60 Second Guide: Marketing
I have the absolute pleasure to introduce Paula Hutchings' guest post.
A 60 Second Guide to Marketing.
A gem if you are new to marketing or if you need a little refresher.
Paula founded Marketing Vision Consultancy in 2011 with over a decade’s experience working for some of the world’s biggest brands in the UK and Australia including Lipton Iced Tea, FCUK fragrance, Diesel, Heineken, and many more.
She is also a qualified Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the world’s largest organisation for professional marketers.
So she's knows a thing or two about Marketing.
What is marketing?
Marketing is essentially about promoting your products or services to potential customers (who fit your target audience). But the process doesn’t stop there – the best marketing campaigns build valuable relationships with their audiences over time, carefully moving them through a ‘customer journey’ from cold prospects to ‘fans’ (customers).
But first, you need to fulfil a genuine customer need
Successful brands sell products or services that meet a genuine customer need and add value (e.g., ‘makes life easier’, ‘brings people together’ or ‘makes me feel good’). And they communicate this in a clear, compelling way through their marketing offers and campaigns. Establishing early on that you satisfy a customer need is crucial – even the most seasoned marketer can’t sell a product or service in the long-term if there is no real demand for it!
Marketing drives awareness
So, you have a great product or service to sell – perfect! Now you need to let customers know about you and build brand awareness. But how?
If you think about a physical market place, a market stall holder’s main goal is to sell as much of their product as possible. They display their products on their stall, call out to passers-by to come and buy from them - either by shouting the loudest (literally!), or by differentiating themselves from competing traders through claims that their products are the ‘best quality’, ‘freshest’, ‘cheapest’ and so on. They talk to their customers, build relationships and gain valuable insights into what they want (and what they don’t!). The stall holders best at this (marketing themselves) succeed.
Stand out from the crowd
And the same principles apply to the wider market place. With a multitude of brands all vying for attention, you need to stand out from the crowd. You might have the best products or services in the world, but if customers don’t know about you or you’re not communicating a persuasive reason for them to buy from you, they won’t!
There is a wealth of low-cost (if not free!) marketing tools available – perfect for reaching and engaging with customers. From branding, websites, social media, and digital/email marketing, to pop-ups, fairs, brand collaborations and more. The key is to ensure that the activities you choose are focused on helping you to achieve your business goals.
3 Quick Tips
Know your target audience: Build a clear profile of your customers.
Establish your business goals: Your marketing activities should be designed to help to achieve them.
Be consistent: When budgets are tight, consistent messaging and marketing activity is key.
Paula Hutchings is the founder of Marketing Vision Consultancy and provides professional marketing support to small businesses and start-ups. www.marketingvision.co.uk