Marketing is an essential part of running any business. It is the art of communicating with your target audience. The process consists of identifying and fulfilling the customer’s needs. Marketing is the tool used by businesses to advertise their brand and the services they provide. By doing so, they can attract new consumers and work on establishing a loyal customer base. Marketing takes on various shapes and forms. The most common examples include TV commercials, print advertisements through magazines or newspapers, and billboards.
The main reason marketing is given great importance amongst other business processes is because it helps companies sell their products and services. All businesses share one goal: to make a profit, and they all use marketing as a stairway to reach their goal. Most companies, in simple terms, would not exist without marketing as it is the medium that generates sales.
STAGES OF MARKETING
Marketing is something that requires detailed planning. It is a strategic process that includes a series of steps that help you achieve your goal. It includes research that helps you identify your target audience’s needs so that you can come up with ways to satisfy them while making a profit, preferably through a sales CRM. The essential stages of marketing include:
- Stating your mission
- Analyzing your business’s current situation
- Planning out your marketing strategy
- Incorporating the marketing mix
- Implementing your strategy and monitoring feedback
This process joins all the different aspects of marketing so that each step pushes you closer to your end goal. Taking calculated steps is better than making spontaneous decisions that have the potential to jeopardize your business.
TYPES OF MARKETING STRATEGIES
A marketing strategy defines how a business reaches its customers. There are several approaches that a company can take, and each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Having an effective strategy is one of the biggest strengths that any business can have. The following are a few examples of marketing strategies used by companies.
1. The Traditional Approach
Traditional marketing has been around for ages. It is the name given to advertisement mediums used before the introduction of the internet. This strategy was used at a time when the information was not easily accessible. Advertisement relied on traditional mediums like TV, radio, print media, and billboards. Some businesses still use this strategy, but modern techniques like digital marketing have overcrowded it.
2. Social Media Marketing
It is the most popular marketing strategy as it the most effective. There is no doubt about the fact that social media has taken over our lives, and there is certainly no harm in businesses taking advantage of its influence. Statistically speaking, more than 2.8 billion people use social media, and this number includes people from all age groups. Reaching people, regardless of demographics or psychographics, is extremely easy, and businesses have taken this opportunity to communicate with old and new customers by keeping them updated on what their brand is offering.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is another strategy that came about with the progression of technology. It is relatively more effective than traditional mailing as it costs less due to the lack of money spent on transport and other expenses. It is easier to get access to email addresses.
4. Video Marketing
The name of this approach is very self-explanatory. It includes advertisements that use video as a medium. Businesses make videos that contain content regarding their brand and the products that they offer. The next step is to upload these videos on social media platforms and YouTube. It can help them reach a global audience and spread awareness regarding their brand. This increased awareness can lead to discussions and closed deals.
5. Cause Marketing
This approach finds a common interest between a business and its consumers. A company must identify a cause that will benefit both their brand as well as their customers. However, it requires some research as you need knowledge about your customer’s buying patterns and the current trends. You also need to know what your brand stands for and what your mission is. One way is to use social issues and incorporate them into your marketing strategy. For example, a business that sells food products can give a particular portion of their product to someone in need for every purchase made by their customers. It can become a perfect CSR campaign to raise awareness, brand recognition, and loyalty among its audience.
6. Green Marketing
Green Marketing a great way to attract potential audiences, especially targeting those who feel strongly about the conservation of the environment. Businesses can look for ethical and environmentally friendly ways to promote their brand. This way, they can gain the support and sympathy of the public, and people would prefer to support a corporation that works for essential issues. Moreover, sustainable marketing creates a link between customer satisfaction and the preservation of the environment. There is a never-ending list of different forms of marketing, and marketing strategies have been revolutionized with the advent of technology. Marketing campaigns of the body shop and lush are great examples.
POPULAR MARKETING TRENDS IN 2020
1. Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Over
It is impossible to overlook the dominance of AI, especially in 2020. It is making its way into the global market, and it has already taken control of dull day to day lives. An example is the use of robots to monitor outdoor areas for crime or suspicious activity. These devices are so advanced that they can read, detect, and collect data and report it to their owners. AI has incorporated itself into marketing by understanding customers’ buying patterns and predicting their next moves. In this way, businesses are always one step ahead in providing their customers precisely what they need.
2. Widespread Use of Text Marketing
Technology gave way to email marketing and social media marketing, but it does not stop there. SMS marketing is on the rise, and it has proven to be a beneficial medium of marketing. Artificial intelligence uses complicated algorithms that can identify formats and messages that are most appealing to their target audience. With time, AI will also be able to predict the kind of words that will get the maximum engagement and alter the messages so that they apply to different types of people. This approach is relatively new, and it may take some time to perfect this strategy. However, it is still an excellent opportunity for new businesses trying to survive in the competitive market of 2020.
3. Voice Search Assistants
The most prominent marketing trend in 2020 by far is the voice searches on devices such as Siri or Alexa. This trend has taken over basic tasks like grocery shopping. Buyers can find items and related information meeting their specific needs through smart speakers and voice searches. Like text marketing, this approach also requires optimization, but it will open up so many new doors for multiple industries.
4. Shopping Through Online Posts
Businesses have started to use the most appealing way to promote their product, and that is through social media. People spend hours scrolling on apps like Facebook and Instagram, so online posts on these apps can directly take people to a business’s website where they can easily browse and purchase items. These platforms have made it extremely simple for brands to take full advantage of social media’s influence on today’s youth.
5. Marketing through Conversation
The rise of text marketing proves that marketing is built on conversation. When customers have queries, they all look for a prompt response. Conversational marketing uses one on one communication between a seller or representative and customer. This type of marketing is globally available on various platforms, and the choice depends on the customer.
6. Experience, Not Product
You would think that a brand’s product and its message would impact the promotion. But the new trend shows that people prefer experiences rather than the product. This might intimidate business leaders who follow the B2B model as it does not align with your work style. Still, there is no need for hesitation, as there are several strategies based on experience that complement the B2B business style. Researching and learning new ways to provide your customers with first-hand experience can help identify where the benefits of your product or service can be seen in everyday life. The best way to do this is to hold a live event where you can directly communicate with your audience. Your priority is to be creative, but you have to make sure that your approach is compatible with your brand’s reputation.
7. Interactive Content
People browsing the internet are looking for new and exciting experiences. Statistics show that 91% of buyers look for visually appealing and interactive content. Interactivity makes people feel more involved and in control of what they are purchasing. It is also different from the usual type of content available online, so it stands out more. It will attract a more significant number of potential customers, and your website will be able to keep the visitors entertained and engaged for more extended periods.
While traditional marketing strategies are still in use, new businesses should research and educate themselves on the current trends appealing to the masses. This way, they can get maximum engagement and expose their brand on a larger scale. Increased awareness of the brand will lead to more significant sales and, consequently, more profit, which is the end goal of every business.