Marketing: Building relationships, loyalty with your customers

Successful marketing campaigns must be grounded by the realization that companies are not only selling a product or service, they are also selling themselves. A big part of convincing consumers to purchase your product or service involves presenting yourself as someone they want to buy that product or service from. Some ways to do that include:

  •       Demonstrating a strong understanding of who your consumers think they are
  •       Understanding consumer needs
  •       Understanding when, how and where to reach current and potential customers

Marketing is about building relationships: Create advertising that speaks to who your consumers think they are. Marketing campaigns that create resonance with consumer identity and values will be most successful. That’s because consumers are more likely to trust and want to do business with companies they believe know who they are and what they want.

Marketing shows that you understand the need and have the best product or service to fill that need: Develop and improve products based on consumer feedback so that your offerings are relevant and meet an identified need. Respond quickly to market trends so you are where you need to be in a timely fashion. 

Marketing must be versatile: Communicate a message that is consistent across settings. Your brand values should be evident in promotional materials, advertising, and even in the language of employees representing the company. 

Broadening marketing opportunities have changed the way we think about advertising. It isn’t just about commercials anymore. For example, a grocer wanting to position itself as the choice of people who care about their health might sponsor a race. A business that wants to capture the attention of consumers that care about healing the environment might provide philanthropic support to a non-profit addressing climate change.

Marketing options for small businesses continue to increase as technology continues to provide new options, whether its a new type of social media or experiential marketing . When evaluating the options, it is important to understand the how each tool works, which audiences it reaches best, and the resources (including time and budget) needed to make it effective. Get the most out of these tools with good information about consumers. Know your audience. It is just as important to know what they want as it is to know who they believe they are and what they value. Every marketing message must communicate some aspect of your grasp of this information. Doing so will help you claim top-of-mind status and ultimately, more market share.