What is marketing?
Marketing is a strategic mix of activities that aim to build your business’s brand. Having a strong brand helps potential customers to easily identify your business and connect with it.
If you have a logo, a slogan or a website you’re already using marketing in your business, but marketing is about more than just fancy logos and glossy brochures.
Marketing is also about:
- how your business is positioned in the market - for example, are you a budget provider or a high-end shop?
- the products and services you sell - for example, what do you sell? How is it packaged?
- your customers - for example, are they budget-conscious shoppers?
To attract and keep new customers, you need to understand the process of marketing. There are a number of ways to market your business. Which will work best for you will depend on where your target market is.
Start with a marketing plan
A marketing plan can help you think about what you need to do to effectively market your business.
A good marketing plan helps you:
- determine your vision – what you aim to do through marketing
- identify your customers
- boost your customer base
- identify your competitors
- develop a marketing strategy to make your business stand out.
Some examples of things that you should include in your marketing plan are:
- who your target customers are
- your pricing model for your goods and services
- your advertising plan.
Developing a marketing plan requires research, time and commitment, but it is a very valuable process that can greatly contribute to your business’s success.
Ways to market your business
Before you advertise your business, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider, including:
- Your target customer – who do you expect will buy your products and services? If you’re not sure who your target customers are, have a look at who currently buys your products and services and who your competitors are targeting. When marketing your business, find ways to make sure your advertising is reaching them.
- Where to advertise - how do your current customers find you? Where do your target customers look to find services? Use this knowledge to your advantage by targeting these areas.
- Your budget – how much should you spend on advertising? Advertising can be expensive, so make sure to pick options that will give you the best bang for your buck. Remember, the cheapest option is not always the best option! The best option will be whatever is most effective for your business.
Market your business with traditional media
Advertising your business in traditional media can play a big part in your overall marketing strategy.
It involves marketing tools such as:
- paid print advertisements
- commercials on TV and radio
- articles in media outlets, such as magazines, newspapers or billboards.
- The cost and audience you can reach through advertising on traditional media can vary widely, so it’s important to make sure you choose the best fit for your business.
Market your business online
With the internet and social media platforms at our fingertips, going online can be a fantastic way to market your business. To get started on marketing your goods or services online, you could:
Create a website or blog for your business - having a website or blog is a great way to keep your customers up to date on your business, product and services. A good website or blog will provide your customers with interesting and relevant information that keeps them coming back for more.
Use social media - using social media platforms for your business can help you to engage with your customers in a relaxed and friendly way. Linking to your business website in social media can also be a great way to increase visits and generate interest.
Find out more
- Go to our marketing information to find out the benefits of good marketing.
- Learn more about marketing by checking out our 5 Ps of marketing.
- Download our marketing plan template and guide to help you write your own marketing plan.
- Check out how to take your business online and find out how to give your clients and customers a place to find out what you do.
- Get involved in social media and connect with your clients and customers.