Marketing is important because it allows you to share your products and services with a niche audience strategically. It helps you tell, show, and PROVE to people how terrific your business is and how you can help them. You can also educate people on topics related to your business, including how to solve common problems and which solutions are best.
Without marketing, your business doesn’t have a voice. Without a voice, you can’t reach people and connect with them. And without connection and communication, you’re left with not much more than a product or service, just sitting there…alone…in the dark.
Here are five specific reasons why marketing is more important than ever for small businesses in the 21st century.
1. It tells people what you have to offer.
The primary purpose of marketing is to get the word out about your business: who you are and what products or services you offer.
Create brand awareness, help people understand your business in-depth, and keep loyal customers happy so they tell their friends and keep coming back for more.
2. It helps you get to know your target audience.
Marketing isn’t JUST for your customers’ eyes and ears. You can also gain valuable insight into who your target audience is (those who love you already).
Get to a place where you deeply understand their desires, needs, and problems. Figure out how you can reach them where they are and connect with them in meaningful ways. According to Forbes, consumers will spend about 48% more while shopping online if they have a personalized experience.
Knowing your target audience well will help you improve all of your marketing efforts so you can avoid wasting your budget by getting in front of the wrong dang people (those who don’t care a little about you).
3. It helps your target audience get to know you.
Share your brand story with potential customers. Make it personal. Let them get to know who you are, why your business started in the first place, and what you believe. Making your business relatable will enable people to connect emotionally with your story.
People want to support businesses they believe in. So be authentic by sharing your personal, relatable story creatively. And you’ll soon build a lovely following of loyal supporters and evangelists.
4. It also helps you build trust.
Building trust with consumers, just like any relationship, takes time and effort. You need to prove that your small business is credible, ethical, moral, genuine, and socially responsible. A whopping 81% of people, after all, buy from brands they trust.
You don’t earn the “trustworthy” status on a whim. You have to be intentional when forming your marketing messages and communicating with people.
Consider implementing social responsibility practices, like ensuring your products are ethically sourced. Or adopt a noble social cause, such as giving a percentage of your revenue to charity. People will love you for it and choose to buy from you over competitors.
5. It helps you grow your business.
Building your reputation through effective marketing will naturally lead to growth and increased revenue for your business. If your offerings are as good as you describe them, you’ll build a loyal base of customers who will spread the word for you! Did you know that new customers discover 85% of small businesses through word-of-mouth marketing? It’s basically the best
Broadly they are two types of Marketing:
- Push marketing
Push marketing is a strategy focused on “pushing” products to a specific audience. Also known as direct marketing, push marketing is a form of general advertising. When I grocery shop, I look for the signs that notate sales and gravitate towards them — picking up limes I never knew I needed. This is an example of push marketing
2. Pull marketing
Pull marketing is best for when you want to draw consumers to your product. The goal is to create loyal customers by providing marketing materials that showcase what they’re looking for
Push and pull marketing strategies can work together. Customers need a push for demand to be created and a pull to satisfy that demand. For those who haven’t heard of your company, a push is needed. For those a little further along in their buyer’s journey, you can pull them in
Push Strategy Examples
- Display Ads
Display ads appear in areas that are specifically dedicated to paid ads and may be formatted in a variety of ways, such as a banner ad. There are also display ads on social media platforms, such as Instagram, that you can create and share.
Billboards are an effective way of building brand awareness and broadcasting your business, product, service, or campaign to as many people as possible. They’re strategically placed in high-traffic areas to get as many eyes on them (and hopefully, members of your target audience)
3. Direct Marketing
Direct marketing and direct advertising are also forms of push marketing — this can happen in a showroom, at a trade show, or in a brick-and-mortar store. It might also entail someone at a grocery store, like Trader Joes, offering free samples to shoppers.
Pull Strategy Examples
1. Social Media Marketing
Disregarding social media paid ads, as mentioned in the push strategy section above, there are a number of ways you can use social media marketing as a form of pull marketing. This includes how-to videos, influencer content (e.g. an influencer sharing a demo on how they use your product), beautiful images and videos of your product, and co-marketing campaigns on social media.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that allows you to get your content, web pages, and more in front of the people who are searching for relevant keywords, phrases, and terms.
When you optimize your web pages and other content for those search terms your target audience is actively looking for, your marketing materials and web pages will appear in front of them organically. This is a great way to naturally get in front of your target audience and buyer persona without feeling pushy while also increasing brand awareness.
Blogging is an effective way of educating your target audience and providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed buying decisions, understand how to use and apply your product or service, or gain insight into changes in an industry, product updates, etc.
When you search engine optimize your blog content, it appears in front of your target audience organically on search engines like Google, automatically increasing the number of people who see and interact with your content as well as improving brand awareness and more
The bottom line is we should incorporate both push and pull marketing for maximum benefit.