We see marketing in commercials, billboards, magazines, or online postings—it’s an umbrella word that encompasses any activity a company uses to create brand awareness, gain potential customers, and convert them to loyal clients.
Large companies have a dedicated marketing department that handles all the marketing activities, but that can be expensive for small businesses. The latter can achieve marketing success by delegating the work to freelance marketing support services team, which is cheaper than an in-house marketing department.
Marketing Support and Resources for Your Business
There are two types of marketing materials to use in your business; print and digital marketing resources. Print materials include business cards, brochures, catalogues, flyers, newsletters, and direct mail. Digital materials include anything viewed from a computer or mobile screen and include social media ads, website banners, and emails.
Different Types of Marketing Support Services Available
Marketing support services will help you better understand your potential clients and how to reach more. Services can include:
- Website design and development
- Marketing strategy and planning
- Market research
- Corporate branding and logo design
- Planning and executing advertisement campaigns
- Customer relationship management (CRM) integration
- Social media marketing services
- Public relations and press
- ROI measurement and reporting
Benefits of Using Marketing Support Services
Hiring marketing support services offers the following benefits:
- Cheaper than an in-house team
- A marketing support service can pick up where an employee left, giving your business continuity
- An external marketing team bring fresh ideas and perspectives
- Marketing agencies have better tools to plan, execute and measure marketing success
- Marketing specialists bring the latest trends, software, and expertise to help your company keep up with societal standards
How to Find the Right Marketing Support Provider for Your Own Business
Choosing a marketing support service that best fits your needs is paramount. Consider the following factors when selecting a marketing support service provider:
- Experience in both technical bits of marketing and customer relations
- Their specialisation and expertise
- Their own marketing insight; does it look appealing?
Tips for Working with a Marketing Support Service Provider
Working with a marketing support service provider isn’t always easy because you have your own expectations, but the team carries out everything. The following tips can allow for a better working relationship with your marketing agency:
- Communicate your expectations early
- Clearly define the deliverables
- Be adaptable and listen to expert recommendations
- Familiarise yourself with the marketing team
- Take them for their word but verify the progress
The Basics of Marketing Support
Marketing regularly communicates the value of your brand or business to potential customers. Regular communication means keeping your product or service upfront and visible for a prospective buyer. You can achieve this in several ways, such as through posters, TV commercials, appearances on search engines, email blasts, and social media.
Another critical factor in marketing is knowing your target customer. You can’t market your business to someone who is not looking to buy your product or service. That’s a waste of your time and money as well as theirs.
Types of Marketing
In a broad sense, we will classify marketing into two types; traditional and digital marketing.
Any marketing activity that uses the internet to pass the product or service message to potential customers falls under digital marketing. Digital marketing is further subdivided into the following categories:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Search engine marketing(SEM)
- Email marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Streaming platform marketing
Traditional marketing entails using non-digital media channels to communicate the value of a product or service. These channels include billboards, newspapers, radio, posters, storefronts, and windows.
How to Develop a Successful Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is the “why” and “how” you will use marketing to achieve your business goals. You shouldn’t confuse creating a business strategy with developing a marketing plan, as they are closely related yet different things.
A marketing plan is more of a game plan that entails the marketing activities you will use, such as pay per clicks, email blasts, social media, blog posts, and TV commercials.
Creating a marketing strategy is a continuous and diverse process that includes:
Defining Your Goals
Define what you want to achieve in your business. For example, if you are a car dealership, your goal may be to attract 100,000 visitors through your rebranded website and convert them into buyers.
Learning Market Analytics
You need to understand your position as a business before rolling out your marketing activities. Learn the current trends and how you can use them to your advantage. Additionally, gauge how your competitors are marketing themselves to beat them and emerge as the top business among prospective clients.
Addressing the Needs and Preferences of Customers
Profile your target customers to know what they need and how your business can help. Who is your ideal client? What are their buying habits? With such data at your fingertips, you can execute targeted marketing activities that give you a good return on investment (ROI).
Using the 7 P’s of the Marketing Mix
You can market your business from the development stage up to the distribution stage, which is why you will see “coming soon” billboards or TV commercials. Use the 7 P’s of the marketing mix to execute your marketing efforts.
- Product: The goods or services your business offers should be at the centre of the marketing strategy.
- Price: No matter how appealing your marketing activity is, you won’t get a good ROI if the pricing is wrong. Do your research to know your competitors’ prices to set the cost of your products at a customer-friendly range. You also need to know your cost per unit to ensure that you are earning money on your items or services.
- Place: Determine the best distribution channel to use to deliver your product to customers. It can be an online shop on eBay or Amazon, your website, or a physical store.
- Promotion: Promotion is about raising awareness about your product or service, giving potential customers irresistible value, and continuously placing the good or service before the client’s eyes.
- Process: Business logistics have become a vital part of marketing, with many business owners experimenting with sustainable and free delivery as unique selling points. The packaging and delivery of products and the communication during transit are critical factors in marketing.
- People: Your customer support, sales, influencers, and anyone associated with your business are marketers. A slight misunderstanding or misrepresentation might affect your image and hurt your marketing efforts, no matter how good they are.
- Physical Evidence: Branding and maintaining a trustworthy business image means investing in a unique logo and updating your company details to earn customers’ trust.
Outlining Your Marketing Techniques
Choose the best marketing technique depending on the available resources. You don’t need to break your bank account to have a successful marketing activity. You can use cheaper options such as social media marketing and search engine optimisation in this digital era.
Implementing Your Marketing Strategy
An excellent marketing strategy is key to your marketing objectives, but you cannot achieve these goals without actualising the plans.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Marketing is a gradual and continuous process that will take six to nine months to see results. You should set realistic expectations to avoid pressure from stakeholders.
2. Secure Your Marketing Resources
You need the right marketing resources for your marketing process. These could be business cards, brochures, billboards, emails, and social media.
3. Create a Project Timeline
If you’re running a marketing exercise for your own business, you need to create a project timeline and delegate different tasks to your team, giving expectations and deadlines.
4. Track Your Marketing Efforts
You need to track the success or failures of your marketing activities. You can create a dashboard to visualise how the process is doing. For instance, you can use social media analytics provided by Facebook and Instagram for social media ads and Google Analytics for SEO and SEM.
5. Measure Your Marketing Success and Adapt
Measure the success of these efforts to gauge if you should change gear or proceed. If the results are positive, encourage your team to extend their limits and be creative to achieve more. If your plan seems stuck, take a step back, discuss with your team, change the tactics and see how the new strategy performs.
Measuring the Success of Your Marketing Efforts
The key performance indicators (KPIs) vary depending on the marketing objectives. These KPIs can be clicks, follows, likes, email subscriptions, sales, etc. Below are six ways to measure the success of your marketing efforts:
- Your return on investment
- Cost per engagement
- Website traffic
- Page ranking on search engines
- Social media analytics
- Referrals and recommendations
Marketing encompasses any activity that puts your product before the eyes of a potential customer and convinces them to buy. You and your team can spend money and man-hours to do the marketing internally or delegate the process to marketing support services. Using quality support services brings fresh ideas and perspectives and uses the latest trends and software to promote your business.