In the last few years, online marketing has permeated almost every industry. Whether you’re a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer, if you’re online, you’re marketing. This has led to new ways of approaching marketing and a complete paradigm shift in consumer behavior.
Traditional marketing, which mostly consisted of billboards, newspapers, and radio ads, has become significantly more digital. However, the internet has not only revolutionized the way we engage with consumers—it has completely changed the rules of marketing.
1. Using Online Marketplaces To Your Advantage
The first and most important rule of marketing is to have a product that consumers want or need. However, in today’s world, this isn’t always the case. What some businesses don’t realize is that there’s more than one way for consumers to find what they want, and having a physical store isn’t always the best option. Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon have created digital spaces where consumers can go to find whatever they’re looking for, whether it’s groceries, household goods, or clothing. If your product is expensive to buy in large quantities or you don’t have the time to physically stock a store, then online marketplaces are a great option. You can take advantage of these digital spaces and market your product online, creating a virtual store where customers can purchase your goods.
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores, however, still have their perks. If you’ve got an expensive product that you don’t want to sell in large quantities, but do want to sell to some consumers who live close by, then you can still do so in person. While eBay and Amazon provide a digital platform for customers to purchase your product, you can take advantage of their in-person shopping features to get some face time with prospective customers and build trust.
2. Marketing To Millennials
With the advent of social media, everyone became a potential marketer. More importantly, the people who grew up with the internet became marketers. Today’s consumers are known for their busy schedules, their constant desire for new experiences, and their aversion to boredom. If your product isn’t designed with this audience in mind, you’re wasting your time and money.
Millennials, the generation that grew up with the internet and social media, have completely reshaped the way we think about marketing. While older generations may view marketing as something that happens outside their social media platforms, millennials see it as part of the platform itself. That’s why we see so many marketers embracing social media and using it as a tool to connect with consumers, create engagement, and ultimately drive action.
If you’re not already active on social media, you should be. Not only does it provide you with a digital platform to market your product, but it allows you to engage with your audience, respond to criticism, and build credibility.
3. Using Email Marketing To Get Leads
The way people communicate has changed, and the way businesses interact with customers has changed with it. Gone are the days of getting customers to come to your physical store to make a purchase. Instead, with the click of a button, you can gain access to a consumer’s email account and send them promotional material, whether it’s an email newsletter or a direct mailer.
As a business owner, you’re most likely already receiving email newsletters about products and services that you offer. However, those emails don’t always lead to action. To make sure that your email marketing is driving results, you need to segment your audience based on what they’re interested in. For example, if you’re sending out email newsletters about fashion, you might want to target female consumers. Similarly, if you’re an eCommerce store owner, you might want to target males between the ages of 18 and 34 who have bought products from your site in the past.
4. Building A CRM Campaign
If you’ve ever been in the retail industry, you’ll know that customer relationship management (CRM) is a must. Without it, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to reconnect with customers who bought your products a long time ago. With CRM, you can automate this process and make sure that every marketing email, tweet, or Facebook post connects with a potential customer, generating more leads and increasing sales.
Many businesses have a lot of trouble understanding what a CRM tool is and why they need it, so let’s take a quick tour of what a CRM system is and how it works. A CRM system provides you with information about your customers—including their demographics, consumer preferences, and business behavior—so that you can better serve them with relevant products and services.
A CRM tool that provides you with this information is a bit like having a digital companion who you can contact at any time to get advice or to follow up on a conversation you had previously. When you have a CRM tool in place, you can establish relationships with your customers, even when they’re not buying products from you. This type of relationship-building leads to increased customer loyalty and support, which leads, in turn, to more purchases. Essentially, having a CRM tool builds credibility, attracts potential customers, and boosts sales.
As a business owner, you have to look at ways to improve your sales. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is by leveraging the power of email marketing and automation tools like Marketo or HubSpot. These tools can help you automate your email marketing and follow up with customers to ensure that they’re aware of your existence and interested in purchasing your products.
5. Measuring The Results Of Your Marketing Efforts
While it’s important to have a vision for your marketing plan and know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s also important to have the metrics to measure your progress. Without them, you’re just guessing at how well your efforts are going and whether you should continue down a certain path. Luckily, with the emergence of digital marketing, we have platforms like Google Analytics to help us track the results of our marketing efforts and provide us with the metrics we need to determine whether or not we’re reaching our target audience, engaging them, and ultimately driving sales.
If you want to get serious about digital marketing and want to see measurable results, you have to set up Google Analytics on your website. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to track the results of your marketing efforts in detail. For example, you can see how many people visited your website, how long they spent on it, what pages they read, and more. This type of information will not only help you understand your visitors, but it will also help you determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and the kinds of content you should be producing to attract more customers.
Getting your own marketing handle is extremely challenging. Unless you have a significant amount of cash to spend, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford full-time marketing personnel to take on this responsibility. However, it is possible to outsource this task. Depending on your budget, you can either hire a part-time market research firm to help you find out what services and products your consumers want, or you can hire freelancers to do specific tasks, such as getting people to come to your site, creating social media content, or designing emails. In short, don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things to grow your business.