For many businesses, they envisage spending loads of money on advertising for a trickle of customers that barely pays the cost of the advert – that is not marketing
Marketing is not just about advertising or traffic generation, marketing is about everything your business does that has an impact on the customer. And as your business should only ever be focused on things that have an impact on the customer that means that everything your business does is to do with marketing.
A great description I heard to describe what marketing is was that “marketing is doing the hard work that makes the selling easy”. In a nutshell that is quite a good description because it focuses directly on the benefit of getting your marketing process right.
That includes the way your staff answer the phone, the image your staff present when they are meeting the customers, the things your staff think and say about your company when they are not at work. The impression your company gives to your market place. This includes things like how your accounts department deals with customers and the way your support department works. The things your receptionist says when anyone visits your business, the key things you train your delivery driver do and say when visiting a customer. Even how clean the washrooms in your offices or showroom.
Marketing encompasses every aspect of the business in some way because every aspect of your business leads ultimately to the customer. If you look at this list of just some of the areas you need to consider you will see that there is a lot to think about.
- Your brand
- The products you sell
- Who you sell your products to
- Where your product and company are placed within your marketplace
- Advertising – where you advertise, the message of your advertising, the medium you use etc.
- Promotions – the type of promotions and the message that gives to your market.
- Sales – what your sales staff say and how they present your product to your market.
- Service – the level of service you provide, is it congruent with the image you portray?
- Delivery – how is you product delivered? The packaging, installation, courier etc.
- The work environment of your staff. Do your staff feel the ethos of the company is matched by the way they are treated and the environment in which they work?
- Even how you take payment from your customers is a key element of your marketing strategy. Even down to how your invoice is worded, delivered and payment is chased.
When your accounts department is calling a customer, the marketing department should closely monitor the procedures they follow – remember repeat business is a key element for most businesses, so you don’t want your accounts department destroying customer relationships.
Marketing is all about building a complete environment that delivers your image, ethos and message to the market in such a way that the entire buying criteria your prospects use to decide who they will buy form have been carefully crafted to give your business the best opportunity to be chosen.