5 Ways Marketing is More Than Promotion

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When you hear the word “marketing,” what do you think of? Billboards? Brochures? Logos? Many businesses are hesitant to invest too much money into marketing because they don’t understand the full host of benefits that it offers. Marketing isn’t just a special perk that promotes brand awareness – it’s a foundational component of building a successful, long-lasting business. Here are five ways marketing is more than promotion.

1. Marketing Provides Product & Market Research

Creating a marketing plan pushes you to consider who your target audience is and grow your knowledge of them. You can also use the analytics and results from your campaigns to tell you things about your audience that you might not have known. For example, what devices they use, different demographics, specific interests they have, and more. When you know your audience, you can better understand what their needs are and how to address them.

You can also do some secondary research on how your competitors are marketing their brands to inform your own strategies. You can use this information to cement how your business better addresses your audience’s needs. Why will customers want to purchase from you compared to your competitors? What are you offering that makes you stand out? Not only does your new product or service have to be unique and meet your customers’ wants and needs, but you must be able to communicate why and how it does so.

2. Marketing Builds Rapport & Credibility

Now that you know who your audience is and how your brand serves their needs, you can communicate those things to them. This is where rapport comes in. Marketing assists with making you a present and relevant part of your audiences’ lives so that they can begin to trust you. It helps establish credibility when people can see who your brand is and what it is you really do.

Putting a face to your brand builds connection and this is done through your branding, communication, and social media marketing strategy. When your audience feels like they’re able to “know” and directly connect with your brand, they’re more likely to become a loyal follower and repeat customer. The best way to encourage this in your marketing is to be genuine and authentic and stay true to your company’s values and mission.

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3. Marketing Provides Feedback to Develop Your Business

Marketing is no longer about talking AT your audience – it’s about talking WITH them. And that means getting valuable information directly from the source. Wondering why your new product isn’t selling? Listen to your audience! Read their responses, reviews, and reactions to your campaigns.

Rather than expecting your audience to come to you, good marketing goes directly to the source. Make yourself present where the conversation is already happening and be an avid participator. Have a listening strategy through surveys, social media and reaching out directly. Never underestimate the power of the personal touch. Communication is an essential part of your company’s branding and marketing. This benefits you by letting you know where you need to improve while also communicating to your customers that you’re willing to listen, care, and adapt.

4. Marketing Builds Tribes & Establishes Culture

Once you stop thinking of marketing as just a tool to build awareness, you can get to the heart of what it’s really about: building relationships. Marketing lets you know your audience and your audience know you and encourages communication between you. What happens next (all those Facebook likes and Twitter and Instagram followers) is called your tribe!

Your connection to your tribe can be maintained with strategies involving consistency, hashtags or groups, and using the FOMO (fear of missing out) mindset so that others want to be involved. These people are the ones who will be your repeat customers and your referral help. Always support them with likes, comments, shout-outs, retweets, and tags. This is probably the most personal you will have to be in your marketing strategy.

5. Marketing Increases Client Retention to Spark Loyalty

Another example of how marketing is more than promotion and more about relationships is client retention. Just because someone initially likes your product and swears by it to all their friends doesn’t mean they’ll be around forever. Eventually, if you don’t do anything to engage them, they will feel like you don’t care and will look to have their need met somewhere else.

Launch remarketing campaigns to show them that you’re still coveting and appreciate their business. Having a retention program like rewards for purchases or referrals gives you the ability to identify, track, and sell more of what is on demand to these people who are most likely to become your long-term, loyal customers. When you repeatedly engage with your customers, they will, in turn, repeatedly engage and recommend you!

So what is marketing? Promotion? Yes, but it’s also so much more. From small mom-and-pop businesses to large national corporations, nobody can afford not to market. Marketing is more than promotion – it’s an opportunity for you to create personal, lasting relationships with your customer that will keep you in business for decades to come.