What is Marketing Anyway
Marketing is about messaging. Marketing is communication. Marketing is both science and art and is most often a subtle process used to influence people. Wherever there is communication there is marketing, in teaching, public speaking, or entertainment for example. The application here is local business and specifically the internet so let’s examine what that is and is not.
Is Your Dentist a Brain Surgeon
A dentist is a doctor. He or she is an expert on teeth but you wouldn’t ask one to perform brain surgery. It’s safe to assume though that the dentist, having gone to med school, is more informed than the average person on physiology. He probably can explain the relationship between oral problems and say, an issue in the digestive tract.
Sell More Red Widgets
The function of marketing is to create and optimize messaging in order to accomplish a goal. Oftentimes the vehicle or platform is already in place such as in advertising. An ad campaign uses marketing techniques to accomplish a goal so even though marketing and advertising are two different animals, they are closely related. It’s advantageous and often necessary for a marketer and an advertiser to understand both disciplines.
Condition the Customer
A restaurant is a great example of how marketing works. You can also see in this example that marketing can greatly influence and be a part of the sales process. Sales deals with elements particular to the closing of a sale and marketing can be useful every step of the way. Marketing is used to shorten the sales process and remove potential obstacles so that a customer arriving in the sales department is more ready to buy.
Restaurants may do some advertising to attract customers. Inside that advertising are marketing messages to condition the prospect. On the premises of the restaurant marketing messages are contained in the menu, decor, atmosphere, sound, and even the aroma coming from the kitchen. A waitperson may become a sales agent by reciting various specials and in that case marketing messages would be included in her presentation. All this marketing can bring a customer closer to the endgame, making for an easier sale but ultimately someone has to close the deal.
First Convince Google
People go to the internet seeking a solution or some information. In order for a local business to meet them there some marketing must be done. Since visibility is the first requirement this marketing involves search engines. Search engines, like Google, are adamantly opposed to marketing efforts directed solely at them. They are basically saying; show us how well you can market to potential customers and if we like the content you produce we’ll reward you with superior visibility.
There’s People Outside
Developing and optimizing content around specific themes and keywords which is also within the guidelines of search engines will get you visibility so that you can meet the customer. So far that’s all it will get you. Some marketing must be done to persuade or entice the visitor to take some sort of action such as to visit your website. The potential customer is standing outside your door. What compelling reason are you presenting and is it more promising or attractive than those offered by competitors?
When to Change Hats
A coordinated marketing campaign aimed at your target market and in line with the requirements of search engines will make you visible. By addressing the wants and needs of potential visitors and offering promise and value traffic will materialize on your site. Now what?
Once again it’s all about the messaging. If your goal is to be contacted by a customer who is positive they want to buy your product then you must do all the convincing either on your site or before they even get to your site. If, on the other hand you’re OK with having some selling to do then determine where the line is between sales and marketing and make the contact happen at that point. The sales procedure should still include marketing but the process becomes more active than subtle. The decision is about which hat to wear and when. More marketing will produce less time and complication in the sales process.
You’ve Got Style
It’s a good idea for every local business owner to decide what style of marketing is best for them and their clientele. Some may wish to be aggressive and are comfortable in that role. Others may decide on a laid back approach or one that is more intricate involving a series of steps. Understanding what you hope to accomplish and knowing your style will help immensely whether you decide to tackle internet marketing on your own or hire a professional.
Our own style is one that is best suited to local online marketing. It’s a friendly, conversational, approach that is aggressive only in ways that are sure to gain the competitive advantage for our clients. We are a white hat firm.
We’re here to answer any questions you may have and if you are inclined we’d love to help you achieve your goals.