In simple terms, marketing is the process of promotion of your company’s product or service offered so as to connect with potential customers and to work on building and maintaining that relationship. In more proper terms, it is the collection of steps undertaken to aware targeted audiences about products/services your company has to offer and connect with them and build an everlasting relationship. At the core of marketing, it is all about connecting a company selling a certain product or services to the right audience in need of it. These activities include many things, ranging from advertising, selling to delivering products to customers.
Importance of Marketing
- It helps in creating brand name recognition for your company. Customers can easily recognize your products from the logo, packaging, etc. They also relate to high quality and great customer service experience with your company, as long as it is maintained.
- It provides an outlet to compete with well-known, larger companies who have been established since long. This is possible due to the ground level of individual interaction with customers possible due to being a small business.
- If done right, it increases the likelihood of potential customers actually buying your product or service. Also if the relationship is maintained after the sale is done, it can leave a positive impression on the customers mind and they might consider coming back again to order from your business. These people might leave positive feedback about you online or spread positive reviews about your company to their friends and families which in turn brings more customers to you.
Now that we know what marketing is all about and its necessity for the growth and sales of a small business. It is time to learn about various efficient and cost-effective marketing practices and activities you try yourself to market your business to a large audience.
Sponsoring Local Events
This is quite a great way to market your business to a specific demographic, to the area where the local event is being held at. Most of the time, the price to be paid for your business getting showcased in such events is usually quite low and in comparison to the benefits you can reap is nothing. You can find local events through social networking sites and other internet sources. The selection of these local events has to be done strategically.
Creative Packaging and Delivery
If you sell a product with unique and interesting packaging or you sell a service with a creative way of presentation, it can be a major marketing stint that can dramatically increase your customer outreach. Always think outside regular norms and methods, don’t shy away from trying something different. This is what will create a striking impression of your business on customers and make you stand out from your competitors.
Word of Mouth
This form of marketing can seem very rudimentary, basic, and trivial but it shouldn’t be forgotten as it has a strong potential to boost the popularity of your business. If you keep your customers satisfied and remain in contact with them even after getting done with sales you can always ask them politely if they could recommend you to others, leave a positive feedback of your company online. It increases the probability of the customer recommending your business to friends and families and other customers. This is quite effective as people tend to take the opinion of friends and families seriously. Also, this way you acquire new customers without any expenditure of capital or labor.
These days of the IT era has brought immense power to reach the masses through the internet. Social media is one such aspect through which you can attract prospective customers to know about your business. Facebook is one of the best social media platforms to create a digital presence for the promotion of your products and services offered. Create a Facebook page, which lets visitors see your business’s name, contact information like phone number and email address, physical office address, etc. Another advantage of having a Facebook page is you can easily post about upcoming products, any events, deals or promotional offers, etc. Lastly, having a Facebook page lets you easily connect with your customers and visitors to your business on an individual level
Sample products & Trial service - It is always a good idea to provide interested customers with a sample product or a trial service when you are in the starting phase of your business because you are a newly opened business and the visitors don’t have any experience in regards to your service or products. By providing target customers a sample, they can have a firsthand experience which will assure them and give them a reason to buy from you next time.
Discount Coupons – These are a sure shot effective way of roping in customers to your business. By providing customers with discount coupons and deals you make them feel they are receiving value for money for the products and services they buy. It also helps build a customer base, increases the chances of the customers returning again, and also brings others in who receive news of the discount coupons and deals.
Responding to Customer Feedback & Query
It is always necessary to daily check your Email, Whatsapp messages and Facebook page to keep track of all the feedback customers send whether it is appreciation or criticism. Only by listening to customer feedback and understanding them can you resolve those issues which they put forth. By resolving them, you showcase to the customers that their demands are being listened to and they are valued and have importance to you and your business. This keeps them happy and helps in retaining them and bringing them for further purchases and increases how much they buy from you. Also it is important to answer any question asked on places like your Facebook page, Whatsapp, Quora, etc. Be it from a current customer or a visitor, only by answering and solving queries will your clear tension and any doubts regarding your business and your products or services.
Events like Expos and Meetups are a great way of personally meeting up with people physically and interacting with them to market your or tell about your business. Most such events are free of cost and just require a registration to enter. There are always chances of bumping into distributors, resellers or consultants etc. These events are a great way to build your networking circle.
Probably one of the most powerful and widely used instant messaging platforms used for communication. Whatsapp is powerful, you can do a major chunk of your marketing through Whatsapp only. It is always the best way to connect with customers and promote your business as almost everyone now a day has a smartphone and uses Whatsapp to communicate. Let us look at as to why and how we can utilize Whatsapp for our marketing purposes:
Now that you have acquired knowledge on what is marketing about, its importance and how to implement strategies for it. It is time to put what you have learned to practice. Before this blog ends, there are some key miscellaneous points. I would like to tell you some key pointers you should keep in mind while you are doing various marketing activities.
Creating Broadcast lists -
Broadcast lists are a way of sending messages to a large selection of people. This is a good way to communicate with a lot of people at an individual level quickly. It is also quite safe and secure as unlike a Whatsapp group, the contacts of other recipients aren’t seen by other participants. Also when there is a reply to your broadcast messages only the sender will see it on their chats screen. It won’t be visible to other members. This is an efficient way to deliver promotional details, update to inventory, invitations to events, etc to customers. When properly done on a regular basis, it is sure to increase your engagement.
Engaging through calls -
Through Whatsapp’s in-built VoIP feature which uses data, customers can easily connect to you for voice calling or video calling. This is an excellent way of receiving customer service requests and answering them with ease. This also reduces the time between the customer having a query and sending it, and you the business owner receiving and solving it.
Building customer loyalty & rapport -
Always be active and reply back as soon as possible to customer queries, assistance, etc. Share your Whatsapp contact information on your application and Facebook page so customers know how to connect with you. Using Whatsapp should only happen after you have built a rapport with your customer.
Limiting spam -
Spamming or the act of continuously sending messages that may or may not be related, should be avoided. It should be kept in mind that the customer at the end of the day is still a person with whom you aren’t acquainted with on a personal level. So try to avoid continuously sending links, texts, or images to their chat box. Also avoid talking about things other than related to your business.
- Always keep a polite attitude and demeanor while talking with customers, never argue with them.
- Never initiate conversation with customers yourself unless there is a very good reason to do so and avoid having personal chats with them.
- Always keep in mind with whom you are talking and your manners of speaking as everyone can interpret what you say differently.
- Never ignore a customer’s messages or query requests.