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I would like to think that marketing is an indispensable part of doing business, and the question of whether a business can survive without marketing is an important one. How else can you find a continuous supply of customers, that are the lifeblood of any business?
Whatever form of marketing you choose, the main benefit and end result, is that you reach potential customers. People who identify with what you are doing. These are people who identify with your brand, and are willing to pay you cash, in exchange for your product or service.
Marketing is a bit more than promoting something for sale. It is the art of answering to the specific needs of your customer base. It is the task of identifying a need in the market, and rising to the occasion to answer to that need, by giving customers what they want.
It is through marketing, that your business sends out a signal about what it is all about and what it stands for, in terms of providing value. Marketing is the voice that speaks to brand identity for your business, in the process of meeting the needs of your customers.
Successful marketing is not simply a matter of throwing money at the problem. Marketing is an art form, that relies on the ability of your business to execute successful marketing campaigns, based on the needs of the market. In order to do this, experience and a deep understanding of the market, the offering, as well as the medium used, is required.
You generally have two alternatives available to you, when deciding how to go about executing a marketing campaign. You may choose to do it in-house, in which case you or someone in your employ would carry out the marketing campaign, or you may choose to hire someone else to do it.
Whether you do it yourself or you hire someone else, adequate knowledge is your ally. You need to know your product or service very well, but most importantly, you need to know the target audience well enough.
Your ability to execute a successful marketing campaign will depend on the level and depth of knowledge you have in these three areas: the customer and hence the market, the product or service, and an understanding of the marketing medium.
Considering what the alternative would be, if you would throw marketing out of the business equation, leaves much to be desired.
How else would you communicate your offering to the market? When it comes down to it, you can develop the best product or service around, but if no one hears about it, you would not be able to move inventory or increase sales.
In the absence of a concerted marketing effort, your business has to grow organically. This includes by means of word of mouth, or unpaid interaction on social media. Whilst it is possible to grow your business this way, it is by no means easy, and it is a very slow process.
Whilst word of mouth is great for promoting your business, it is not easy to get the momentum going, if you have very few customers in the first place. The effectiveness of the word of mouth, will depend on how much business you have already conducted in the past. This further underscores the importance of marketing.
Unpaid organic reach on social media channels, cannot be relied upon to consistently deliver high volumes of customers to sustain your business. For one thing, reach is intentionally limited by most social media platforms, since they depend on paid reach for their revenues. Furthermore, you would have to have a very large following on the social media platform, in order to even begin to be effective organically, which most businesses do not have.
It might seem obvious to some, but most businesses do not carry out marketing campaigns, simply because they lack the understanding and foresight, that it is in their best interest to do so. They honestly believe that the business will “sell itself”.
There are even others, who feel that marketing is beneath them. I once had a heated debate with a guy, who strongly felt that paying for Facebook Ads meant that he was an inferior business person, because to him it meant that he was not popular enough on his own. This is a short sighted misconception, to say the least.
Perhaps the biggest reason that most businesses, especially small business, do not carry out marketing campaigns, is because of financial constraints. These businesses are often cash-strapped and prioritise other business activities, rather then spend on marketing. If you are facing this situation, the sooner you can mobilise funds for marketing for your business, the better off it will be.
The truth of the matter is that, marketing should be a priority for every business. If there is one thing a business should do without fail, is market itself. Prioritising marketing will ensure the survival of a business.
Internet marketing is one of the most cost effective marketing approaches you can adopt for your business. It has tremendous reach, costs a fraction of the costs involved in traditional marketing approaches, and offers tools for better tracking of marketing campaigns progress.
It is necessary for you to understand that marketing, is the one activity that you have to put at the forefront of your business, to ensure growth and sustainability. In fact, the selling activity of your business is directly dependent on your marketing efforts.
Marketing impacts revenue, and ensures that your business is running properly as a going concern. In a nutshell, it is unlikely that your business will survive without marketing, at least not in the long run.
What are some of the approaches you are taking to market your business, and how effective are they? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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