Digital marketing experts like to talk about the various strategies, platforms, and online tools that make their life easier and generate fresh marketing channels. But today we’ll be taking a step back to shed light on some frequently asked questions that don’t get the attention they deserve.

Marketing is probably the most ubiquitous entity in business, flowing through and connecting virtually all industries in existence today.

In this post we’ll be addressing all of these questions and more:

  • Why is this trend so representative of our time?
  • What is the role of marketing in global economies?
  • What connects marketing, trust, and business ethics?
  • What are the nuances of defining marketing goals and strategies?
  • How did marketing evolve in line with technology and the internet?

With current marketing trends in mind, you should be aware of these concepts, whether you are picking a marketing agency or you are a marketer trying to strengthen your relationship with clients in order to serve them better. Evolving your business into a more customer-oriented company has never been as crucial to success as it is today.

Why Is Marketing Important to Businesses and to the Economy?

business economy

All companies, except state-owned and monopolies (to some degree), need marketing to survive. With the rise of consumerism, marketing has become an industry that no other major industry can afford to ignore.

This wasn’t always the case, though. The main factors that contributed to this trend are privatization, competition, technology, production, and communication.

Main Factors Contributing to Importance and Vitality of Marketing

 

vitality of marketing

Now that our attention has become a currency in itself, we can see that different technological mediums are competing for our time and attention across different industries: radio lost its ground to Television, and TV is losing its ground to the internet.

Not only that, but music is now competing with TV shows which are competing with funny cat videos on YouTube. This is reality – our attention now has more value than ever. And it’s all because of marketing!

Why Is It Important That Marketing Goals Involve Some Degree of Intangibility?

 

marketing goals

In this sense, it’s useful to think about marketing subsets as quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative marketing can be described in numbers. Much of the analytical digital advertising world has seen a huge increase in efficiency through measurable feedback and adjustments to the campaign tactics.

Example:

The number of your Facebook followers is also a measurable indicator, even though it’s not a measurement of direct monetary benefit.

Another example is constantly testing your ad copy or landing page design, for example. Through analytics software, you can clearly see how people react and which choice is better for your campaign.

On the other hand, qualitative marketing involves intangible efforts that can’t be measured either way, but are essential for long-term business goals:

  • Awareness
  • Branding
  • Credibility & Trust – Company Image

For some products, these intangible aspects are crucial to bottom line market performance.

“In general there is a growing realization that, in many product classes, where there are few “meaningful” differences between brands and more so-called “parity” products, image and other intangibles become more important (Business Week, 1983).

Awareness campaigns exist to raise awareness of how much benefit can be derived by using a certain product. The goal is to inform the public that the product you’re offering exists in the first place, and then offer a way to get it.

Branding refers to the practice of using multiple different channels and tactics to enforce a brand in line with company policies. Logo design, website design, and brand ambassadors should work in tandem to reflect the industry and product philosophy of your brand.

Example:

Apple is primarily a tech company, and even though their brand name is “apple” it would go against all of their branding efforts if they were to change the company color scheme to green or red. Their products are considered high-quality, sleek, and futuristic. The interior design of their stores, as well as product showcases, are in line with the overall company style and aesthetic. These elements work in tandem to convey a message to their target audience.

Company image speaks to how the company and its products are perceived by potential and actual customers. Their opinions about product quality, value, and position, compared to competing products, all amount to what is known as “image.”

Why Is the Trustworthiness Factor Associated with a Marketing Message Important?

 

marketing message

The hard truth is that in today’s world, nothing scandalous can slip by unnoticed, meaning it’s simply not profitable to continue bad practices that damage trust.

In contrast, aligning all your efforts to serve customers as best as possible can have a massive impact on reviving the reputation of entire industries, with your company at the forefront.

Trust is built over time. Use that time to obsess over customers, not competition. Provide the best possible value and you will reap the reward!

We all have brands we trust. When we believe in certain businesses, we are biased towards them, for one reason or another. Think about why you associate LL Bean shoes with quality. Do you shop with Amazon for its unmatched customer service?

Be advised that trust is especially important in ecommerce. Online banking is insecure enough already. People need to at least feel safe that the money and product exchange is going to happen without a hitch.

What Is Relationship Marketing and Why Is It Important?

 

relationship marketing

Building and maintaining a trusted relationship with a customer is an important consideration in marketing. Knowing the customer’s needs and quantifying their buying patterns has immense value. This is what customer relationship marketing explores and what customer relationship management (CRM) derives insights from in particular.

Using feedback from the customers and keeping a hefty sales database will serve to nurture a strong connection with existing and potential customers. There is a plethora of dedicated CRM automation software for this purpose.

Feedback can provide powerful insights into preferences and buying patterns of customers. A company can then leverage this data to improve its processes or products, which ultimately strengthens long-term loyalty with customers.

Furthermore, for businesses with larger, high-spending customers, CRM is a stand-alone activity. It requires a dedicated person who focuses specifically on a single or a few clients at a time. The dedicated employee should not only address customers’ issues, but also know the underlying profile, their interests, and more. In such cases, good customer relationships can immensely boost word-of-mouth referrals and establish a long-lasting affiliation.

Why Is Ethics an Important Consideration in Marketing Decisions?

 

marketing ethics

We can’t mention building trust without talking about business ethics. This applies especially to marketing.|

Straight-away example:

Take the example of Theranos. A company that the SEC deemed to have abused public trust by making “false and exaggerated statements about its technology and performance.” In other words, the marketing team went too far. But not only that, the base concept of the promoted technology was bogus from the start, and this kind of malicious practice goes hand-in-hand with unethical marketing practices.

At its core, marketing can be viewed as an art of reach and persuasion. Among other things, marketing techniques (1) create a need that can only be relieved through a purchase and (2) convince people to choose your product over that of your competition. Considering how much money there is to be made with large markets, it’s no wonder that we’re seeing large-scale scams all around. Theranos is case-in-point of how poor of a path this is because your reputation will be forever tarnished after one seemingly-minor mistake.

Alternatively, the other side of the business ethics spectrum can also be used as a marketing advantage. More and more people are actively voting with their wallet, thus sending a clear message. Today, it’s the people who are addressing global issues:

  • Labor exploitation
  • Climate change
  • Genetic modification practices
  • Pollution

Use this to your advantage!

Companies that adopt good social responsibility practices can see the effects it has on customer loyalty and promotion through word-of-mouth referrals. These practices can be applied to everything, from recyclable packaging to charity donations, even sourcing core production materials from reputable vendors.

Customers now see how much a company cares about random people, animals, plants, and even the globe itself. This benefits the company because people begin to trust that the company will surely treat their customers with care.

This goes hand-in-hand with transparency. A business practice that is incompatible with bad ethical decisions means they will always treat customers well. Aligning corporate responsibility with transparency and branding is a winning combination.

For companies in very competitive markets, reputation is more valuable than gold!

Why Is It Important for a Company to Identify Social Media Marketing Goals?

 

social media marketing

Social media marketing (SMM) has become a very powerful strategy of driving traffic and, by extension, revenue. Today’s social media platforms have evolved to offer not only a fertile ground for building awareness, but also very quantifiable and laser-accurate campaigns (such as those that use Facebook ads).

Targeting audience niches has never been so powerful, and now you can maximize budget efficiency better than ever. Speaking of laser-accurate campaigns, think of it this way:

Would you ever be able to measure the effectiveness of a billboard in a multi-channel marketing campaign? How would you measure attribution?

The answer is it’s not possible.

You’ll never know exactly how many paying customers a billboard has gotten you, nor which billboard design has gotten a better return on investment.

But even social media platforms have to be thought of as separate countries with their own local climate patterns, cultures, tastes, and laws. That’s why it’s important to identify the social media marketing goals, and align them with campaign strategies and channels, also called platforms.

Using the same techniques on different marketing channels is sometimes not possible, and often unwise.

  • People who use and visit LinkedIn are in a work-oriented mindset. It’s a network aiming to connect people who share professional interests and business insights.
  • Facebook is a very personal network that people use for nearly everything. As such, the company has a lot of data on their users’ preferences and interests. Tailor the PPC ads on Facebook to be personal rather than using sales pitch lingo.
  • Twitter is a fast-paced network perfectly suited for maintaining mobile communication and following trends. Engaging with industry peers and audiences will certainly make an impact on building awareness as well as your follower base.
  • Instagram has become the go-to platform for “influencer marketing” which is a type of marketing strategy perfect for certain types of products and services.

Social media channels provide open communication with potential and actual customers so you can learn what people want directly and therefore serve a better product. The demographics of different social media platforms are also wildly different so be sure to pick the appropriate ones for your target audience.

As any other marketing channel, building and maintaining a social media presence costs a lot of money. Thus, defining goals and audiences from the get-go will prevent your budget from being wasted on trying to cater to the wrong people on the wrong platform, with the wrong method.

Why Is the Sales Qualified Lead Stage Important for Both Your Sales and Marketing Teams?

 

evolution

To understand how the marketing and sales team should work in tandem, it’s important to define what is known as the buyer’s journey, or the buying funnel.

In short, the buyer’s journey depicts the progression from the customer identifying a problem to the point where they make a purchase decision intended to alleviate that problem.

A marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a potential customer that is at the start of the buyer’s journey. They can be targeted by techniques derived from the company marketing team.

A sales-qualified lead (SQL) is a potential customer that can be considered as ready to communicate with the sales team. These customers are at the sales part of the buyer’s journey.

The steps on the buyer’s journey should have as smooth of a transition as possible. It’s therefore crucial that the marketing and sales teams communicate clearly. Together, they must decide what steps a lead needs to take, like performing an action on the company website, in order to advance to the next stage. The goal is to have all of their issues addressed and their mind at ease.

Modern times have completely transformed the whole process of marketing and sales, as today nearly everyone uses the internet to research the products they’re buying. It’s often the case that they complete the entire buyer’s journey without even looking away from a computer screen, or a phone display, as of recently. This is why marketing and sales should be considered inseparable.

Why Is an Executive Summary an Important Element of a Social Media Marketing Plan?

 

marketing plan

The executive summary is “the starting point that is best written last,” and it represents the bare-bone sketchup of the entire marketing plan.

Basically, it’s an initial assessment of goals and methods to be used in a marketing campaign. An executive summary should include:

  • Key points, goals, and methods from the marketing plan
  • Budget allocation
  • Project time frame
  • Information about the people behind the project, such as their expertise and background

Think of it as the hook that gets investors interested in hearing the full-length business plan. It should show enough of the intricacies to make the reader want to find out more about the project.

A great way to inspire confidence in the audience is to include sources that reference actual case studies or research for any claims that are made in the summary.

Social media research data is very valuable and there’s plenty of it, even from established world-class universities. Use it to your advantage!

If you’re unsure how to proceed in picking a marketing strategy or web design solution, or you simply want help getting around the jungle of digital marketing, feel free to contact us.