For many businesses, marketing is an afterthought. But for other companies, marketing is a crucial part of doing business. With so much competition, it’s essential to find a strategy that will help you stand out from the crowd.
What is marketing, exactly? According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), it’s “a form of advertising that focuses on attracting, stimulating and maintaining interest in buyers, users or listeners through various communication vehicles.” A simplified answer might be that marketing is telling someone, somewhere, about your product or service. But that’s a very broad definition, and it doesn’t capture everything that goes into a successful marketing strategy.
The good news is that you don’t need to have a team of experts to develop a solid marketing strategy for your business. Thanks to technology, you can develop and implement a marketing plan using several simple tools.
Marketing Platforms for Small Businesses
If you’re looking to develop a marketing strategy for your business and don’t have the money or the expertise to develop a traditional marketing campaign, then you can consider alternative methods such as marketing platforms. These are online services that can help you develop and implement a marketing plan for your business.
The great thing about marketing platforms is that they can help you implement your strategy without needing deep expertise or a full-time in-house marketing person. You just need to follow a few steps.
Evaluate Your Needs And Wants
Before you begin your search, it’s important to ask yourself some questions. First, what do I want to achieve with my marketing? What results do I want to see? What data do I need to determine my campaign’s success?
It’s also important to consider your needs and wants. What are your current marketing resources and expertise? What is your budget? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or marketer, you should be able to answer these questions easily. If not, it might be a good idea to consider whether or not you’re prepared to handle marketing activities on your own. A good marketing platform can make the entire process much simpler and more streamlined.
Choose A Niche
Depending on your answers to the previous questions, you’ll be able to narrow your choices to a select group of marketing platforms. Tailor your choices to fit your business’ needs and wants. If your budget allows, you can even choose a highly-specialized tool.
Marketing niche will also help you find the right fit with the various platforms. There are dozens of marketing tools designed for specific industries, such as ecommerce or advertising agencies. If you’re not sure which marketing platform to choose, it can be helpful to consider your own expertise and experience in the field. Are you an ecommerce entrepreneur who has built and managed successful online stores? Or do you have a background in marketing and advertising and want to get back into the field?
Understand The Differences
Before you purchase any marketing platform, it’s important to understand the differences. To put it simply, there are three types of marketing platforms:
- Content creators, such as blog platforms and social media managers
- Analytics tools, which track website visitors and lead generation
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools, which keep track of your relationships with existing and potential customers
When choosing a marketing platform, you need to determine which one suits your needs and expertise best. By understanding the differences, you’ll make the right choice and avoid purchasing a product that you might later regret.
Decide On A Budget
Once you have your list of selected tools, it’s time to define your budget. It would be best to choose a tool that doesn’t require a large upfront investment. It’s also important to consider how much you need to spend and how much you can afford to spend. Setting a budget can be tricky, but it’s essential. Without a budget in place, it’s easy to spend more than you can afford and regret it later.
If your budget allows, you can invest in a highly-advanced tool that will simplify your life as a marketer. When it comes to budget and cost effectiveness, there are a few basic strategies you can use.
Buy What You Need
This is fundamental to buying anything, but it’s especially important when purchasing a product or service that will greatly enhance your ability to run your business. When it comes to marketing, you don’t necessarily need to have the most advanced or the most expensive tool. You just need to have the right tool for the job. If you have a modest budget, consider investing in a content creator that will ease the burden of blogging or social media posting. Analytics tools will help you understand how your website or social media channels are performing and where improvements can be made.
If you have the budget for it, consider purchasing a CRM tool that can help you keep track of your customers and prospects. A CRM tool can help you organize your sales and marketing activity, and it can provide you with powerful insights into the performance of your team and your overall marketing strategy.
As you might expect, more and more businesses are choosing to outsource their marketing efforts to experienced agencies. If you’re looking to reduce operating costs and focus on growing your business, then you might consider a full-service agency that can help you with all facets of marketing including strategy, content creation, and performance measurement. When it comes to marketing, nothing is more important than results. And as the old saying goes, you can’t guarantee success with shortcuts. So, make sure you’re prepared to put in the time and effort needed to see the results you’re looking for.