Having a good understanding of what marketing should be doing for a business provides a fuller understanding of how the company can succeed – and how you can play your part in supporting that objective.
Marketing’s role is not to make the sale (the sales department do that) but to bring the opportunity of the sale to the table. Here are some key pointers that will help you to support your boss and your company’s marketing team:
Tune Into Your Market and Understand the Competition
If you understand what your company’s target market actually wants then the company is in a better position to be able to sell its product or service to that market. To get an understanding of what that might be ask yourself questions such as:
• Are there segments in our company’s sector that are being underserved?
• What are the weaknesses in our competition’s offering that we can capitalise on?
What does your customer have for breakfast?
This is so crucial, yet many fail to do their homework! Your company needs to:
• Really know who its customers are
• Know what they want
• Understand what motivates them to buy
Without this information the marketing team cannot prepare an effective plan of marketing activity.
Think Small to Get Big
We’re talking niches here, which doesn’t necessarily mean small, simply that it’s off the mainstream and less crowded. Trying to market to ‘everyone’ can be a costly exercise or it could mean that budgets are spread too thinly. By focusing on niche areas it is much easier to see where business targets are and to measure responses.
Got The Right Message?
Your company’s marketing message should be a clear and concise statement of what the business does and should help it stand out from the competition. It will form the basis of all promotional communications.
What’s Your Route To Market?
This is about selecting the most appropriate medium to deliver the company’s marketing message – which could be anything from social media to print, television or radio.
Keep Your Eyes On the Main Prize
It’s important to understand the company’s end goal when embarking on any marketing activity. Writing down what goals the marketing needs to deliver on is essential so that achievements and successes and be measured. It also means that the whole team involved in the activity know what is expected of them, strategies can be linked to the goals and they can be reviewed on a regular basis.
Speculate to Accumulate
It’s best to work with a marketing budget that will realistically support the company’s sales ambitions! For established businesses this can be a percentage of sales as they will be able to look back at records to see how effective budgets have been in the past. However if the business is new to the market it is likely that there will be a need to spend more aggressively to establish any market share objective.
Don’t let your company be a hit and run marketer! People buy from those whom they know and trust, therefore consistent marketing over time is the professional route to take.