Here are 7 reasons why you can’t do business without it
What do your customers think about you? What do customers who are not aware of you, think when they first come across you? What are people really saying about you? These may seem like obvious questions but most companies only have an ‘idea’ of the answers. They don’t actually know the answers for a fact.
The real answers can only be found in marketing.
Your company offers products or services. Your brand is what people attach to the idea of those products or services. Marketing is the control mechanism that bridges your company with those ideas, and the people who need to be made aware of them. Without this bridge, your company will struggle with growth and sales, and may even fail due to lack of customers.
So why is marketing important? Here are 7 reasons you need to consider.
Reputation & Brand Awareness
The first factors to consider are reputation, and awareness of your brand and its products and services. Many companies, from start-ups to multi-nationals struggle to get awareness. The market is more crowded than at any time in history.
Marketing can significantly raise your brand awareness, as well as communicating clear messages about your products and services. It can raise your brand value – the most valuable element of your business – and can be the difference between succeeding or failing.
Reputation is driven by service and brand perception. If your marketing strategy is right, you can improve perception and in-turn reputation. Anybody who uses Virgin services is usually unaware that a huge amount of the brand reputation is built on perception.
Engage With Your Customers
Customer engagement again is a vital component. We live in a world that is flooded with messages. It takes a great deal of skill to deliver a message to a customer – even greater skill to make them read it and care.
This is not about pushing offers at them, it’s about talking to them – as human beings. One of our company mantra’s is “Even when you are marketing to an entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time”.
Social media is a brilliant way of engaging with customers and potential customers. It was designed specifically for engagement. Again though, this needs to be strategic and planned as bad social media communications do harm your reputation if not managed properly.
Manage Customer Relationships
Managing your customer relationships is another area where marketing can make a great deal of difference. As the old adage goes, it’s hard to get a customer but much harder to keep them. Marketing can offer many solutions for keeping relationships with customers healthy.
There have been huge advancements in business data management and segmentation that can be highly effective when used to manage customer relationships. They can help you build trust with the customer as well as making your business feel supportive and relevant.
One of the biggest areas of fail within businesses is messages. David Ogilvy said that if you can’t explain your business in a couple of sentences, how on earth are new customers supposed to understand it.
Any form of message that your company broadcasts to the outside world should be short, clear and easily understood. Think of news headlines. If six people read it, only one will go on to read the full article. Your messages need to be the headline.
Marketing is also a sales driver. Many companies struggle with sales. Mostly because they are unaware of how to effectively drive new sales channels. Marketing is a hugely valuable tool here. It should be able to balance marketing spend with margin and ROI. If you employ the correct sales marketing methods, your growth should only ever go in one direction – up.
Insights are probably the most important factor when delivering any form of marketing. It’s utterly pointless spending two pounds to sell something for a pound. Modern marketing methods all employ various ways of measuring in great detail every facet of a campaign.
The reports that are created from these tools give you very accurate insights into what is or isn’t working. Gone are the days of blanket marketing – in the hope that you might reach the right customers.
Getting the correct metrics and KPI’s for your business marketing activities can help you grow rapidly.
Finally, marketing can deliver business opportunities. Marketing can provide valuable business intelligence on what and how your competitors do business. You can use this to explore how you can gain advantages, as well as finding other opportunities that competitors have overlooked – especially when it comes to new methods and technologies.
So why is marketing important?
Because marketing is a tool that can make a serious difference to your organisation. It can improve your reputation and raise your brand awareness. It can be used to engage customers and deliver clear messages about products and services. It can increase sales, deliver business insights and present opportunities. In summary, you can’t do business without it.