The fact that marketing is one of the most important weapons for success of a company is not a secret to anyone. However, efficient marketing is a mystery even for some “specialists”. Marketing does not mean to make a Facebook page and to print some flyers to “spam” the mailboxes in your neighbors. Modern marketing means to prospect the market, to understand the needs of clients and to offer them satisfaction.
Old-fashioned marketing: what I have is what I give
In the past, the managers of production companies tried to identify potential clients based on the products that they already have. Barbie is a successful doll, so the manufacturing company needed to find clients that liked Barbie. This way, prospecting the market was in fact an attempt to adapt clients to the offer of a company. This method of marketing worked for decades, but the increased competition forced the companies to inverse the direction of marketing.
New style marketing: I give what the client wants
The new marketing style is based on identifying the needs of the client. Sure, any company must establish a targeted public first. However, the new targeted public is actually a larger one. For example, a company manufacturing backpacks probably targets teenagers, but also young hiking fans and travelers of any age. Once the public is established, the company needs to find out the preferences of all those categories.
Surveys: spam or useful instruments
Instead of hiring expensive specialized marketing companies, smaller firms prefer to determine the customer needs by themselves. While this is a cheap survey method, it is not that effective. Once you pay a specialized company, you are even able to find out what is the preferred label color by people of age 21 to 23 from Kentucky for a whiskey bottle. In case of free surveys, the company would get general ideas about customer satisfaction, applied to a wide area of people that accept to complete free surveys.
Cost vs. Effects
As the owner of a small clothes store in Alabama, you will probably not be so interested about the preferences of New Yorkers when it comes to fashion, as this target is really different from yours. In this case, paying a competent marketing company is not ineffective, but it is burdening for your market budget. Small companies have to find alternative marketing ideas, at a local level, targeting smaller categories of people and being more specific with their needs.
Marketing is different for small and large companies, but the purpose of companies must be the same: to offer customer satisfaction. Maybe your Chinese MP3 players are of bad quality and you know that, but there are some people that are not willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a music player. What is your target? Teenagers of families with average and small incomes, usually living in urban areas. Besides the actual product, the clients might be convinced to buy your player as long as it comes with some popular songs or albums. For this, you will need to determine the current musical preferences of your targeted public, and here is where effective marketing based on customer’s satisfaction intervenes.
Last advice: Don’t forget to use a simple CRM system for your company.