In the modern internet age, you need good marketing skills. Whether you run a small business or work for a large company, you can only benefit from developing marketing skills. As we go along, you’ll understand the basic marketing 101 knowledge and see how it connects to everything we do. But first, what exactly does marketing mean?
Marketing is simply the process of recognizing your businesses’ successful aspects. This includes understanding why those aspects are successful and changing your businesses’ organization to make sure you reach success.
If you are starting a small business or beginning a career in a larger company, the process of marketing can seem daunting:
- “What is a website bounce rate?”
- “What is the difference between inbound marketing and closed-loop marketing?”
- “How do I cut the friction of this web page?”
Many of the technical concepts behind marketing can seem scary to the uninformed, especially if used without consideration of those newly entering the field. However, you do not need to know these terms to become a competent marketer.
You can begin your career by simply following certain rules and practices that are much more helpful than theoretical knowledge and concepts.
1. Building Your Base
Building up your business, and the intended audience for your business, is the most vital practice you should follow in marketing. The rest of the advice in this list means nothing if you cannot apply it to an already solid foundation.
The basics you should follow, include:
- Knowing your audience and what they want from your product or service
- Communicate with your audience regularly, simply and from multiple different sources
- Provide your product or service to the extent you have promised and to the needs of your audience
While these ideas seem particularly straightforward to many of you with marketing experience, the basics are necessary and not as obvious to those with little experience in the field. This practice is fundamental to your marketing success. Without it, you may find yourself unable to improve your marketability.
Take these two scenarios as examples:
- Unless you know your target audience and communicate well with them, you can’t use them to improve your product or service.
- Failing to provide your product or service as advertised can result in loss of trust with your target audience.
It would take blind luck or radical innovation to see your business succeed without this essential step in the marketing process.
2. Experimenting With Your Methods
Experiment! Be different! But not too different.
Experimentation is a tactful marketing practice with potential benefits to your overall strategy and marketing skills at whole. Think about the product or service you’re looking to market before diving into marketing experimentation.
- Inbound marketing creates inviting content without extensively advertising it. You can generate interest in your product or service without annoyance from your potential customers.
- Engagement marketing encourages interaction with your potential audience to improve your product. You can increase interest in your product or service while making positive changes suited to your audience.
Experiment by trying either of these types of marketing!
The Blair Witch Project is a fantastic example of experimental marketing. This marketing campaign created the illusion that the events of the 1999 horror movie were real, that the legend of the Blair Witch existed and the actors were real students who died making the film. This resulted in an over 500 percent profit from the initial budget, a resounding marketing success.
However, experimenting proves a difficult marketing practice, possibly the trickiest one on this list. You should only experiment in moderation in order to gain success. Taking a chance in marketing can sometimes backfire, which creates an opportunity for controversy and disaster to affect your marketing plan. Complete thorough research and strategically execute experimentation to use this tactic affectively.
3. Analyzing Your Data
Making full use of the data provided to you is another great marketing practice everyone should use for their product or service. This practice, also known as closed-loop marketing, enables you to make your business more efficient. Many different online analytical services, such as Google Analytics, provide you with an incredible amount of data on marketing and popularity trends.
Google Analytics enables you to check different phrases’ and topics’ popularity, along with the data directly related to particular websites and articles. One such piece of information is known as the bounce rate of your website. This is the number of visitors who immediately leave your website or article after it loads. This information is invaluable to your business as it allows you to see what issues exist in your content and adjust your deliverable accordingly.
The use of Google Analytics, and other tools such as Clicky.com, are vital to your marketing strategy. You need in-depth analytics to make an informed decision about changes you could make to your product or service. You should find analytics useful regardless of what you are selling.
If you fail to appreciate this data, and the number of free resources that exist, you could misjudge the atmosphere of your product and make bad decisions.
4. Using Your Customers
Encouraging customer engagement, between business and audience and customer to customer, opens another portal for good marketing practices.
With every person who buys your product or enlists your services, an experience is built. You can further your marketing efforts and shift attention toward your business by creating a place for dialogue. Review platforms and discussion forums create a place for customer to customer or business to customer conversations to take place.
By providing you with accurate feedback of people’s experiences and problems, you can further develop your product or service. This makes sure you cater to the desires of your audience. Additionally, this practice can also create free advertising for you, especially if the customer has a warm reception.
5. Networking With Other Marketers
Choose to network and partner with other relevant marketers and creators. This establishes good marketing roots, furthering your research and exposing your business to new markets.
Working with others could involve collaboration efforts, such as a partnership between creative producers like musicians or artists. Equally, it could mean an agreement to promote another business’s product or service along with yours, or vice-versa, to increase the audience.
This practice helps with your marketing by primarily expanding your audience. By collaborating with a business that has a similar audience to yours, you could engage a higher proportion of that group and make sure they are aware of what you are providing.
Alternatively, through collaborating with a wholly different audience, you could see if this different audience is receptive to your product or service. This opens a potential to expand into other audience areas and capturing them as customers.
- Gain a solid foundation for who, what, when and where your product or service should be catered to.
- Open your ears to what your audience has to say and your eyes to what the data is telling you.
- Switch things up to capture a new audience or revive a current one.