Why should I do marketing?
What is marketing?
The Merriam-Webster definition of marketing is…just kidding! I wouldn’t do that to you. This isn’t a scientific paper, but it is information on how to make your marketing work better for you. Perspectives on marketing vary widely from: “it’s a lead driver for sales” to “getting your name out there” to “a waste of time”. Hopefully this article will help clarify the mystery around ‘marketing’ and how it can be useful to you and your business. Let’s take a look at what marketing really is and how you can make your marketing more effective.
Dashboard. Image from Pexels.
At its core, marketing is simply a way to get people interested in your product or service. You aren’t chasing down people and beating them over the head with anything – the goal is to find people who align with your values and want your product or service. Notice I said “want” and not “need”. There are very few people in the world who will buy something they need but don’t want, unless it’s absolutely required. So, if you are a plumber or accountant, you’re in luck, people need you. But because of that need, the market is also full of plumbers and accountants. That means you need to stand out with good reviews, a solid social media presence, and great service.
What if you’re selling something people want but don’t need? You still need to stand out and get in front of those people. Every successful company does some form of marketing, even if it’s not obvious. Lots of people love Ferrari – they want to go out to their garage and have the freedom to take off in a beautiful red sports car with that signature sound, turning heads everywhere they go. What many people don’t know is it’s difficult to even get on the list to buy a new vehicle, but Ferrari will sell anyone hats, keychains, jackets, and shirts. People who don’t even own their vehicles are advertising for them every day because they have a strong desire to own a Ferrari and love the brand. That’s good marketing!
The takeaway here is to give people what they want. A great example of this is taxes: people want their taxes done without any stress, headache, or worry. They need a tax expert to help them, whether that’s software or a real person. Show them the solution that will alleviate their pain – they need an expert, but they really want to stop thinking about their taxes.
Why do you want to market your company?
Marketing your business, or yourself, can help in several ways – the first is it can make driving leads easier, bringing customers to you. This is the primary purpose for most people and the reason they start marketing or advertising in the first place. Businesses need steady cash flow, and most want to grow. Both of these require a steady stream of leads, people who are interested in your product or service. Effectively promoting your business can create a line of people at your door wanting to talk to you, reducing the stress on you and your team from having to finding them. That’s the real goal of marketing for the majority of business leaders.
Marketing can also make your sales process easier. The secondary benefit of marketing to generate leads is that those leads have reached out to you, taking the first step on their own. They’re already halfway through the sales process, sometimes further! But let’s say you or your sales person drums up their own lead who have never heard of your company before. They don’t know you, but they might agree to a meeting or presentation since your service looked promising. But right after they agree to talk to you they will go online to check you out: what does your website look like? Do you create any content? Are you on social media? How are your reviews? These are all really easy checks to see if you’re real, if you do what you say you do, and if other people have had a positive experience with your company. If you check out and they can learn about you online, they will feel a familiarity with your brand, which can make your sales process much smoother.
Organizations like the United Way rely on branding to build trust so that people reach out for help, volunteer and donate money to continue helping people. They do great work in the areas of education, income, and health, helping people in need get the necessities to survive and thrive. You can donate to the United Way here.
Which brings us to brand awareness: studies show that people remember a brand they see 7 times. Now this isn’t a hard and fast number - it could be 3 times or 14 – the important part is repetition. When people see your company over and over, they become familiar with it. That familiarity leads to trust in the brand, even though they may never have used your services. Other people talking about you on social media builds trust (as long as it’s done in a positive light). You want to build that familiarity by staying active online. Activity makes it look like you’re busy, and you are – so let people know you’re there!
Why would you NOT want to market your company?
There are some legitimate reasons for not wanting to do marketing. Perhaps you’re part of a secret society like the Skull and Bones society at Yale University. They’re very secretive about their practices and even who is a member – they take great pains to stay hidden. Although, everyone does know about the Skulls, which is why people want to join and find out their secrets, which is great marketing. This high level of secrecy led to three movies about them!
The Skull and Bones Society. Image from Wikipedia.
Maybe your business works on referrals only and you want to keep that prestige going. Although, word of mouth is marketing and the more you do the better your results will be. If those referrals dry up for any reason: a bad client, a gap in services, or you just run out of clients, hopefully you have a back-up plan to market your services. Word of mouth doesn’t begin without having some customers.
How do you do effective marketing?
We’ve figured out that even organizations who don’t “do marketing” still do it in some form, which means it’s pretty important to your success. How do you do it effectively? Let’s take a look at the most common forms of marketing at a high level:
Website: you need a good website. It doesn’t have to be amazing, but it needs the basics – why you’re in business, how your service or product works, and how to contact you. Everyone checks websites.
Social Media: a presence on social media is a given these days. If you’re doing B2B, make sure you’re on LinkedIn. If you like engaging with people frequently, Twitter can be good as well. If you’re B2C, take a look at where your customers are, probably Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Email: stay in people’s inboxes. Create a newsletter with information about your industry and let people know what’s going on with your company.
Ads: this one is a little more tricky, and can cost a lot more money. Start with some retargeting ads and slowly build up from there. We’ve seen people spend thousands of dollars in a day by accident - definitely get a professional to help.
So where does West 34th come in?
After decades of experience, our team has seen great results in the B2B space using LinkedIn for social media and email newsletters. We specialize in these two areas to fulfill our mission to help small businesses grow online with service they wouldn’t get from large agencies that charge 5 figures a month. Give us a call if you’re a small business or non-profit that’s in growth mode, we can help!