To us, marketing is our way of life. We help businesses succeed in a competitive world using the many elements of marketing. In this article, we’ll dive into each of these elements and why they are important!
First, let’s define marketing. Marketing is any action that creates perceived value for products or services. The raw materials of a shoe are similar for all shoemakers, but what sets them (and their price tags) apart is often their marketing. A running shoe with a certain swoosh is going to sell for 2, 3, or 4 times more than another shoe — all because of Nike’s perceived value.
Branding is one of the most common elements people think of when you ask them about marketing. Branding is all the assets that give a company its identity. Their logo, colors, and unique style all make up the foundation of their branding. Having a strong brand benefits a business in many ways, but a great logo and strong brand direction alone isn’t enough to create perceived value. What if your logo isn’t seen by potential customers? An easy way to solve that problem leads us to the next core element of marketing.
Advertising is another common element that comes to mind when you mention marketing. Like branding, it’s in front of our faces every day on TVs, billboards, and your social media feeds. Advertising is crucial. It allows you to spread awareness about your products and services. Many small businesses may be wondering, “Isn’t advertising for the large companies?” While advertising can be expensive, there are many cheap alternatives in today’s world, but those are for a future blog post. Check out our blog in a few weeks when we dive into this topic in more depth to find an advertising strategy for you!
How do you know what particular actions will bring perceived value to your business? This is where strategy comes in! You already use strategy every day in ways that come naturally. Every time you get into your car, you have a strategy to get to your destination. I’m going to turn right at the light to get onto the freeway, get off at exit 12, turn left at the light, and my destination is on the right. If you plan how to successfully get somewhere in person, why wouldn’t you plan how to successfully get your business to where you want it to be?
An important part of strategy is when to change course. Going back to the driving scenario, you see an accident on the freeway that has traffic backed up. It’s time to divert from the original plan and get off at the next exit. This decision is rather easy, but how do you know when to divert from your marketing strategy?
Analytics is key for any business. Analytics gives you insights for your branding, advertisements, and strategy! If you do a great job at collecting data on your business, you’ll know what your business looks like when it’s performing well. For example, if your Wednesday sales and customer counts are down for 3 weeks straight, that’s a signal to try and find the issue. With research, you learn your competitor is offering a similar promotion at a better price point. Looking at analytics helps you flag potential problems. Now you can see the metaphorical freeway accident, indicating something needs to change. But if you didn’t collect the data to begin with, you might get stuck in a traffic jam with no obvious quick exits.
Where can you start if you don’t currently keep an eye on analytics? An easy place to start is to keep track of the basics like sales and customers. Then, ask yourself questions about your business and consider what data you can collect to answer them. Customer information can also be useful on a macro and micro level. What is the average age of your customer? What city do they live in? Who are your top three customers? Identifying consumer demographics will help with any advertising targeting strategies.
As you can see marketing bundles a lot of important business operations. It takes strong attention on the core elements to excel in marketing as a whole. If you struggle with any of the elements above, get in touch with us for a free consultation!