The purpose of marketing is to generate more profit -- simple enough. But how do you go about marketing your product or service in order to ensure that potential customers give you their business? While there are multiple principles of marketing, perhaps the most important is reaching your target audience.
Any product worth its salt can be sold, however a lack of proper marketing can prevent even truly great products from being sold. Knowing who the product targets is the first step in developing a potent marketing strategy. We'll take for our example dental marketing in order to highlight the importance of a target audience.
When a dental firm seeks to establish clientele initially, they may have only a few chances to make an individual customer, and only one chance to make a first impression. Knowing this makes it important for dental firms to make an especially impressive first impression. One way for dental firms to accomplish this is through direct mail marketing.
One reason direct mail marketing would work well (generally) for a dental marketing scheme is that dental firms thrive on the business of family units. If a dental firm can land the business of a young family, then they can expect continuing business from them assuming their service is of high enough quality, and the family doesn't move or lose the ability to pay for the service.
Therefore, sending mail to homes where families live gives families the opportunity to be exposed to dental firms without having to search through directories to find them. However, using mail means that mailer that is sent by the firm needs to project a professional image that highlights what the dental firm does well. Does the dental firm offer sleep dentistry, where patients don't have to be awake to have their teeth worked on? Do they offer basic oral surgery such as wisdom teeth removal? Projecting these things can make the difference between scoring a new customer and losing potential business.
A company in Utah markets itself as "Wisdom Teeth Only," taking advantage of the need for wisdom teeth removal generated by young members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints preparing to serve two year proselyting missions. This sort of company may or may not be possible in other markets, but because the company knows who they're targeting as an audience for their service, it's possible to survive by focusing on just one type of dental service.
Another viable option is internet marketing because through sheer volume it allows target audiences to be reached. Online venues like Facebook make it possible for ads to be seen by literally thousands of people. Also, optimizing your website for searches on Google and other internet search services makes it easy for those looking for dental services to find your dental firm assuming you've prepared a top notch website that comes up quickly in the results list.
While these are just a few possible options, hopefully looking at dental marketing as an example has made clear why knowing your target audience makes a difference in how, where and what you advertise with to generate more business.
One of the greatest challenges faced by small business owners is the allocation of a marketing budget to be competitive with other businesses in the area. The administrative costs of running a small business often limit the amount of money that is set aside for marketing expenditures. In some cases small business startups do not set aside a budget for marketing and in other cases the budget restrictions on the small business limit the amount of advertising that the business can do.
Ten years ago the limited budget constraints of small businesses made it difficult for entrepreneurs to attract customers or announce special incentives to their customers, but as the internet has grown to include the ability of users to conduct extensive product and service searches within a local market the small business owner can easily afford to invest in internet marketing strategies that draw customers in.
Internet search engines are designed to work quickly as they analyze the information stored in the written content of web pages and return the results of searches queried by internet users to computer screens throughout the country. By first indexing and storing scans of websites that are uploaded to the internet, search engines are able to quickly rescan and return the results of searches with pertinent and relevant information to the person sending the search request data.
Small business internet marketing allows the small business owner to submit information through keyword optimization and content management that will return the specific search criteria from a search engine query. The use of online marketing strategies for small business internet marketing cost far less than those of offline marketing strategies that involve additional costs of production in order to execute. Direct mail, telephone directory, radio and television and even flier distribution all return limited customers and sales and far outweigh the costs associated with small business internet marketing.
In reality the budget limitations that small business owners face prevent businesses for doing the kind of marketing that would increase sales, however for comparatively minimal costs small business internet marketing sees realistic returns in increased sales over traditional marketing media with limited budgets. Through small business internet marketing owners can afford to keep their administrative costs down and still make an impact to consumers.
With the aid of professional internet marketing companies small businesses can focus on what they do best and allow marketing professional to assist in the affordable growth of the small business entrepreneur.
Each product has to have a sales marketing strategy to support it. You can sometimes promote a few things together like a table and seats, but any device for which you do not have a sales marketing strategy is doomed to failure.
Let me put it simply, if you went out one day and noticed that someone was selling his entire stock of bicycle tyres cheap because they were going bankrupt and you bought them, who would know except you and the person you bought them from? And he is not going to like them back!
You might say: 'But I would not do that. I would put an advert in the paper'. Well, that is your promoting marketing strategy. I am not saying that it is a decent one, but at least it is something. Something to improve on really.
The first thing to think about is who your target market is and how can you best reach them. The answers to these two questions will allow you to choose whether you are going to concentrate on on or off line sales. Never forget that the vast bulk of sales are off line, although the on line market is growing every day.
If you have a shed load of bicycle tyres, for example, you would almost certainly be better off marketing them in the classifieds section of the local paper. Or you could promote a one-off garage sale of cheap bicycle tyres or you could take them to a car boot sale. In your spare time, you could create a small website, but in this example off line sales are more likely than on line sales.
If however, you hook up with a bicycle tyre company that is willing to drop-ship (ie deliver) from their warehouse for you then a car boot or garage sale is useless to you. In this instance, you should go straight on line, create an automated sales and payment processing page and promote it on line by the various methods available.
If you really want to, you could back up the on line sales with a bit of off line advertising. For instance, you could put a postcard in the newsagent's window marketing that your web site has a stock of cheap bicycle tyres that can be delivered to the customers' door. Then only add the URL of your web site.
Your sales marketing strategy must be customized to what you are attempting to sell. In other words, you have to have a great deal of marketing tactics so that you can select the ones that are correct for your product. No one sales marketing strategy is ever going to fit all the products. Therefore, if you rely on only one sales marketing strategy you will not succeed.
In summary, once you have your irresistible deal ready for sale, sit down and think about who will buy it and how you can reach them - ie how you can tell them that you have what they would like. Then draw up a plan - yes, I mean write something down! Write down how you are going to accomplish this and write down when the stages of your sales marketing strategy have to be completed by.
It is just by having a solid sales marketing strategy that you can cite that you will succeed in marketing. Failing to plan is tantamount to planning to fail.