The Basics of Marketing

Digital Marketing

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or an enterprise executive, you must understand the key marketing concepts. In this article, you will learn all of the necessary basics of marketing. The topics we will be covering include:

  1. What marketing is
  2. Why marketing is important
  3. Marketing Funnel
  4. The Marketing Mix (The 4p’s of Marketing)

What is Marketing?

Marketing is a term used to describe a business’s activities and processes involved in creating and delivering offerings to its current and potential clients, customers, partners, and the larger community. Simply put, any effort to attract an audience to a company's products or services is a form of marketing.

Marketing is often confused with advertising; advertising only refers to the promotion of products or services through paid channels, whereas marketing covers a large proportion of business activities such as:

  • Your Branding
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Aspects of product development
  • Market Research
  • Advertising & Promotions
  • Public Relations

Why is Marketing Important?

Good marketing plays a vital role in the success of a business. It helps build your brand’s reputation, improves decision-making, allows you to set better company goals, and boosts your sales.

  • Improves Decision-Making: When you dive into the marketing world, the first step will be to build a marketing strategy. A marketing plan will require intensive research into your target audience and in turn, give you a far greater understanding of your target demographic. These marketing insights will enable you to make informed, logical decisions that will enable you to grow your business more efficiently.
  • Set better Goals: Another benefit of market research is that your clearer understanding of your demographic will enable you to make clear, consistent goals for your employees, which maximise your team's efficiency and ensure that your business is headed towards your vision.
  • Brand Awareness: Your brand is one of your business’s most valuable assets. You will not generate sales if people don’t recognise or don’t even know about your brand. Effective marketing will position your brand where it will be seen most by your target audience.
  • Sales: Marketing informs your audience about what your business has to offer, its value and its unique selling point, influencing the buyer's decision.

Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel, also known as a purchasing funnel, is a visualised roadmap of your customer's journey from when they first learn of your business to the point of sale.

Creating a marketing funnel for your business can be incredibly advantageous. Having a well-laid-out marketing funnel will help you understand the buyer journey and customer behaviour, enabling you to optimise your marketing strategy. 

Stages of a marketing funnel

A marketing funnel is made up of a series of key stages in your customer journey. There are several different marketing funnels to choose from, but most consist of the ‘AIDA’ model. ‘AIDA’ stands for awareness, interest, desire, and action. This model can be simplified into three key stages:

  1. Awareness: This is where somebody first learns about your brand. This is the top of the funnel (TOFU).
  2. Consideration: This is where somebody makes a meaningful engagement with your business. This is the middle of the funnel (MOFU).
  3. Conversion: This is the stage of a marketing funnel is where you convert an interested party into a paying customer.  This is the final stage of the marketing funnel (BOFU).

Some marketers add additional stages to the marketing funnel, such as ‘Delight’, which focuses on customer satisfaction through quality service to retain customers and encourage referrals.

Creating a marketing funnel strategy

To create a marketing funnel strategy, you will need to go through each of the three key stages and determine how you will move the most amount of people onto the next stage.

Awareness Stage

To build a marketing funnel for your business, you will need to start at the ‘Awareness’ stage. Ask yourself how you will get new eyes on your business from the right kind of people who will most likely engage and be interested in your business in the future. To do this, you will need to identify your target market to get a better understanding of your audience and which digital marketing channels would be most appropriate. There are several options available at the top of the funnel:

  • Social Media
  • Direct Emails
  • Search Engine results 
  • Events
  • Paid Marketing
  • Print Media

In the awareness stage, your main objective is to build:

  • A positive perception of you brand
  • Familiarity
  • Knowledge

Consideration Stage

Now that you have determined how you will build an audience for your business, you need to ask yourself how you will prove your brand’s value to your new audience and keep them engaged. You can do this with:

  • Well-Researched Articles 
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • How-to-videos
  • Webinars
  • Newsletters
  • Price Comparisons

In the consideration stage, your main objective is to build:

  • Trust
  • A Relationship
  • Engagement/Retention

Conversion Stage

Once you have decided how you are going to build a relationship and trust with your audience, ask yourself how you will convert these people into paying customers. You can do this through: 

  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Free Trial
  • Targeted Campaign
  • Re-Marketing
  • High-Quality Landing Pages

Marketing Mix 

To build a customer base, you must start by identifying a marketing mix. A marketing mix is a combination of business-controlled activities or tactics that aim to influence a consumer's decision to purchase a product or service.

The 4 Ps Of Marketing

One of the most well-known marketing mixes is the 4 Ps of marketing. The 4 Ps of marketing consist of four equally important elements, which are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion 

Product

Your product is the good or service that you intend to market to your desired audience.

To create a successful product marketing campaign, you will need to ask yourself:

  1. What is your unique selling point?
  2. What need will this product or service fill?
  3. Who is most likely to buy this?

Price

The price you set for your product or service will influence supply, demand, marketing strategy and, most importantly, profit margins. Once you have properly identified your target audience, you will need to ask yourself:

  1. How much will your target demographic be willing to pay?
  2. How much are competitors charging for similar products of a similar quality?
  3. How much do you need to charge in order to have a healthy profit margin?
  4. Is my product or service in a market that is particularly price-sensitive?

Place

Place refers to where you intend to sell your product or service and the distribution channels that you should use. It is critical that you place your product in a place where it will get the most impressions from likely buyers, the better the location, the more chance you have of converting a potential customer into a loyal buyer. You should ask yourself:

  1. Where does your target audience typically shop?
  2. What are the most appropriate distribution channels that I can use?
  3. Should I directly sell or should I sell through a third party?
  4. What locations are most appropriate considering my product's price point?

Promotion

Promotion is about how, what, why, when and who you will advertise your business’s products or services to maximise your leads and sales.

To successfully advertise your product or service, you will need to ask yourself:

  1. What time/day/month will advertising be most effective considering the demographic?
  2. What marketing channels will have the biggest impact?
  3. How is my successful competitor's advertising?
  4. How will I use advertising to enhance my desired brand identity?
  5. What advertising approach will resonate best with my audience?

The Five Ps of Marketing

The five Ps of marketing is a very similar concept to the 4 Ps and includes product, price, place, and promotion. It also considers a new key marketing factor; people.

People: refers to your employees, customers and anyone else who will or is impacting your business. Ask yourself:

  1. Who is helping your business?
  2. Are your sales and customer service team of high skill?
  3. Do you have authoritative advocates for your brand that could influence sales?

 The Seven Ps of Marketing

The Seven Ps of marketing is product, price, place, promotion, people, processes, and physical evidence.

Processes

An incredible customer journey experience improves your business’s customer satisfaction. Every business wants to make the purchasing process clean, customer-friendly, and efficient. To do this, you need to ask yourself:

  1.  When a customer makes a query, how long will they have to wait for a response?
  2. How will we encourage customers to leave reviews?
  3. What happens once a purchase has been made?
  4. Will I inform customers of the delivery progress as its being made?

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence includes everything that proves that your brand exists, for example, your website, a physical store, an office, or even business cards are all forms of physical evidence. There are a lot of fake and untrustworthy businesses, and to gain consumer trust, you will want to prove that your business is legitimate. Ask yourself:

  1. Is customer service easily accessible?
  2. If you have a physical location, is the layout well designed and looks appealing?
  3. Can you add more branding to your receipts and product packaging? 

Marketing Definitions

General Marketing Terms

  • A/B Testing: In marketing, A/B or split testing refers to having multiple versions of an ad within a campaign with varying configurations. By split-testing your ads, you can compare your results and figure out which option is best for you.   
  • Bounce Rate: Your bounce rate is a metric that refers to the number of website visitors that leave your website having viewed only a single page. You should always aim to have as low of a bounce rate as possible. If your bounce rate is very high, your not attracting the right kind of traffic, this could be because your advertising is unclear, you could be using the wrong marketing channels, or your landing pages are not optimised correctly. 
  • Call-to-Action: A call-to-action(CTA) is a written direction to your ad audience to take a particular action. This could be to buy a product from your store, learn more about your business or to join an email newsletter. 
  • Conversion: A conversion, in marketing, refers to the point in which someone completes the desired action of your campaign. For example, if you had an email newsletter campaign and somebody signed up to your newsletter that would be a conversion.  

Cost-related Marketing terms

  • Bid Strategy: When setting up a ad on platforms like Google, you will need to choose a bid strategy. This refers to the tactic you want to use when it comes to bidding on advertisement spots. 
  • Billing Threshold: Your billing threshold refers to the amount of money that you can use on paid advertisement platforms before you trigger a charge. You can look at your billing threshold as a sort of credit with the advertiser; if your billing threshold is two hundred pounds, that means you can use up to two hundred pounds in ad spend prior to being charged. 
  • CPC: Your cost-per-click is the amount of money you spend for each click on your website.
  • CPM: Your cost-per-mile is the amount you pay for one-thousand impressions on your advertisements.    
  • Daily budget: With paid ads, you have the option to set a daily budget. Your daily budget overrides any other billing settings and will prevent you from overspending past a set limit. For example, if you have a daily budget of 5 euros and a maximum bid on an advertisement set at 10 euros, your daily budget won’t allow you to go over 5 euros.
  • PPC: Pay-per-click refers to an advertising method in which you opt to pay for advertisements based on each time that someone clicks on your advertisement.

Ad Creation Definitions

  • Destination URL: Your destination URL refers to the link you want to send your advertisement viewers to. 
  • Display URL: If your destination URL is unappealing or too long, you can change what the URL looks like to your viewers with the display URL. Though the root domain stays the same i.e. yourcompany.com you can change the permalink to something more appropriate. This can also be useful if you include custom campaign tracking metrics in your links.
  • Headline: You can look at the headline of your advertisement as the title of your ad, this small group of words/sentences should summarise your ad, grab attention, and be engaging enough to generate click-throughs. 
  • Side ad: A side ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the side of a page i.e. on the left or the right.
  • Top ad: A top ad refers to an advertisement that is positioned at the top of the page.

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