What is Marketing? How Does it Work?

What is Marketing? How Does it Work?

Marketing

If you’ve ever wanted to know: What marketing is, how it works and how it applies to your business? Then stay reading as the breakdown exactly what marketing is, how it all works and why it’s such an important, if not the most important, element to business success will be explained. 

I fell in love with marketing years ago, when I first got interested in figuring out why people buy, act the way they do and later how they can influence & persuade others; essentially affect human behaviour. Whether you have a business or not marketing happens pretty much every day. Any time you try to convince friends or family to see a certain movie or eat at this restaurant or not, basically try to convince them to do anything; marketing is happening.

Marketing is really important to understand, because you are constantly being marketed to by everyone from everywhere. From something as simple as someone trying to sell you a pair of shoes to something a lot bigger, like buying a new house, moving across the country or even changing careers. All of this, requires and uses marketing. 

 

What is Marketing?

Let’s point out first that marketing is not just advertising; advertising is marketing. Basically, marketing is a major business function that’s made up of many parts, one of which of course is advertising, but there’s many more like: PR, market research, social media, content marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pricing, pricing psychology, copywriting and one of my personal favorites, direct response or direct response marketing and quite a few more. Therefore, saying that marketing is just advertising and is like saying that finance is just taxes, HR is just hiring people or legal is just not getting sued.

Sure, these are all important but that’s just one piece of the entire puzzle. This is why marketing can seem pretty overwhelming. So, what exactly is marketing? The first thing you need to know if the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. Product being the details around whatever product or service is being sold. Price being the amount of money you are going to charge for your product or service being offered. Place is where the products are being sold, and promotion is what media channels you’re going to use to get it in front of your customers. Moreover, it is how you’re going to sell more of the product/service and what you’re going to do to get the word out about your business.

Marketing in its most basic sense, is communicating value to your customers. It’s essentially answering the question of your customers “Why should I care?” Marketing helps people solve their problems by clearly defining, delivering solutions and really explaining the benefits of your solution. In turn, letting them get better results.

Moreover, marketing is about connecting with people, understanding their pains, their problems and their frustrations, and making them feel understood so that you can position your business as the solution to their problems. Essentially, marketing needs to make them feel better and if done right it is a really powerful force.

As anyone that’s been in business for any length of time can tell you, it’s not always the best product or service that wins, in fact it rarely is, rather it’s the product or service with the best marketing. Like it or not, that’s just kind of how it works which is why having good marketing is just so important.

 

Value Is Key!

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics behind marketing, the thing that will allow you to do the best marketing is; communication value to your customers. Marketing can create value and in turn your marketing can be valuable.

An example could be a blog post that helps someone out, even before any money has changed hands, or an advertisement someone sees that brightens their day & makes them laugh, or luxurious packaging that is over-the-top that makes someone feel special for having purchased it. Whether they choose to buy or not, the way a product or service is delivered can transfer your customers’ view of you.

Traditionally, economics assumes that people make buying decisions rationally, logically and with perfect information, but this is rarely and pretty much never the case. We as humans are emotional, often highly illogical and rarely have the full set of facts when making any decision, which explains why marketing is so important and so powerful.

After all, if we made all of our purchasing decisions based solely on logic, utility and the value we would get from these products, then the entire luxury goods market wouldn’t even exist. With that being said not all marketing is created equal.

 

What is Good Marketing?

However, when it comes to marketing and with many other things in life, there is good marketing and there’s bad marketing. Bad marketing is all of the reasons that marketing gets such a bad reputation. It’s that hype, spammy, over-the-top sleazy sales kind of marketing, that we all know we’ve all seen and nobody likes. It’s the stuff that looks cheap, makes people feel dirty, even just looking at it and promotes bad products or bad services that really helps nobody. It’s the fake countdown timers you sometimes see on websites, the going-out-of-business sales that never end and the pushy promotion of useless products. That’s bad marketing!

Good marketing on the other hand, helps customers achieve their goals, makes them feel better about themselves and has the power to truly change the world.

So my question to you is: What kind of marketing do you do, or do you even do marketing? That was a rhetorical question. If you say the bad marketing, I got nothing for you but if you say the good kind and which I am hoping you did, then make sure to check out my free marketing call button below, which is going to give you even more practical  & effective marketing strategies to help take your business and your marketing to the next level and way beyond that.

Drive your Business Forward Faster with a FREE Marketing Strategy Call!

Build Faster, Protect your Brand and Grow your Business with Ryan Marketing Solutions

Top 2021 Marketing Strategies & Principles That Will Help Your Business Get Attention

Top 2021 Marketing Strategies & Principles That Will Help Your Business Get Attention

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When it comes to marketing these days it can be very confusing to businesses to pick which strategies & tactics to use to ensure they reach their goals and overall objectives for the company. It doesn’t matter whether you have the best product, service or business, if you can’t first get someone to care enough to pay attention.

Every company now is fighting for attention, which means everyone is your competitor right now, and the  only way to overcome this & win is to stand up, stand out, and get noticed.

This is why implementing the best marketing strategies is key to helping your business get more attention & in turn grow. So let’s help you achieve this starting from today!

 

Marketing At Present…

Today’s environment is so noisy and knowing what’s what is hard. You’ve got people over here screaming at you, and you’ve got people over there screaming at them, and you’ve got people way over there and some over there too, hiding inside with the covers over their head, just waiting for this all to be over.

But as confusing and as messed up as things may appear to be, one thing has become more clear and more glaringly obvious than it ever has been before. Attention & getting notice is key!

 

Specialisation

The first thing that you need to do in order to get attention is to understand one of the most important fundamentals and principles when it comes to marketing strategy, and that is specialisation.

The reality is, in today’s hyper competitive and really saturated world, especially when it comes to business and marketing, well, you can’t be all things to all people; you have to specialise, you have to focus! This means really focusing in and really specialising on either a certain area, a certain product or a certain service, or even a certain market, or segment of the market.

Being a jack of all trades or a generalist is just not the way to succeed because there’s too much noise in the marketplace. Also, there’s no real kind of value or no real reason for somebody to want to go to you or to be able to recommend you or to even have the desire or the understanding that you’re going to be able to help them when you’re claiming to do all of these things for all these different people.

Plus,  when you’re a generalist or you’re keeping your offer, your marketing or your message really broad, well, it naturally forces you to kind of broaden that message, which means you have to water it down.

You have to be less specific so that you can include all of these different people. In reality, when you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.

 

Differentiation

See differentiation is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, but it’s how are you different and different in a way that’s actually better,  in a way that actually matters to your market, but how are you different from your competition? Or different from others who are offering a similar or even somewhat kind of different thing than what you’re offering?

Basically, as mentioned at the very beginning, everybody is vying for your customer’s attention right now, which means that you’ve got a number of different competitors you’ve got to try to compete against.

You, of course, have your direct competitors who are selling something similar to you, or exactly the same as you, to the same kind of market that you want to reach. However, you also have indirect competitors, which are people who are selling either something different to the same market or something similar to a different market.

Therefore, these are areas that you’re going to have to find, investigate and do research into to figure out what you can do to stand out and really differentiate yourself from everybody else.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • How are you different?
  • How are you better and how are you better in a way that actually matters to your customers?

Also, this is an opportunity for you to stand for something, to allow your personality and your authenticity to really come through;

  • What are your brand values?
  • What are your, sort of, characteristics?
  • What does your brand or your business stand for?
  • What are some of the attributes that somebody would be able to relate to you on and to your business on a more personal level?

 

Segmentation

The reason segmentation is such a powerful marketing principle is because by kind of narrowing the focus on who it is that you’re going to concentrate on, who it is that you’re going to focus your marketing and your business on; it allows you to not have to try to reach everybody, but rather just to try to reach a few select people.

It’s a whole lot easier to get the attention of 10, 100, 1000 or even 10,000 people, than it is to try to get the attention of millions, if not billions of people, which would be crazy and prohibitively expensive.

So when it comes to segmentation, what you want to do is you want to take a look at all of the different segments of your target market that you could serve. Then you want to really dial in and really drill down into who it is that would get the most value from your business, from your brand, from your product, from your service and focus there.

This is the reason why using the 80/20 principle or Pareto’s Principle is so helpful. Essentially, the fact that 80% of your revenues are likely to come from just 20% of your customers/clients. When you apply this principle to your business, it starts to become really obvious where you’re going to focus, as it clearly highlights the 20% of people that are going to give you 80% of your business’s revenue & profit.

There is also another rule called the 120 over 20 rule, which basically states that, the top 20% of your customers will give you 120% of your revenue because the bottom 20% of your customers are going to end up losing you money. Again, the point being that you really want to focus on that top 20% of your customers, and of those ideal people who love you, love what you do, are happy to pay you for the true value you provide and also want to tell everyone they know about just how great you really are.

 

Concentration 

Essentially what concentration says is that once you’ve applied your segmentation, you’ve divided & really categorised your different segments of customers, you’ve done your 80/20 analysis and you’ve determined your top 20% of customers;  you now want to concentrate & focus on those people and ignore everything else.

However, obviously you don’t just never communicate with anybody else, but you do want to start focusing & tailoring your message, your service to deliver towards that top tier or 20%. Really focus all your time, effort, money, energy & resources on serving them to the best of your ability. In turn, you can get more of them, keep them for longer, and consequently help increase your revenue and your profits.

 

Tips & Treats

Now that you know the principles to successful marketing strategies, what are some tactics that you can use right now to take all of those principles and start getting even faster results?

First off you need to look into the who, the what, the where, the when, the why and the how of putting this all together.

 

The Who? 

This is all about your ideal target market or ideal customer avatar or buyer persona; which is who is the person, who is the market, who is the segment that you’re trying to serve?

Your goal here is to try to understand them better than they even know themselves.Get into their heads, get into their thoughts, get into their feelings and try to figure out what is motivating them? What is incentivising them? Why are they doing the things they do? Why are they buying the things they buy?

This is why it’s incredibly important to talk to your customers. However, if you don’t have customers yet, it’s important to talk to your prospective customers, so you can start to understand what is driving them.

Who are they? What makes up their gender, their age, their income, their occupation, where they live, what are their values, their attitudes, their lifestyles, everything.

This is such an incredibly important thing to do because when you do this, you’re going to be able to be a little more polarising with your content, because you’re going to be able to speak directly to the wants, the needs, the dreams and the desires of a specific market, at the exclusion of everyone else.

This is going to mean that those that love you are going to love you more.

 

The What? 

This is the offer, message, content and the context behind what it is that you sell & how you speak to them. This is where the example of miracles and miseries comes in.

Their miracles are their wants, their dreams, their desires and everything that they’re trying to get. Whereas, their miseries are their fears, their frustrations, their pains, their problems and everything they’re trying to move away from.

Your business serves as the bridge that helps them cross the gap from misery towards miracle from their current pain to their desired end state.

This is why the better you understand what their pains are and what they actually want to get, the better you’re going to be able to create messaging, content and marketing that really resonates & really strikes a chord with them.

 

The Where?

This is all about where are you going to market your business? How are you going to stand out? How are you going to find your people, stand up and get their attention?

When it comes to marketing choices available, there is no shortage of different options to choose from e.g. email marketing, social media, paid advertising etc.

However, if you’re totally lost and you don’t know where to go, you really can’t go wrong with Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.  Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. Instagram has over a billion, and YouTube has over 2 billion.

However, with this all being said there is one strategy/content choice that really stands out then all the rest in the current environment, and this is video content.  This is obvious for something like YouTube, but even for Facebook & Instagram, video is still the preferred media choice, both by the algorithms themselves, but also by your customers.

 

Final Thoughts

Marketing is ever changing, however, by implementing the above principles your marketing strategy is off on the right track.

You may ask but when is the best time to start? As the ancient Chinese proverb says, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. However, the second best time is today. So if you’re not already investing in a marketing strategy on these platforms to grow your business, to try to get attention; today’s the day!

And if you’re wondering why you’re doing this is? Then like we talked about at the beginning, to get attention, to grow your business, to generate more leads, to generate more sales, to increase your revenue, essentially, to set yourself up for success.

However, if you’re still unsure on where to begin or want help along the way then we at Ryan Marketing Solutions are here to help. Contact us today and we can schedule a FREE consultation call to answer any questions you may have.

Drive your Business Forward Faster with a FREE Marketing Strategy Call!

Build Faster, Protect your Brand and Grow your Business with Ryan Marketing Solutions

Digital Marketing 101 (A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing)

Digital Marketing 101 (A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing)

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Ever wonder what is digital marketing and how is it different from traditional marketing? What is the benefits, how can it be done & will it actually help my business grow?

Well today I am going to tell you some of the important things you need to know about digital marketing. Right now, digital marketing has been made to seem way more complicated than it actually is. It is a shame really because it’s actually pretty straightforward once you know & understand the strategies that I am going to be sharing with you.

 

Differences between Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing

 Digital marketing is really just marketing done through the use of digital channels,  like search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, pay-per-click (PPC), Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, email marketing, website optimisation etc, anything that really takes please online or through the use of a digital media.

In contrast, traditional marketing using traditional media things like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines or billboards; basically anything not digital now.

Traditional marketing and/or traditional advertising still works but there are some significant advantages to using digital marketing. Digital marketing gives you a much larger audience size, really you can reach anybody that’s online, and from this you can be really targeted to hit the right people/audience that are the perfect fit for your business. You can be laser focused and selective on the most ideal & perfect people you want to attract. Furthermore, it is significantly more cost effective than running an ad in say The Sunday Independent or a television ad. These are designed to appeal to mass markets and to try to reach everyone, which is probably not your goal.

Also, digital marketing allows you to get immediate feedback and this is probably one of the best benefits of the channels. After all if you think about running a magazine ad where you’ve got to think of the copy, the creative, what you’re going to say, get it all written up and sent to the magazine it’s got to get published and then have to wait weeks or months before starting to see if it was worth it or not. However, with digital marketing in theory you can write an ad, have it online in a matter of minutes and get immediate feedback. Leading to immediate correction & immediate results.

Also, digital marketing tends to be a whole lot easier to measure and to track because everything’s digital, which means we’ve got a digital trail allowing to measure costs, results and everything in real time. You can make adjustments, tweaks and optimisations on the fly.

However, in contrast with waiting three months for your magazine to come out to figure out if things worked or not. Also, you can’t measure clicks on a magazine so the best you can hope to do is either have them fill out a form on the magazine or get them to visit a digital channel which ties us back into digital marketing anyway.

There’s obviously some serious advantages here to choosing digital marketing but again that’s not to say that traditional marketing doesn’t still work; it does. However, the point here is to take a look at either traditional or digital marketing and then sort of take a few steps back to the strategies, the fundamentals, the principles, the consumer psychology, the buyer behaviour, why people do the things they do and then focus on mastering & learning that then you can apply that to digital channels or traditional channels.

 

Strategy vs. Tactics

Strategy is all the big picture stuff and this is really where you want to focus your efforts first and foremost because this is the foundation that all of your future marketing efforts, tactics, tools and software that are going to be built on. If you get this part wrong then nothing else matters because nothing else will work. Now there are a ton of different strategies, approaches and ways to look at your digital marketing but pretty much no matter how you look at it, it always comes back to four basic & really solid principles, that have stood the test of time and are going to be just as relevant today as they are a hundred years from now:

  • Model
  • Market
  • Message
  • Media

 

1.   Model

Essentially the model is your business, your offer, your package, your servicing and the pricing that goes with it. How you deliver whatever it is that you deliver to the market it’s important that you design your model around what is the most enjoyable, profitable and in demand by the market. The worst thing you can do is build a business that you absolutely hate.

 

2.   Market

These are the people that you’re going to serve.  You don’t want to try target everyone & anyone, instead you want to focus on exactly who is going to get the best results from your product or service. Furthermore, ensure that you choose a market that you are going to most enjoy serving. In marketing, we call this an ideal customer avatar or an ideal client avatar. It’s made up of demographic details (like age, gender, income, occupation), geographic details (including city, state, province or country they live in), and psychographic details (including their values, their attitudes and their lifestyles)

 

3.   Message

This is where you clarify and connect with your ideal target market by speaking directly to them, about their pains, problems, frustrations and how your business is uniquely positioned to help solve these problems for them. This can be done by telling stories about previous customers and their client results, through testimonials & case studies. This proves that you know what you are talking about, and have done what you are going to do. 

Therefore, to craft a truly effective message you’ve got to understand who your market is, what really makes them up and what makes them do the things they do. This can be done through market research and having conversation with your customers.

 

4.   Media 

This is where you’re going to use your marketing and which digital channels you’re gonna choose. Most businesses do this completely backwards, they start with the media by hearing a great thing about Facebook ads, youtube marketing or starting a podcast, and then rush in to using this platform forgetting all about the message, the market and the model. Therefore unsurprisingly, a business is being built on a not the right foundation and in turn isn’t providing the value they customers desire.

However, if you go through the steps in the right order starting with the model moving to the market, identifying the message, and by the time you get to media the choices should be evidently crystal clear and you should know exactly where your ideal target market is present, active online and in turn is going to enable you to there and ignore everything else.

The reality is you don’t need to do everything, you don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to be in the places where your ideal target market is present & active.  This is going to save you a ton of time, money, headache & wasted energy by spreading yourself too thin on channels that simply aren’t going to deliver results.

Tactics on the other hand are how you’re going to execute the strategy. These are the details, the actionable steps or executable things that you’re actually going to go and put into practice. The tactics being things like what frequency are you going to post, what kind of content are you going to post, what schedule, level of consistency and how many memes.

A tactical question would be what’s the best time to post on social media, whereas a strategic question would be which social media platform should we be on.

 

Organic vs. Paid

Organic content and organic digital marketing is essentially anything that you create for free so anytime that you make a post on facebook, an instagram story or a youtube video etc. It is content that you’re not paying money to have it promoted; you’re creating organic content. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that it’s free content because good content that’s time, energy & money in recreating it. It is classified as organic as you haven’t paid to promote it.

If not paying for content to be promoted then paid marketing is the opposite of this. You are putting out content & paying networks to promote it, distribute it to even more people. Basically, with paid media, paid marketing or paid ads you’re running advertising to whatever message or whatever content that you’re putting out there.

Now the big players in the space right now are obviously the kingpins like Facebook ads, Instagram ads, YouTube ads, Linkedin ads and Google ads.

Organic content shows up in the news feeds of people that follow you, whereas with paid marketing it shows up in the news feeds, on the phones and on the devices of the people that you choose through targeting.

Nonetheless like with everything in marketing these days they are positives and negatives to both.  Organic is free essentially in nature but it’s going to be a little more limited in reach because the way the algorithms work is that they favour paid media because that is where they make money. Paid marketing on the other hand has the obvious downside of costing money. Still on the bright side it allows you to reach more people very quickly, so essentially the choice between organic and paid comes down to time versus money, and also the rate at which you want to experience results.

Direct Response vs. Brand Awareness

Direct response marketing is ultimately having the goal of getting an immediate and tangible return on something, like a lead, sale, phone call, a visit to your website, or a sign up. This sometimes isn’t always very creative. It is usually just creating an ad or creating a piece of content to generate a lead, send out an email, measure the number of conversions, promote a video, or track how many people signed up for a free trial. Immediately you’re going to be able to track and measure it so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Conversely, brand awareness marketing is essentially more focused on longer term, building trust, authority and getting your brand name known in the market.

In direct response we’re measuring things like leads, sales and conversions, whereas with brand awareness we’re measuring things like trust, authority and possibly mentions. Brand awareness is a lot harder to quantify and to measure, as they’re a lot more intangible. The reality is in the long term is to build a scalable, sustainable and profitable business, and to achieve this you need a good mix of both direct response marketing and brand awareness marketing.

One of the biggest mistakes in all of marketing is running brand awareness marketing campaigns and expecting direct response results; this is a recipe for failure and one of the biggest reasons that many people claim their marketing isn’t working.  It’s because they’re using the wrong tool for the job, like following a recipe to bake a cake and then getting really frustrated when it comes out like muffins or bread. This is why it’s incredibly important that you use the right recipe; your strategy for the job.

 

Difference between Search and Discovery Marketing

The key to success of marketing is intent. In short, you need to know the reason that someone’s using that specific platform at that particular time. When we talk about search marketing we are talking about platforms like Google and social media platforms. When someone logs on to Google for example, they have an intent; they want to find an answer, a solution or a product. They’re there to do something, buy something, learn something or take some kind of action, this is where search marketing & discovery marketing comes in. You want to show up in front of them and basically answer their question or give them the solution to whatever it is that they’re looking for.

Some search marketing strategies here are using search engine optimization (SEO), Google ads, which is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and discovery marketing. However, this encompasses brands like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to a certain extent. Essentially a user on these platforms may have intent but they’re probably more casually browsing after all, as nobody really shows up in the morning logs onto Facebook or Instagram with a credit card in hand looking to buy something. This is why if you’re doing search marketing well you can afford to be direct. They’re looking for something you have the answer too, so you can just give it to them.

However, with discovery marketing on the other hand you’ve got to be more creative and a little more entertaining. You’ve got to get their attention, then keep it and allow them to become interested in what it is that you’re selling or promoting now.

 Both search marketing and discovery marketing are incredibly important parts to building an overall successful sustainable business but just like with direct response marketing & brand awareness marketing you want to make sure that you’re using the right tool, for the right job, at the right time and in the right place.

Drive your Business Forward Faster with a FREE Marketing Strategy Call!

Build Faster, Protect your Brand and Grow your Business with Ryan Marketing Solutions