There is no doubt that the marketing landscape has changed significantly in only a few decades. The rise and development of the Internet and the commensurate easy access to it through mobile devices has created an entire generation of “always online” consumers who are tech- and marketing-savvy. What this means is that the old methods of marketing have had to change to suit a mass of new technologies and consumer expectations.
Getting to Grips with Social Media
One of the biggest changes when it comes to marketing and brand building is in the area of social media. By nature, social media platforms offer a more direct way for businesses, small and large, to engage with customers. It is this feedback loop that provides many smaller businesses with the energy needed to pursue both a marketing strategy and a sales strategy. Indeed, there are now a huge number of cottage industry types of small businesses that rely on little more than a few social media accounts and direct engagement with an audience.
Has Marketing Changed Fundamentally?
Despite all of the technological changes around methods of marketing, the foundations remain much the same. Getting on top of social media and online marketing may be one thing but the Internet age has also made some things a lot easier when it comes to targeting an audience.
It is no small wonder that many small businesses fail within their first year of operation. Even those that have been well planned can sink due to some poor decisions and a lack of tech savvy. One of the problems is that many small business owners simply misunderstand the basics of marketing itself, instead putting all of their branding eggs into one basket and forgetting what is truly important.
In this context, here are the foundations of a good marketing strategy:
- Audience: How well do you know your audience? The first step in a good marketing strategy is identifying your target audience. Social media provides vast insight when it comes to building demographic profiles for marketing purposes.
- Tools: How are you going to approach your audience from a marketing perspective? The tools that you use for promoting your business are crucial. It is fine to have a well-balanced social media marketing strategy, but should you forget about offline methods that could generate new leads? In an age in which everyone is online, sometimes it is the offline methods that prove most effective.
- Funneling: A marketing plan is worthless unless you have in place an effective sales funnel. Once you have identified your target audience and have a marketing strategy in place, how will you collect information and convert interest to actual sales? Your sales funnel could be a website where people can sign up for a free gift or even an email list of people who have opted into your weekly newsletters.
Engage, Engage, Engage!
It may be true that the basics of marketing have not changed overly in the past few decades but the tools certainly have and it is worth getting to know them intimately. Audiences are far more technology-savvy than they ever used to be and pitching to this audience needs to be done smartly. If nothing else, perhaps the one crucial point about marketing at any level in this day and age is seeking and maintaining direct engagement with an audience of customers and potential customers.
Folks at FunnelMetrics have years of experience in small business sales setup. You may want to take some professional help.