Tag Archives: marketing

Marketing on a tight budget

Money in business is always tight. And even more so when starting a business. There are so many initial costs, renting costs, monthly expenses and business expenses. Now you want to add in a budget for marketing?

The marketing department can easily be overlooked and brushed off as not a priority cost to the company. But the truth is, if you want to bring business in and find more clients, marketing is essential to do that. And there are budget-friendly ways to efficiently market your business so, cut down on the take-away coffees if you need to, it’s time to go for marketing courses, create a budget and get your business out there.

Piggyback

So there are shortcuts for most things in life. And when it comes to marketing, there are some shortcuts here too. Piggyback marketing is when you use the success of another brand to boost your own marketing campaigns. But it obviously happens in a more professional way.

Find a company with complementary products to your own, and they’ll end up incurring most of the marketing costs on your behalf, while your product offers additional value to the complete package.

Target

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money if you thoroughly define and research your target market and audience. Focus on the market of customers that are near to you, it’s more cost-effective and, especially if you’re just starting out, it makes the most sense. Why spend all your marketing efforts on an audience who are miles away from you and not aware enough of your brand to drive all the way just to buy your product?

Newsworthy

Get involved in innovative or community-change projects that will be worth mentioning in the media. Call in to local radio stations, make your way into the local newspaper and get people talking about you and your business. There are many simple ways to get free publicity for the company which won’t require a cash budget, just some time set aside to put in a bit of effort.

Referrals

Love the customers you already have. It can’t be over-stressed how important it is to keep current and returning customers, well, current and returning customers. As a small business with a tight budget for marketing, these people are what keep your business afloat. More than that, they have the ability to serve as marketers for your brand.

Ask your customers for referrals or testimonials that you can put up online or have them share within their own circles. Word-of-mouth marketing is a traditional marketing method, but should not be underestimated. Words have power, as do satisfied or dissatisfied customers.

Internet

The internet truly is a wonderful medium for marketing. Three channels that we’ll look into include email marketing, website and social media marketing.

There are free email marketing platforms, like MailChimp and Constant Contact, that allow you to send out mass mailers to a customer database you create. They are painless, have free templates and are a great way to communicate and share with your audience.

Another marketing method made possible by the Internet is creating a website. Again, there are free website platforms for you to make use of and having a website linked to everything you market will drive traffic to the site and, ultimately, to your store. Use your website to create tailored content that is brand specific to your business and promote your business message.

And then we have social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn are top social media platforms to work with to run organic or paid marketing campaigns (paid campaigns that work according to your budget).

In the online world (and the real world for that matter), quality is king and you’ll be wasting your own time and money if you skimp on quality to save a few bucks. It’s a quick way to establish your reputation as cheap and not be taken seriously or as a professional business. You need to be aware of what you put out there and how people respond to it.

Measure

Whatever you do end up doing with your marketing department, be sure to test different methods, measure success and analyse pitfalls. There will always be room for improvement, whether it’s from marketing during a certain time of day or knowing when would be the perfect time to extend your range.

Measure the statistics, change it up, and measure it again. It’s an ongoing cycle and you will learn what works for your brand and what you should never do again. Hopefully, you’ll start seeing an increase in ROIs from your efforts and you’ll be able to implement new marketing strategies that you couldn’t previously afford.

Why marketing management might be the career of your dreams

In the world of marketing, limits does not exist. With the amount of knowledge and opportunity available through a career in marketing management, every skill that you learn is bound to be utilised in everything that you do. So, if you’ve got a way with words, create beautiful images or really connect with people, this could be your dream career. Here are a few reasons why studying marketing is such a brilliant choice:  

Welcome to a very dynamic environment

From traditional marketing to today’s new-age digital marketing approach, the industry is constantly evolving. And along with the ever-changing technology advancement, and the amount of ideas you get to be exposed to on a daily basis, the advertising and marketing industry is mind-blowing.

In the old days, marketing either meant long, boring advertisements, horrible telesales calls or sales people actually pitching up at your front door. But with the internet adding so much value to marketing, social media and mobile have really given us new, unexpected digital marketing opportunities. It’s honestly never been easier to find a digital speciality to thrive in. And more importantly, it’s the way of the future.

The creative exposure is endless

From writing to design and film, the rewards you get from marketing are endless. On top of being creative, your growing knowledge in media and technology advertising will bring new challenges, some of which include messaging and communication. You will need to be prepared for the unknown, and to continually work at new ways to approach a problem and solve it with an ‘outside the box’ solution.

You can expect traditional marketing courses to teach you anything from the basic marketing principles, to marketing communication, sales, market research and more, otherwise the digital world offers a whole lot more. Both will teach you how to incorporate creative elements that few jobs nowadays actually instill.

You will get to meet and connect with loads of fun people

Marketing in 2017 is about effective communication and creating relationships with people beyond the sales pitch. It’s all about communicating with people and convincing them to invest in your product or service. For this, you really need to understand people’s behaviours and what makes them tick.

Each role is specific, for example, an account manager needs to be able to get along with, and engage with clients, a market researcher needs to be in touch with market trends and the needs of their audiences, and a public relations professional needs to be able to deliver news and information.

With customer journey’s playing such an important role in your marketing strategy, in order to effective in what you do, you need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they think and feel. This kind of thinking also encourages teamwork and development, and teaches you how to develop and nurture creative ideas. If you love collaborating with others, this is perfect for you.
The opportunity for progression is great

Marketing companies can be divided into the agency side and the client facing side. In the client side, you will be working with the marketing department of a business or public sector, where the agency side means that you will actually be doing the advertising and marketing for those businesses and organisations. You deliver the work that was discussed with client service, and then they communicate that to the external client. Each side is completely different and requires a bunch of different skills.

When you start in client service, you can expect to be doing assistant work and helping out with client tasks, at entry level. When you move up, you can expect to manage your own clients, and your responsibilities will become a lot more stressful. On the agency side, the different opportunities available are linked to your skillsets. These positions can range from content and development, to project management, public relations and market research. For individuals who possess strong people and negotiation skills, the ideal role for you would be media buying, account managing or directing.

It’s vital to business and all industries need it

Say what you want, but marketing is essential to all industries and organisations. Whether it’s education, fashion, retail, NGOs or agricultural, every business needs some form of marketing to succeed. By applying for any one of the various marketing courses, you can help drive the success of any business.

Overall opportunity

When you think about marketing, it goes far beyond strategy. Be it traditional marketing or digital, this industry allows you to be passionate about various different roles, some of which include copywriting, graphic design, analytics, account management, web development and more.

The most important thing is to just have people skills. From there, the diversity is endless, and you learn skills that will be needed to most professional environments. If you love creating ideas (and putting them to the test), designing something, or getting technical, the creative world has much to offer. And depending on your current skills, the ability to move within, is certainly a motivator.

Why marketing is important in business

question-mark-2492009_1920What is it that makes marketing such an important asset in business ventures? Why should companies focus on growing their marketing department? Product, price, place, and promotion are the four Ps of marketing. Anyone who has completed marketing courses will know this. These four Ps are why you need marketing strategies in your business today.

Sets sales

Product specifications are being marketed to a selected target audience through chosen promotional channels. This is bound to set your sales numbers on a steadily increasing route. This is the department that makes known who you are as a business, what you offer and how you can meet their needs as a potential consumer.

One mistake most companies make in the time of a recession is to cut marketing funds and efforts. Instead of cutting it off completely, rather downscale and be smarter with regards to your marketing efforts and platforms. Consumers may be spending less money during this time but they are still spending money nonetheless. Use that motivation to keep pushing your value product offers and focus more on your already-loyal consumers. You will be one of the few companies with your name still being spoken about.

Marketing makes your business known and without it, your client base would only consist of family, friends, and passers-by.

Builds brand identity and business reputation

Marketing is a platform to build your brand identity, your name is out there and people know what you’re selling, but now it’s time to get to know who you are as a business. It’s important to understand that you are people selling to people. Regardless of how huge your corporate company is, consumers are reassured by the fact that there is a human being on the other side of the line. Social media marketing and profiles is a great way for clients to get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes and can put faces to the names that sign off on their email conversations.

Marketing makes it possible for you to let clients know what your values are as a company and lets you show them how you live them out through your business and offerings. In this way, it helps build your business reputation and helps customers feel comfortable in what they are supporting by choosing to do business with you. It also gives potential customers the insight they need to make the brand switch or give your business a try.

Clever competition

In a world of competitive markets, even the marketing efforts of competitor companies can help you. Marketing is important to stay updated with where the marketplace values lie and, in turn, you can adjust and redirect your marketing strategy accordingly.

When advertising against competitors, keep it fun (not detrimental to the brand of another company) and keep it smart. Make use of the advertising slots in their Facebook and Youtube video campaigns and use their social media profiles to create a target audience segment based on their followers. All’s fair in open advertisement placement.

Channels communication

When it comes to advertising and mass media marketing, there isn’t a lot of room for two-way communication. You are directing data at your target consumer and they just have to take it in. With the rise of social media platforms, there is now the opportunity for consumers to talk back.

Making marketing inclusive means you can better understand what it is people want, need and demand. In turn, you can use this to make sure you are the company they turn to. Tell a story and start a conversation with social media marketing. Encourage comments and sharing and you will have consumers valuing your interaction and you will be gaining ideas for future campaigns and product upgrades.

Inspires innovation

Lastly, marketing is important in business because it inspires innovative thinking. Marketing is an ever-adapting department that needs to be able to manipulate all types of updatable medias and harness the power of whatever is #trending on a weekly or even daily basis. New ideas are constantly sought after to make your business stand out above the rest and bring the edge that consumers are looking for.

Marketing makes the consumers eye-line stop on your product sitting on the shelf instead of browsing over it to land on the more recognisable brands. Marketing is undeniably important in business and you don’t want to find out what your business would be like without it.

Top marketing tips for a mobile audience

The landscape of business today is radically different to what it was a decade ago. It’s hard for anyone to imagine how widespread the internet would be. Combined with the rise of mobile phones, the average business person could not have predicted such a radical shift in how they need to approach customers. Thankfully, there are ways we can adjust what it means to market to an audience who rely more on their phones for media consumption than anything else.

What is mobile in terms of marketing?

The term mobile marketing, as Mashable notes, is self-explanatory: “Mobile marketing is marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a cell phone.” Of course, within this comes variations on what the media being used means. After all, a text message and emails can both be read on the phone. Instead, mobile marketing must be considered in terms of the specific qualities of mobile phones: they’re constantly on someone’s person, they tend to be connected to a range of platforms (from social media to email) and then allow for a variety of media interaction. Games, websites, social media and a variety of apps are constantly being used by mobile phone users.

It’s these interactions that are key to someone interested in mobile marketing.

Why should business care?

The simple reason businesses must care about mobile marketing is due to audience. As Wordstream highlights: “According to recent reports, 40% of users’ internet time is spent on mobile devices, which means simply ignoring the rise of mobile just isn’t an option [for business].” Other trends show us that “73% of people always have their mobile device with them.” Again, this is not a market anyone should skip.

How to use mobile marketing effectively

The first aspect we need to consider is how prepared we are for mobile marketing. In fact, it is essential we gain a broad understanding of marketing in general. We should be reading marketing books or taking marketing courses, to fill in the gaps in our knowledge if we hope to launch successful marketing campaigns. This means we can more easily answer the question of whether we can handle a mobile marketing strategy.

For example, there’s no use launching a mobile marketing campaign when our websites are either non-existent or aren’t mobile friendly. Users who might follow through from their mobile phones will encounter a website that looks ghastly on mobile screens. This will be a disaster, since the person can’t use the site from their phones and won’t become a customer.

It’s not enough to simply make a website mobile-friendly. We must take into account responsive design choices. People must be able to easily navigate our site to reach information and purchasing. Amazon has perfected this with its “one click ordering” feature.

Mobile is ideal for location and time – this means setting up specials based on the time of year and someone’s location. We can create campaigns which target specific users, meaning they feel singled out to take advantage of this offer. Whether it’s reducing prices during a specific holiday or alerting users in particular areas of a new store, location and time-based campaigns must be utilised now that we have the technology for it. For example, during holidays, Uber South Africa alerts users about discount prices and other specials.

Mobile marketing is essential to any business hoping to stay ahead of the competition. Giving the number of people who use phones and regularly check them, we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot if we don’t take advantage of this situation.

Tips to stay ahead in today’s world

Businesses must be faster and yet more accurate than ever before. With rolling news that never stops, constant sources of information and a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, all businesses should be rethinking how they operate. There’s no point in business people ignoring progress, even if it has resulted in them feeling overwhelmed. If we don’t keep up, we’ll either be left behind or swept aside by those able to ride the currents.

We should therefore consider the various ways we can use tech to help us stay ahead.

Use Social Media

One often overlooked area businesses must consider is social media. Though each platform is different, each caters to particular needs and audiences. For example, Twitter is ideal for short, instant messages that many will read quickly. Tweets are easily shareable and, recently, can contain various forms of media: videos, static and moving images.

Facebook allows for longer posts and tends to mean a more engaged experience, as clients write directly on our pages and accounts. With other tools, like Facebook Live, we can also create relevant, longer content.

Aside from marketing, social media can act as a source of business, industry and market news. Considering how quickly information is distributed, this can help us stay on top of what’s happening in our field and those related to us.

Be ready to upgrade

All sorts of equipment can quickly become outdated. For example, computers stop receiving software support. This means they can no longer run the latest versions of important software clients might use. We must be willing to upgrade where necessary, meaning we should have money put aside specifically to upgrade the tools we use everyday.

Upskill staff

Be sure to carve out time for staff to improve themselves. This keeps them abreast of information and where the market is going. They improve their own skills, meaning they become more valuable in general and specifically for us. We’re therefore investing. In this way, we have staff who are constantly keeping their heads above the water.

(Picture credit: unsplash / Pexels)