Importance of Marketing: 6 reasons why marketing is so essential
Sure, you may understand that marketing is an essential part of any business- but why is it SO important?
The way marketing works and is defined has changed over the years as the business environment has changed drastically.
While there once used to be major organizational differences to the marketing and sales departments, they are often one and the same today.
Marketing is no longer “working with sales teams”. In the current business environment, marketing IS sales. It is no longer just a channel to persuade potential consumers or a vice to convince people to choose one brand over another.
It is the single most important factor for growing a business and generating sales. It is the research, promotion, selling, and distribution of your products and/or services.
6 Reasons Why Marketing is SO Important
- Marketing Sells
- Competitive Advantage
- Business Expansion
- Customer Satisfaction
- Brand Image
Let’s explore the reasons in detail as to why marketing is essential for your business.
First and foremost, marketing helps generate income for your business. No matter how awesome you think your product or service may be, you still need to inform people about it and influence their thought process.
That does not necessarily mean that you can automatically generate sales by placing your logo on an internet banner or including an advertisement in your local magazine. It takes strong research to understand WHO your audience is and the best channels to reach them. On top of that, it is essential to understand the psychology of your audience and how they think and live their lives to successfully market to them.
This is all a part of marketing and is something that can take hours to begin and a lifetime to master.
Marketing can give you the leading edge over your competition. If you understand your target audience through market research, then you will be able to craft more meaningful messaging and branding as opposed to other companies in your industry.
In another sense, if you have twice the marketing budget as a competitor, then you can put your brand out there in front of potential customers twice as much. Regardless of if you have a large or small budget, it is important to constantly test your messaging and which channels work best to reach your audience to make your cost-of-acquisition lower than other competition in your industry.
So many factors in gaining a competitive edge boil down to marketing. With the proper research, budget, testing, and understanding in your marketing efforts, you will be able to effectively handle your competition.
Expanding your business could mean many things including opening additional franchises, extending the patio of a restaurant, or increasing your monthly customers of an eCommerce business. Regardless of the specific situation, it is going to require strategic marketing to be able to support the growth of your business.
For example, let’s say you are opening up additional franchises of your electronics store around the state.
You might use marketing to send out notices to the local publication to be featured in the news. You could find yourself hosting a “Grand Opening Sale” to generate hype and creating online advertisements to inform prospective customers. You would also want to make sure to add the new location to Google My Business and various online business directories- so you can begin building an online presence for those searching online for electronics stores in the area.
If you are increasing customers for your online eCommerce business, you might create a sales funnel to convert cold leads into customers- which is a common marketing model used for the online sales of goods and services. This method is a fantastic way to make a business more successful and efficient.
Making a business more efficient can be done in multiple ways that exist beyond marketing. If you own a restaurant, then making your business more efficient could mean better training videos or switching to a low-cost oil for the deep frying. If you are an online eCommerce retailer, that might be done by testing different sales funnels to see what comes up with the lowest cost-per-acquisition.
Either way, efficiency is about accurately identifying what is NOT working and either making it better or removing it completely.
Let’s explore how marketing would make a business more efficient with a sales funnel.
A sales funnel is a multi-step process that leads an individual (or business) from your target audience to becoming a paying customer.
Steps of the Sales Funnel
This stage is all about informing your prospective customer of your business and the solution you provide to their problem. Remember, this stage is not about telling people about how awesome your product is- it’s about providing them a solution. Stop talking about your products and start talking about the benefits for users.
Now that your potential customer knows about the solution your business provides, it’s time to spark interest in your products or services. It is this stage you want to convert a user to a lead. You can do this by offering a lead magnet (an irresistible offer you can use in exchange for users’ email address or phone number) or by educating them further on your solution for them to be more involved with your brand.
At the decision stage, the prospect might be interested in a handful of options. At this point, a user might be comparing different products or services side-by-side, searching for special offers, or reading up on customer reviews. It is important to keep users engaged during this time and to have customer testimonies and reviews backing your brand.
This is when the user is ready to make a purchase and has made up their mind that they would like your solution to their problem.
The end of the sales journey doesn’t end with the purchase. You want to keep customers engaged and happy in order to remain loyal. This will keep them purchasing from your business and also spreading the word about your brand.
Business Efficiency with the Sales Funnel
You will create different assets, resources, and forms of communication for each step along the sales funnel to lead a potential customer towards a purchase. A customer reads an article on your website, then sees an advertisement on social media, joins your email list, decides to choose your brand with an irresistible offer, then makes a purchase. Once you have each step mapped out, it is then time to get analytical.
How many people go from Step 1 to Step 2? How about Step 2 to Step 3? Will a different email headline in Step 3 increase conversions?
This is how you can be more efficient with a business that has a clear and organized sales funnel. Let’s say that 1.8% of people who engage with your Facebook advertisement end up signing up for your email list. How do you get that number to 4%- or 5%?
You can consistently optimize and test your sales funnel to make sure that your business is paying the least amount of money to obtain customers, making your company more efficient.
Remember that talk about providing a solution to a user’s problem? This is where your business is going to shine when it comes to customer satisfaction. This is going to be the key driver for customer loyalty and long-term customer value.
If your business is still stuck on the “selling your product” thought process, then you will lose out on customer satisfaction. People do not want to be sold. They want a product or service that is going to help them out and benefit them with their wants and needs. The way you convey this message is going to be extremely important and if done correctly, customers will feel happy about their purchase since they are having a problem solved.
Take a marketing agency for example.
They can talk about all the services they offer: SEO, social media management, website design, graphic design, etc. but is that really what the customer cares about?
A better approach would be to tell a prospective customer that the agency can double their business in a year or increase sales by 20% each month.
Marketing is a huge factor for building and maintaining a positive brand image. You can use brand awareness campaigns to influence people on how they see your company. You can also pass along good information as well as try and remedy a bad situation with marketing.
Say for example that your business started donating 20% of profits to a local non-profit. This is certainly good information that would be good to pass along to the general public through multiple marketing channels like social media, email, and an online article.
On the other end, maybe your business runs into a scandalous situation with an employee that had to be let go. This could ruin a brand image and reputation very quickly so it is important to be on top of those situations and prepare to talk to the public to mend your brand image.
And it’s OK to make mistakes with your business. We all make mistakes and your customers will trust you even more when you own up to the mistakes rather than trying to place blame on others.
Is Marketing really THAT Important?
We would go one step further and say that marketing is the single most important factor to build your business. It is a crucial step in the growth of your business as well as increasing revenues. Becoming efficient at marketing can take a lifetime to achieve but in order to continuously make costs lower and revenues higher, it is important to keep improving on your current efforts.
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