Would you use a smartphone without internet access? Well, the answer to this depends on what you want to do. If you’re planning to take pictures that no one else will see, or just read a book in silence, then the answer might be yes. But if anyone, or a lot of people for that matter, will get to see or know about what you’re doing then you need some internet connection. It’s the same with business (or selling) and marketing. Marketing is simply indispensable in gaining exposure and subsequently patronage for your product or service. This is especially the case for emerging businesses like startups and small scale businesses trying to break through. Even big companies that are already seeing millions of dollars in revenue still embark on aggressive marketing campaigns.
Unfortunately, many small businesses get marketing wrong. Rather than getting it to put their stuff out there and in public consciousness it’s boomeranging instead. It’s possible you find yourself in this category. You’ve done everything by the books, and have spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on ‘marketing campaigns’, yet there’s no commensurate revenue increase. You’re worried and can’t figure out what exactly is going wrong. Well, we don’t think the solution is to close down shop or put a full stop to marketing. You might simply be making one or more of the three mistakes below. We’ll talk about them here and what you can do to fix them.
1. Waiting to Launch a Product or Service before Marketing
Have you ever heard about products that had so many pre-orders that they sold out before launch? Well, that didn’t just happen. The company had definitely put out feelers for their product/service while it was still at the design or production stage. You shouldn’t wait till your product gets on the market before marketing it. Even while you’re still conceptualizing it, start putting out feelers.
This will achieve two purposes. First of all, you’re making people aware of what’s coming. Secondly, it’s the fastest way to gather feedback. If you start marketing early enough, your potential customers will be able to let you know whether they think that product/service will work for them or not. This will save you a lot of time as you can easily adapt your plans to fit the actual needs and desires of your target market.
2. Marketing to a Bigger Audience than Necessary:
Snap question. Would it make sense for apple to market iphones and macbooks to low income earners? Definitely not, there are only a few people within that niche who can afford those products. Again, no meat packaging company would target a community of vegans as part of its marketing strategy, it’s a simple no brainer. As ridiculous as these ideas seem, many businesses make the same mistake when trying to market their stuff.
They believe that the more people they can reach, the higher the turnaround they’ll get. It doesn’t work that way. In marketing quality is as important as quantity. While you must seek to reach as many people as possible, you should also keep in mind that most or all of those people must be the right people. Determine who you’re making the product or service for and align your marketing system to reach exactly those people. There’s no such thing as ‘everyone will love this’, there are always a core group of people for whom your product is appropriate. Figure out this niche, focus your marketing efforts on them, and watch your revenue figures hit unimaginable levels.
3. Depending strictly On ‘Marketing’ To Sell Your Product: Even the best marketing campaigns are limited to a single basic function, and that is to create awareness for your products/services. Beyond this, it is only the quality and value created by your creation (pun intended) that will keep it relevant on the market. A nice advert or attractive packaging will only sell your product the first time, what will keep the buyer returning subsequently is the quality of the experience.
Marketing should have a domino effect. When you convince someone to buy your product or use your service, the experience should be so good that they tell someone else who will tell someone else, and so on like that. Marketing will never take the place of worth. Perhaps you should stop worrying about how to improve your marketing game, and instead focus on upgrading the quality and utility of the products you’re putting out there. A high quality product or service basically sells itself.
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Your buyers and customers are just beyond numbers and percentages on a report or dots on a graph. They are people with dreams, fears, ambitions, and most importantly, needs, which your products should be meeting. The moment you approach marketing with this people mindset, the market will be yours for the taking.