Marketing is like an unspoken language. Anything can be marketed and success can be achieved once done effectively. The desired effect is obviously success so let us work backwards for a minute. That can be achieved by having a flexible plan that has a starting point and an obvious ending. As you have gathered by now, it includes a plan. In the beginning I spoke of marketing being like a language. In any language communication is key. Same thing in marketing. Communication is key. Most people don’t like being talk down to. It can be condescending. Talking ‘up to’ has a similar effect. Most people prefer someone who speak ‘with’ as oppose to at. A good communicator should have an excellent command of the English language and uses words that don’t need a person to have to ‘look them up’ in a dictionary. Simple word that have the same meaning as their bigger cousins. The art of communication is the essence that flavors a good communicator. Something that forms the core of any good marketing campaign. It can make you or break you. An part of any well structured marketing agenda. Notice i said ‘agenda’ as oppose to ‘plan’ because i firmly believe that a plan is an idea as oppose to an agenda which is a course of action. We have now changed directions from having a plan to having an agenda so let us go ahead.
The marketplace is dotted with several ‘mom n pop’ businesses that have sprung up overnight. I commend this bold move and know that our support is needed if they are to stay in business. That is why i am devoted to lending my marketing skills in this way. Perchance someone reading my article can be inspired and pick up one or two points.
Google is indeed a great web search tool. It is my choice but others tend to disagree. They use Yahoo, Bing etc. To each his own. There are a number of searches to make before the marketing process can begin.
1. Find an inexpensive web building site equipped with domain name and adequate hosting capabilities. There are several options available. Be very diligent in your search and eventually you will make your goal. The expensive way is to retain the services of a professional web site builder. This is advisable if the degree of difficulty is great. Remember, ‘ a stitch in time saves 9’. Time is precious and for some, time is money. If you choose to go the second route, make sure that you choose the right Template and the proper color schemes. One that is inviting and user-friendly and does not ‘ lose ‘ the message in the process.
2. Naming the site is important. Choose words that adequately describe what you do. I can not stress this enough as this not only describes your function but serves to put you higher in the search engine ranking. You are on your way. Meta tags and spiders are terms that you should get used to as that is the means by which your website is found by search engines (on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc). To enhance web Site Optimization, certain ‘ key words’ are used on your site and in your title. As i said before, the use of these words or phrase are key on your site as it increases your chances of being found thus increasing traffic to the site, giving you a better Marketing presence. Persons who do this function are referred to as SEO’s and are very prevalent in today’s marketplace. Their job is to propel your web site to ‘the top of the class thus maximizing on all Internet traffic. IT is another department you will notice. Their function is basically to pinpoint Internet trends and point you in the right direction. Personally, I don’t care for neither (SEO or IT) as a good marketer should embody both skills.
3. This section has a lot to do with content. It has been proved that sound and pictures (Pinterest) are by far the most effective ways of grabbing someones attention. The old saying that ‘ a picture paints a thousand words’ is true. Having grab someones attention is only the half. Keeping it seals the deal. In today’s world, too much reading serves as a distraction. Being straight to the point and not being long-winded is key.
As you can well imagine, there are various ways of Marketing. Internet marketing is by far the newest and most effective. It embodies several forms of internet usage. The most important and more widely used is e-mail marketing. Marketing to many is merely getting the word out and is often confused with advertising. There is a thin line that divides the two, however there is a line.
One of the most important factors to consider is the product itself. Several questions have to be asked.
1. What is the product?
2. Who does it appeal to most (primary market)?
3. Who make up the secondary market and tertiary (third) markets?
Just like in advertising, Who,What,Where,Why comes into play.
Once markets are identified, THEY ARE FURTHER SUB DIVIDED into Male / Female, age groups and sometime demographics. Sometimes it is better to work from the inside out (this is called Niche marketing). Starting from the core and working out. Sometimes it is better to use several means of marketing / Advertising to get the message across. For example, a concise Internet program coupled with a good flyer campaign and the good old word-of-mouth or in some areas TV and radio with news paper. As you can see the Marketing campaign depend on several things and demographics and advertising availability has a lot to play in deciding your course of action.
A marketing budget should go hand in hand with an advertising one. They are inseparable and carry the same aim except that the marketing budget is geared towards the business and its product. The advertising budget is geared towards exposure through promotion. Having tried to draw the line, i must admit that i am sometimes confused about the two however I never lose focus.
Marketing is truly an art in itself and when you realize that anything can be marketed (a person in Dubai is selling small plastic bags of New York garbage to those who can’t go to NY. Small pieces of the Berlin wall are even for sale). Once it exist, it can be marketed. The old saying that a man’s garbage is another man’s treasure is so true.
Niche Marketing as mentioned earlier is as it describes, ‘niche marketing’. It involves finding that core of supporters that are supportive or appreciative of your product and who is directly responsive to it or your ideas. A niche can be anywhere but when it is established / found, it should be exploited and given the chance to grow exponentially. The beauty in marketing is that every product has its own niche and they often overlap with other niches. This makes the marketing process exciting and an adventure often leading to collaboration or cross marketing opportunities.
Advertising as i alluded to before, goes hand in hand with marketing. Several social media web sites like Facebook, twitter and the like allow a certain degree of ‘free’ advertising among clients but cater to paid advertising ‘en mass’ on a bigger scale. The ‘per click’ system allows you to control both your audience and your budget. Much like Google Ad Sense among others. The best form of adverting today is ‘celebrity endorsement’.
We are creatures of habit and it has been prove that just like sheep, if the ‘top ram’ chooses it, we will follow. We play a game of follow the leader that advertisers know very well. ( I guess we have learned since back in the times of Noah’s Ark)
It has been a pleasure sharing my limited knowledge on the subject with you and hope that it helps in your endeavors.