follow-up proactive or reactive contact with the purchaser to establish their satisfaction level and to address any problems that may exist. In planning the selling element of your marketing strategy you will need to consider the following: The size and structure of your sales team Recruiting, training, motivating and evaluating individuals and the team as a whole The remuneration structure The location/territory to be serviced

Management and communication systems

Selling is a particularly important element if you are marketing services because the purchaser of a professional service is in fact buying the capabilities of the seller. So he or she would be closely evaluating the behaviour and characteristics of your sales person, your business, its reputation, facilities and appearance. Back to top

3. Sales Promotion
What is sales promotion? Sales promotion relates to short term incentives or activities that encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. Sales promotions initiatives are often referred to as below the line activities. What are the major sales promotion activities? Sales promotion activities can be targeted toward final buyers (consumer promotions), business customers (business promotions), retailers and wholesalers (trade promotions) and members of the sales force (sales force promotions). Here are some typical sales promotion activities: Consumer promotions Point of purchase display material In-store demonstrations, samplings and celebrity appearances Competitions, coupons, sweepstakes and games On-pack offers, multi-packs and bonuses Loyalty reward programs Business promotions Seminars and workshops Conference presentations Trade show displays Telemarketing and direct mail campaigns Newsletters Event sponsorship Capability documents Trade promotions Reward incentives linked to purchases or sales Reseller staff incentives Competitions Corporate entertainment Bonus stock Sales Force Promotions Commissions Sales competitions with prizes or awards Back to top

4. Public Relations
What is public relations? The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) defines Public Relations (PR) as: The deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation (or individual) and its (or their) publics.

Put more simply, public relations is about building good relations with the stakeholders (public) of your business by obtaining favourable publicity, building a good corporate image and handling or heading off unfavourable rumours, stories and events. By building good relationships with your stakeholders, particularly customers, you can generate positive word of mouth and referrals from satisfied customers. Who is a stakeholder? Stakeholders are the various groups in a society which can influence or pressure your business s decision making and have an impact on its marketing performance. These groups include:

Clients/customers Staff Shareholders Strategic partners Media Government Local community Financial institutions Community groups Operationally, stakeholders really refer to those groups that your business is or should be, communicating with. What are the main public relations tools? Typical PR tools include:

News creation and distribution (media releases) Special events such as news conferences, grand openings and product launches Speeches and presentations Educational programs Annual reports, brochures, newsletters, magazines and AV presentations Community activities and sponsorships What are the key steps in implementing public relations? Implementing effective public relations activities requires careful planning. The three major steps are outlined below Setting the objectives what is it you want to achieve and who do you want to reach? Is it to create awareness of a new product or service to your existing clients, to overcome community misconceptions about your business or to create a positive impression with your bank manager? Deciding on the message and the vehicle what is the major thing you want to communicate and what public relations tools will you use to get the message to its target? Evaluating the results did you achieve the desired result and did it lead to a positive outcome? Many small businesses do not devote enough attention to public relations in their promotional mix but done properly, it can be a powerful and cost effective business development and marketing tool.