Overview of the Marketing Industry
Marketing involves showcasing the significance of a good or service to buyers, in order to boost sales of that good or service. Marketing connects buyers emotional needs with a product, by associating product features with characteristics buyers find attractive or desirable. Effective marketing helps improve brand loyalty by delivering consistency sales and marketing messages across all mediums and platforms.
Most large companies will have a dedicated marketing department focused on implementing a business strategy. Many supplemental specific needs with external marketing agencies. Whereas, for smaller and medium sized enterprises (SME's), the costs of marketing investment can appear be restrictive. Even simple jobs like designing a new company brochure or poster may be done in-house instead. Most owners generally limit marketing activity to local advertising in newspapers or online business directories.
Finding a reliable marketing supplier can be a challenging task for owners of small businesses. Competition is fierce as there are a high number of marketing agencies providing a wide range of marketing services. A marketing agency can business owners identify buyer needs then undertake sales and marketing activities to help meet those buyers needs. Individual marketing services may focus on different parts of the buying cycle.
Marketing activities may include the research, pricing, production, promotion, branding, advertising, distribution and selling of products and services, to meet customer needs and wants. Many owners of small firms choose to do all the marketing and selling work themselves. While they are obviously best placed to know their own business, many lack professional marketing talents that an agency can provide.
Browsing through listings of marketing suppliers, business owners need a clear sense of their marketing goals to ensure they contact agencies with the right type of skills and offerings. Whether you're trying to develop a marketing strategy or need assistance launching a new product, producing a written requirements specification will help suppliers respond with a qualified and detailed commercial proposal. For example, undertaking research will help to identify the levels of opportunities and threats in a new market for a new product. The market research bureau might can gather data on the demographics of your target customer. This may include geography, age group, social background, economic status, disposable income and shopping habits.
A well documented marketing plan should start with an appraisal of the level of competition, market segmentation, buyers needs, research data and product pricing strategies. This plan forms the basis of the process of developing a consistent marketing message.
Most marketing communications are designed to contact prospective customers using a variety of techniques. Sales lead generation services include direct mail, email marketing, Internet marketing, telemarketing, advertising and printed media. Be wary when outsourcing marketing activities. Pay close attention to how the agency operates with regards to local privacy laws. For example, check the agencies sources of any prospective client database lists, and what promises or and claims being made by call centre workers working on your firm's behalf.
If your business involves a direct selling model, there are many marketing consultants, brand marketing professionals and strategic planners offering their marketing services. For example, a National sales promotion may need objective and careful planning to ensure the campaign can be measured and tracked and deliver a healthy return on expenditure. Marketing companies can also help improve generate publicity to foster new sales opportunities or give confidence to existing customers and improve public relations.
Marketing agencies tend to avoid mainstream advertising and target local online niches including business directories, trade journals, online forums and blogs.