No matter what type of business you are involved in there must be some marketing involved, of course the degree and aggressiveness of the marketing will vary according to the type of business. Marketing can simply be defined as whatever process takes place to make purchasers are aware of the products and services that the company has to offer.
The customer or purchaser can be defined as industrial and other businesses [Business To Business] e.g. oil for lubricating machines, glass for the manufacture of bottles or steel for the fabrication of cars. In the case of Business To Consumer this is more easy to visualise as in the purchase of fizzy drinks at your local store, a kitchen table at the furniture showroom or a take away pizza from your local outlet.
If a company is mainly focused on the sales of products and services to other businesses, then this type of marketing has various characteristics attached to it such as…
o Longer Lead Times
o Multiple Decision Makers
o Higher Value Transactions
o Complex Contracts
o Lower Frequency Purchases
As there will be many other options that a company has in terms of where they are able to source the identified products and services, someone within the organisation will need to ensure that the company is and remains the preferred supplier. This in essence will be directed by the marketing function involving complex product education activities, supply chain discussions as well as customer to supplier meetings.
For the organisation selling to end user customers we see other general familiarities such as…
o Smaller Ticket Purchases
o Quick Purchase Decisions
o No Contract
o Individual Purchase Decisions
o Higher Frequency
… and the process of marketing will be developed accordingly which may include coupon marketing, contests and giveaways designed to foster customer interaction and conversation about the business.
As for the new technologies based around the daily extensive utilisation of the internet relating to…
o Reputation Management
o Search Engine Optimisation
o Social Media Marketing
o Website Design and Development
o Facebook Marketing
… this will need to be made use of in an appropriate fashion based on the nature of the business and needs of the purchasers. Social media should be used to create and nurture communities, promote products, develop customer engagement and in general be used to educate the marketplace at large.
With talk of Social Media mention must be used of the part that Facebook has to play for the promotion and development of businesses and its brand. First, it needs to be noted that there are billions of the population using Facebook, this by definition means that a percentage of your target market will be there ready to be marketed to.
On the other hand millions of businesses have setup Facebook pages looking to use this channel to market through which to build their business. Differing levels of success has been achieved using Facebook Marketing with many companies simply giving up on this method of digital marketing.
Social Media and Facebook are here to stay for the foreseeable future, many businesses simply do not have the internal expertise to know all that needs to be known in order to succeed with this medium. As marketing has to take place and Facebook has in some part to be used, for many it may be that the best course of action is to seek out partnerships with other business that have already developed the expertise that you need to take your own business forwards.
Stephen C Campbell is a digital marketing strategy consultant and director of Capid Houser which is a digital marketing services agency providing training and consulting for businesses locally, nationally and internationally. Activities include helping businesses with their Social Media Search Engine Agency Strategies to bring back past customers, engage with new clients and drive revenues through the use of tried and tested marketing campaigns.