Marketing for dummies in a nutshell

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08 Aug, 2014 10:06 AM

Companies who haven’t put a lot of thought into their marketing may find it surprising just how complicated creating an effective advertising campaign can be. It’s a lot more than creating a website and then sitting on your hands waiting for visitors to appear. And yet, Allison Turner, CEO and cofounder of Business Consultants of South Florida, said this seems to be exactly what business owners seem to think.

Turner said people often come to her, saying, “I have a great product or service but I can’t understand why no one is buying.” So she asks them who their customer demographic is. Proudly, the puff out their chests and proclaim, “Everyone!” Taken aback, she then asks “how they get traffic to their website or how many hits they get on their website a month.” Often, they’ll reply with a puzzled or completely bewildered expression. And that’s when Turner puts down her pen.

You can’t target “everyone”

The first basic rule of marketing is that “everyone” is not your target clientele. There are going to be certain people more likely to be interested in your product or service. If you have a completely online business, then you should assume right off the bat that your clients have to be somewhat tech savvy. If your products are household appliances then you should narrow your target to homeowners with sufficient assets to make big purchases.

Marketing requires value and branding

The second rule is people don’t walk into a building simply because the lights are on and the door is unlocked. They have to have a reason to walk in the door or visit your website, and that reason has to be based on something they value. Another part of marketing is branding. Branding refers to creating a symbol, a tagline, a business theme, or other motif that people can associate with your business. Combine value with effective branding and you’ll finally have something.

Remember the 4 P’s

Marketing 101 teachers there are 4 P’s for marketers to consider: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Obviously, you have to have a product in order to have a business. And Price seems like it would be the next most obvious thing. But it’s not. Turner suggested marketers think about, “What can your target market pay for your product or service? For example, . . . price structure for business consulting in the Delray Beach area is much different than the market in Chicago.”

Place refers to how people access your business, which tends to come from many more avenues than the front door, these days. Try to anticipate various ways people might come across your company, including through word of mouth, online reviews, banner ads, etc. Some ways you’ll be able to control, others you won’t.

Promotion is when you finally get around to the marketing side of things. Turner said, “This can include everything from grassroots marketing advertising, publicity, social media, website, pay per click ads, affiliate marketing, and the list goes on.” And just like before, it’s best not to hit every channel right at first because you aren’t targeting “everyone.” Figure out where people get their news or information and go from there.

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