Download Audio: Effectively and Sustainably Marketing Your Business
Marketing is the lifeblood of the business. Without it, the business would never grow. People often confuse advertising with marketing. Before we can continue, it is important to understand the difference between marketing and advertising.
Basically, marketing is the process of identifying customer needs, and determining how best to meet those needs. In contrast, advertising is the exercise of promoting a company and its products or services, through paid channels. In other words, advertising is a component of marketing.
There are a lot of approaches your business can take to be effective at marketing. And that is why I am writing this blog post to help you, or at least get you on the path, to thinking of ways in which you can market your business through advertising.
In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries identifies three Engines of growth that businesses can leverage in order to grow their customer base. These are Viral, Sticky, and Paid. By choosing one or more engines of growth, a business can be conscious of the best means, through which to achieve effective and sustainable growth.
It is possible for your business to grow without any advertising effort on your part. Possible, but tough. This is what is known as organic growth, because the business grows naturally without you pumping cash into the process.
Organic growth is hard, because it means that you have to find new customers automatically. The best way to do that is through word of mouth. If you do great things for your customers, they will in turn speak great things about your business, which translates into more customers.
If you are trying to grow your business organically, the big question is whether such growth will be fast enough, in order to be effective and sustainable. Will word of mouth be strong enough to propel your business into getting more customers?
The only way to effectively and sustainably grow a business by word of mouth, is through the Viral Engine of Growth. This is not easy to achieve. And the Next best thing is to grow your business through the Paid Engine of Growth: that is through Paid Advertising. Sticky is also a big possibility, once you get the customers, using the other two engines of growth.
Most people are reluctant to pay for advertising. For some reason, some people think this is beneath them. In the blog post titled, No Shame In Buying Ads, I discuss this phenomenon at length. Despite your misgivings about paying for Ads, if you have them, it is something your business must do to generate sustainable sales.
There are many channels through which you can spend your marketing budget for ads. However, all channels fall in one of two main categories. The first category is Traditional Advertising, and the other is Online Advertising.
Traditional advertising refers to marketing techniques that were a thing in the past, but are now being surpassed by digital, or more precisely, online advertising. Traditional marketing channels would be something like running ads on TV, Radio, or in Newspapers. Online Advertising channels are such approaches as advertising on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, or through search advertising on platforms like Google.
Usually, newer things are better, and the same applies to advertising channels. Traditional forms of advertising are increasingly falling short, when standing next to online advertising channels. If you ask me whether you should put your money in online ads like on Instagram, versus traditional channels like TV, I would say pick the online channel: every time.
Online advertising is more effective by virtue of being where the customer usually spends most of their time. For example, you are not always watching TV, but you are most likely always on your phone, scrolling away at your social media feed. Contrast this with TV ads: where in order for you to see an ad, you have to be watching your favourite TV show at, say, 7 PM.
Online advertising is also cheaper than traditional advertising, much much cheaper in fact. I can guarantee you that you will get a better return, for the exposure, if you go with online advertising, instead of traditional advertising.
Furthermore, Online Ads are highly targetted. With online advertising, you do not have to sell to everyone. You can precisely select your audience from attributes ranging from age and precise location, to customer behaviours. This is not something you can do so effectively with Traditional Advertising.
There are many platforms for online advertising, such that sometimes you might be confused on which one to choose. There is Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and more recently Tiktok, to name but a few. The rule I always follow is to not spread yourself thin.
Of course, spreading yourself thin depends on your financial, and human resources capital. If you have the budget to be present on all the platforms I have mentioned, and even beyond that, then by all means do so. The human resource factor is predicated on the fact that you will need people to run, and manage the ads on all the platforms you choose.
At Webmobyle, we currently do our marketing on Facebook and Google, but in time, we will be expanding to other platforms, as we are able and can afford to do so. It is also important to be conscious of where your target audience is. For example, if you are marketing to 30-40 year olds in 2022, then your best bet would be to advertise on Facebook, and your ad spend would be wasted if you advertise on Tiktok.
When taking the online marketing approach, there is lots you will have to learn to become an effective marketer. Do not run ads once, and then turn away, if you do not immediately see results. It’s a process, and a unique one for your business. You have to learn what works and what doesn’t work for your business, on whatever platform you choose. What works for Coca Cola, may not work for you.
As you experiment on the online advertising platforms, make validated learning a core objective. You want to measure, learn, and apply the learning to becoming a better marketer, then repeat the process over and over again.With regards to experimenting when marketing, check out the blog post titled, Consider Internet Marketing Experiments.
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