What is marketing?

Marketing is such a broad term which describes so many elements of a business throughout its many stages.

It is hard to put your finger on one thing which marketing stands for. Ultimately it is the communication channel of your business for various purposes and will change based on the stage your business is at and the context of the environment.

It is the visuals and communication at every single stage of your business. It must all align with the intention you have set and what you want to achieve in the short and the long term.

Visibility and Awareness

Marketing at its core, is the act of giving your business a reason to be seen and therefore made aware of within a certain aspect or area.

This could be classed as top of the funnel marketing. Not directly talking about your product or service but offering value throughout the industry – creating a reason to be seen.

Attaching yourself to something relevant as an excuse to be noticed. This is route one, grassroots, marketing.

Within the four P’s of marketing this would come under the Promotion category. You need to identify the channels which will be suitable for your business for visibility and awareness within your industry.

Some routes will work better for different businesses – These include:

Search Engine Optimisation

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Snapchat
Instagram
Quora
Email

Website Traffic

The impact of this visibility and awareness may be in the form of website traffic.

You can channel this website traffic to have the benefits which you desire through different features and communication on your site. This is all marketing and must align with the greater picture. Optimise your site for the results which you want to achieve from the traffic you are delivering.

Lead Generation

For some businesses, depending on their remit and their sales process, lead generation is a crucial part of the marketing tasks.

Essentially, that is the development of any visibility and awareness to funnel into direct lead opportunities which are contactable and have potential to purchase your products or services.

Content

Everyone is aware of the fact that content is king – and distribution is Queen.

This really is the case. Content is the tool for triggering all of the processes around the journey of marketing – no matter which form that is. Written, infographic, video etc with the purpose of being educational, informational, comical, relatable or instructive. You have to create content ‘to market.’

Branding

This is a key component of marketing. Branding. What is your brand? What does it mean, what does it stand for, what does it look like and how does it cooperate? This runs through from the colour scheme, the logo right the way through to the personality of the social media and the sales representatives. Storytelling

Analytics

Analysing what is happening, what is working and what isn’t, through analytics and data. Then reacting, adapting and improving.  This is a specific marketing department which will impact everything going forward.

Advertising

This is paying to be seen in places where your target market exist. It is about maximizing the potential of your spend to create a situation where you are able to return on the investment you have made.

Public Relations

Alternatively to advertising, this is using the power of communication to create positive reflections and relationships in the public eye.

Leverage whatever power you have to create a reason to be seen and written about – for as little expenditure as possible.

This difference between PR and advertising is the perception. Everyone knows you paid to put that advert there, but an unbiased objective write-up can have a far greater psychological impact.

Communication

Marketing is communication throughout every stage of a business process. That is when acquiring new custom or communicating with current customers. Communication through the phone, email and website – this all leads back to marketing.

Perception

Perception is everything in marketing. If you look, sound and appear authoritative, then you are – because there’s nothing to say otherwise. You are only as good as your marketing. And that message will resonate, regardless of your actual situation.

Competition

Being aware of your competition is a key to marketing success. This gives you the power to price and to deliver messages which are going to give you an advantage and a unique selling point. You must constantly be aware of their movements and react to keep yourself relevant.

Conclusion

There are no rules. If it works and results in increased sales, then do more of it. If it doesn’t, then do less of it or none at all.

Creating a situation where you are offering enough value to trigger an opportunity with potential to transition into a sale, repeat custom or to prevent customer churn.

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