Marketing is commonly misconceived as a dispensable business expense that is immediately cut during the downturn of markets or as business begins to slow. Unfortunately, most business owners and managers do not understand the importance of marketing. During these times, businesses should evaluate their marketing strategies to re-position themselves in the offensive side and funnel more resources toward their marketing strategies. The short-term savings from cutting a marketing budget does not outweigh the long-term potential business loss, even killing their brand. Without strategically positioning the brand and investing in marketing, the company will miss opportunities while their competitors start invading into their market share.
Before we go into the detail marketing’s importance, let’s dig into what marketing really means. According to most business dictionaries: Marketing is the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the consumer (or customer). Marketing is broken down into four elements referred to in business as the 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Businesses will first identify and develop a Product (or in some cases, service) they plan to sell or distribute. Based on their market analysis, they will then select a competitive Price in which they will offer this product or service to their potential customers, followed by the place (location or distribution channel) they plan to sell the product or service. Most businesses do a great job with the first 3 P’s of Marketing, but most seem to neglect Promotion when it really matters.
The development and implementation of your Promotional Strategy is key to remain relevant and stay on top of mind with your consumers. How will your brand be different from another brand? What is your ‘value add’? Through a promotional strategy businesses have the ability to tell a story and speak to their audience. Though there are some over-lap between selling and marketing, Marketing is not Selling and visa-versa. By definition, selling is tricks and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for a product. Though in order to sell a product, one is essentially marketing themselves to earn trust for the sale. Marketing looks at the business in a macro-view. Looking at the company, product or service, in terms of their customer’s needs and satisfaction, marketing’s ultimate objective is to drive demand for a product and fulfilling a customer’s need. Relatively speaking, marketing budgets should consist of 4-7% of a company’s annual earnings. In order to succeed in competitive markets, be creative with your message, gage your audience’s interest and develop a demand for your product or service. In order to maintain competitive in your market place, especially during slower times, evaluate your current market position and be bullish with your approach. It’s during these times your branding needs the promotional push in order to remain relevant and top-of-mind of your consumers.