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What Is Marketing?

As business owners, we know that marketing is essential. It is common sense to understand that if no one knows you exist, you cannot sell your product or service. With marketing, it can be argued that it is more important than even the product or service, but again, common sense tells us that they are equally important. You cannot have one without the other.

Many business owners do not have a firm grasp of what marketing is. Business owners ( I being guilty many times in my life) do not go deep enough into marketing to understand how it works. With marketing budgets averaging 5%-%25% of GROSS revenue. Many times the mindset is. ‘How can I cut my marketing?” This may be the wrong approach to cutting expenses. Cut everything but your marketing.

In this article, we will talk about what marketing is, and what forms of marketing there is. Keep this mind, nearly all types of marketing ‘works’, the problem is business owners do not commit long enough to the process to see any last result. Most of the time, marketing is not a quick fix. You have to understand who you are marketing too, and then create a message that resonates with them. You also need to know how it works. Some business owners still do not see value in a website ( or a quality one), which in 2020 will be your primary marketing tool. So, understanding why something is needed and how it fits in with your business is essential.

The Merriam-webster dictionary defines marketing this way "the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service."

a blue and white store, that has a window and door

So, marketing is not just putting your ad in the paper and waiting for the phone to ring. It is literally, the whole process from initial exposure to unboxing your product or leaving your store with the item in hand (or service completed) – and beyond.

The effectiveness of your total marketing efforts will clearly identify whether you have an appealing product/service or if you are just wasting your time and money.

Even more to the point, whether that customer comes back, is firmly based on the effectiveness of your marketing. Even customer service – is a form of marketing ( in a holistic manner). Your product quality, the wrapping, the smell, the touch, and thousands of other considerations either adds to your marketing efforts or takes away from it. 

The whole customer journey is simply one extended marketing plan. 

With this in mind, what types of marketing are there? 

From a pure standpoint, there is both digital and traditional marketing. In this list, we will talk about the traditional methods. For a look at the digital marketing efforts including SEO, websites, social media, blogs, emails, and others consider this article Digital Marketing Success

The whole customer journey is simply one extended marketing plan. 

red and blue gears with arrows showing what way they are turning with graphs, tools, puzzles pieces

Traditional Marketing

This form of marketing included some that you may or may not know about. This list is in no particular order, and we will not go in-depth in each one, but rather give you some ideas to traditional marketing.

Newspaper ads
Newspaper article writing
phone book ads
door to door or business to business ( keep an eye on no soliciting signs)
cold calls (call the company or people on the phone – remember to talk to the decision-maker, not just an employee)
billboard ads
flyers (put them up where people can see)
business cards (hand them out)
marketing groups (face to face – like your local business chamber group)
radio ( podcast are under this)
mailers (mail out your message to homes and PO boxes – your local USPS had some good programs for this)
booth ( does your town have a fair, or some area to set up a booth?)

They are adding up your 'value'. If that value in their mind is higher than the price you offer for the product and service, it is within their means, and fulfills a needs, want, or desire. Your marketing efforts were a success.

a women paying with a credit card smiling in front of a contour top with a person hand holding a tablet monitor

This is in no way a comprehensive list. But shows you some ways to get your message out, using traditional methods.

Expanding on the point from the start, what you hand a prospect is also considered marketing. When I was a financial advisor when I sat down with a potential client, questions were asked, I listened to their story, their goals, we sat in a beautiful office, we went over a ‘packet’ that I complied that had a nice folder cover, with items that pertained to them.

All these steps are ‘marketing efforts’. Even the words you use, your body language – these could be considered sales tactics, but in reality, they are marketing efforts.

In your prospect’s mind, they are constantly evaluating your skill, professionalism, and other points to see how you stack up. They are adding up your ‘value’. If that value in their mind is higher than the price you offer for the product and service, it is within their means, and fulfills a needs, want, or desire. Your marketing efforts were a success.

If you continue your care for them (postcards, kind gestures, etc.), you then create a loyal customer who will market for you. Think about ways to add to their loyalty and trust in you even after they have bought from you.

Marketing is a significant and detailed topic, but it is also simple. Just ask, how can I build confidence and trust in my potential customers and customers? And start building from there.

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