1. Marketing Makes You Money
Sure, marketing costs money. But it’s not supposed to be a blindfolded spend frenzy. If you know enough about marketing to test the waters with some high-value organic techniques that will get you a lot of mileage, then go for it, by all means. This will help inform your strategy down the road so that you have an idea of the areas where you need help, and so that you can reasonably predict your marketing expenditure.
However, if you seek the advice of a professional, the right marketer will set your mind at ease by not expecting you to dump huge amounts of money into their accounts up front and by explaining each strategy they propose, as well as why they’re priced the way they are. Then they’ll put together a quote which should not only align with your goals, but illustrate the anticipated return in proportion to the suggested spend.
Let’s face it, ‘marketing’ is a broad term but, in essence, the purpose of any marketing strategy is to get you found. Your product or service will only make you money if it is used by people, and awareness precedes use, wouldn’t you say? Whether you employ digital marketing methods such as building a great website, blogging, email marketing, social media, and paid ads; or go old-school with direct mail, circular ads, door-to-door advertising, and cold-calling, the intent is the same: get people to buy from you.
Marketing, when done right, should bring opportunities to your sales force, traffic to your website, and rings to your phone. Ask yourself: if you don’t have a website, then how are you getting found? How long will your current strategy be sustainable? Will it help you grow? If you have a website but it’s not bringing you business, then it isn’t working. Word of mouth success is wonderful, but do you have a plan in place for customer retention and acquisition? The answer shouldn’t be “how much will marketing cost me?” but rather, “how much do I want to make and how can marketing get me there?”
2. Marketing Makes You Reputable
How many times have you visited an establishment based on a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend? Probably quite a few. Ever been somewhere really fantastic that you wouldn’t have otherwise selected if not for a positive review? Exactly! It doesn’t matter if people love your business if they’re not spreading the word, and a digital presence makes it much easier for your great reviews to be found by the masses. Publishing testimonials and success stories on your website is a wonderful way to market yourself and show prospects that they can trust your brand just like other customers have. Furthermore, getting yourself listed on well-known and highly trafficked directory sites makes it easy for people to do their homework before they buy – which is an integral part of the customer satisfaction experience.
3. Marketing Makes You Credible
Not to be confused with reputation, credibility is a major factor in many buyers’ decisions. How do you distinguish yourself from competitors? What makes you more of an expert on your particular field or subject area? What sets your product apart? Well, don’t tell me – tell the world! You need a platform from which you can showcase your skills, expertise, or must-have product.
Blogging and social media marketing are excellent ways to use your own unique voice to educate buyers and demonstrate thought leadership without always delivering an overtly hard sell. People like information, and they’re more likely to trust you if the information you provide is relevant to their problems, needs and experiences in such a way that makes them want to come back and keep getting information from you (instead of just hearing your sales pitch and then leaving to continue shopping around elsewhere). This is especially vital for less well-known companies that don’t have as much publicized feedback or presence. In order to stand up against your competitors, you must demonstrate credibility.
4. Marketing Makes You Accessible
It’s one thing to have a website. But if you’re just starting out or if no one knows your name, it’s not enough to just have a website. How are you driving traffic to that website? Waiting and hoping are not measurable techniques that deliver results. You need a strategy, and you need SEO.
Maybe you’ve heard of search engine optimization (surely you’ve used that little thing called Google). Basically, SEO is tied into the design and function of your website so that search engines (like Google) can display your content to people who are looking for related information. If your website isn’t optimized, then it’s just sitting there. Sure, someone can type your URL and probably even search for your business name on Google – if they know your name. But if you’ve got a niche product or service or you’re brand new to an area, no one will know to do that. You need your company or product to pop up in the search results whenever someone types in “Philadelphia wedding photographer,” or “men’s custom tailored vintage suits” (you get the idea).