Since the time we started our journey as a professional blogger, one never-ending aspect has been Marketing. Building a product (a website) was just a start – every blogger is fighting a war out there to stay at the top. Same is with IT organizations. Every other software (or product) development firm is facing a tough competition in getting new business. Millions are spent on the marketing strategy to lure customers into signing contracts. Every day new marketing ideas pop up, a new strategy is formulated, costs are brought down, processes are being automated, social media & optimization are being exploited, different tools like Marketing Cloud are implemented, and what not. Marketing has grown into a multi-million $ industry in order to bridge the gap between companies and the customers. In all this hunky-dory picture, we are neglecting the most effective marketing tool available to all. Let’s explore…
Social Media Marketing
One of the biggest tool in recent times. Now-a-days a business without social media strategy is an out-right failure. Being social is the mantra. Multiple tools are available in the market to engage users on social media platform, which itself is a marketing tool. Social media has the potential to reach millions & billions of prospective customers. Every business is competing for more likes & followers and maintaining positive reviews. Yeah! It helps. Undoubtedly Social media is today’s necessity but not the most effective.
If your business has a website or a Mobile app, you must be aware of this growing trend. Everybody wants their business to be returned on the first page of Google search results. After all, Google is the most popular search engine. According to Net Market Share (as of April 2017) the global marketing share percentage, in terms of the use of Search Engines heavily favors Google, with over 77%. No doubt everyone is getting crazy about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques. It surely gives your business a great visibility, but not the most effective.
CRM & Lead generation
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.
After all a business is about creating and maintaining those customer relationships. As your business grow, it needs a relationship management tool. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels – or points of contact between the customer and the company – which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns. It helps to build relationships, but not the most effective.
In the horde of businesses offering similar products & services, it is important that you list your business on different online & offline directories. The business should show up when people search for related services/products. Listings do help but there will be too many of them, i.e. not the most effective.
Yeah! Now we are talking business. I like being direct. No beating around the bush, being straight-forward builds credibility and display the seriousness. Direct marketing channels can include emails to prospective clients, Mobile SMS and App notifications for that awesome offer you are currently running, a newsletter listing the recent updates, etc. Direct marketing helps in getting to the bottom line – customer acquisition & retention, but it’s not the most effective tool.
A link between you & your customer. Build client relationship isn’t easy, only a few excel at it. But it’s important. Ever heard of the ‘Network Marketing’ concept? Many organizations like Amway or eBay tap into the power of network marketing to sell their services. A simple chain of networks. When you network with people, more & more people join you in talking about the product/services. A recommendation by an existing client helps in winning a prospective one. Networking helps in selling via word-of-mouth but before that you need that one most effective tool.
Events & Media
Every organization have its CSR & Media wing to promote the brand via online or print media. Social events help the business gain much needed traction. Start-up events. Conferences. Demo meetings. Media coverage. CSR events like trees plantation drive, supporting women education or orphanage, etc. is a way to give back to the society and a great marketing tool as well. A socially responsible organization automatically gets the attention of different media groups, driving leads & sales. Media attention & CSR activities aid your efforts in a great way but not as effective as the ONE.
The most effective Marketing tool which nobody is telling you | The Quality
Social media, Optimization, CRM systems, Business listing, direct marketing, Networking and events (including CSR) are a great set of tools for marketing your business. But before you start exploring & implementing these, there is one foundation to every marketing effort – a quality product/service. No matter how many dollars you spend on marketing campaigns, it cannot drive your sales if you don’t have that ultimate product.
“We only wanted to do one thing, and do that really well.” – Jan Koum, CEO Whatsapp
Ever saw Whatsapp marketing about the product? Anywhere? Nah! The product itself was the biggest marketing tool. The product need & quality speaks. All other marketing tools can ‘aid’ your campaigns but the foundation is to build (& deliver) a ‘Quality product’ or provide a ‘Quality service’. Just like no perk, e.g. 15 annual leaves, transport allowance, shift allowance, Internet fees, free meals, sports academy, etc. can replace your standard monthly salary – in the same way no marketing effort can ever replace a Quality product. Employees won’t stay if you offer all the perks but little in-hand salary. Similarly customers won’t recommend the business even if you spend dollars on marketing but deliver a buggy product.
Every other marketing tool is good to make your presence felt, to make customers aware about the offering but they also must have a positive disposition toward it. Potential customers must trust that you will deliver a quality product/service. Only then they will bet their hard-earned money on you. Once you build that reputation even your satisfied customers become the volunteered salespersons. Word-of-mouth is still the strongest force when it comes to marketing. So before you begin formulating the marketing strategy, just make sure the foundation is awesome, i.e. Quality!
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