Marketing your business in the digital age
The marketing basics
Advertising, Marketing, Business Development, Networking, Social Media, Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per click and Sales. What a minefield for a small business and with so many companies offering advice what should you do? But has it really got harder in the last 10 years with the proliferation of the Internet? Putting the basics into context in the Internet age will save you wasting time with the wrong solution.
The simplest of marketing revolves around matching the seller to the buyer using the best match of the 4 P’s, Product, Price, Place & Promotion. In more complex situations e.g. procuring expensive professional services, like lawyers and architects, People, Processes and Physical evidence become important and the 4 P’s are increased to 7P’s.
Given that services and products are ultimately purchased by people, it makes sense to design the promotion of the service or product to match the target market and communicate the proposition via a channel they will use. Traditionally this has been carried out by segmenting the market by demographics e.g. age, gender, occupation, social class, marital status, family life stage, family size, income, education, home ownership, ethnicity and religion. In the case of business to business, you should target a “job role for a type of business” regardless of the person’s personal characteristics.
With the advent of the internet, the number of communication channels continues to increase. So, where does this leave the 7P’s? Essentially, you must still find the target market you have identified to create the relationship but there are many more options. To assist with selecting the most suitable channel the marketeer now needs to consider:
- Personal Interest
- Personal Social Networks
- Public Commentary
- Peer to Peer
- Predictive Modelling
In other words, the 7 P’s are now 15 P’s.
Choose the most appropriate communication channels
That said, the fundamentals have not changed. Choose your market, carefully segment to identify targets and then use the most appropriate communication channels to create awareness or start a relationship. The internet has simply added several hundred more channels, but your targets will only be using a small number, so identify them and don’t disregard the pre-internet channels, lots of people still use them. The fact, targets use a limited range of channels can make marketing easier when the correct channel has been identified.
If you need to reset your marketing because you have lost sight of the fundamentals, or your marketing channels are no longer working, please get in touch for a no-obligation health check.
Here comes the exciting bit in which you can see your plans come to fruition (part 3/3)
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