what is marketing?

What is marketing?

When you hear “marketing”, what comes to mind?  Did you think of any of these?

  • promotions, ads
  • selling
  • social media advertising
  • sponsorships, endorsements
  • branding

By definition…

Marketing activities do involve all of the above – look at Investopia’s definition of marketing:

“Marketing refers to activities undertaken by a company to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers and other businesses” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketing.asp

But without a foundational principle underpinning all our marketing efforts and activities, time, money and resources poured into these activities could be wasted, and unfruitful.

So then, we need a principle or as I like to put it, the “heart” that underpins marketing:

Since I’m blogging, I’ll refer to our readers as our audience. 

What’s at the heart of marketing?

Marketing is solution/need focused, delivering value to your audience

That’s the heart behind marketing. 

Be solution/need focused.

It’s all about your audience’s needs, instead of your own skills, experience, or whatever you have to offer, (that’s still important but secondary) because what you have to offer won’t necessarily be what their need is, for them to solve their problem with.

How do we get audience focused?

You identify, address and meet your audiences’ needs.

That means you need to know your audience – that ideal audience, and it doesn’t have to be large, just that their need is what you have, that meets their need. It is possible to create a profitable business with a small customer base/audience.

How can you be more effective in marketing to your ideal audience?

It could very well be who you are and the values that you have, that is quite specific to your audience. If you can tap into this, you’re on a winning streak. If you can market effectively to your ideal audience, you have a winning product, service or blog!

In a way, effective marketing is like starting a relationship. You make a way to woo the other person, get to know them and build it from there. So you may resonate well with these 6 keys to effective marketing, if you’re a people person (with a business mind, of course!)

These keys can be applied to any business, in any industry.

Here are 6 keys to LOVE your audience more

#1 Understand

Understand what the problem or need is that your audience is looking for.

Is there actually a real need?  You do this by identifying the problem/need and then producing a solution for it. Or you may already have a solution for it.  Your audience doesn’t care to understand you, they want to be understood! So, ask questions. Put your feelers out there, do your research.

#2 Emphasise 

You know what your audience’s pain point is, you get it.

One way you can empathise with your audience, is something that came out of your own personal experience. Trademe, (NZ’s #1 auction and classified site) its founder, started this site because he needed to buy a heater but couldn’t find one. 

The site grew phenomenally, because his problem resonated with many others who had encountered similar problems. You know the lacks, weaknesses, struggles, the wins, the emotions, the journey, so you can emphasise.

#3 Relate

You can relate to your audience, because you’ve been there.

 You know what the problem and solution is. Tell your story – it may resonate with your audience. As they’re hearing or reading, they start to relate – to you or to your service or product. 

Speak their language, be relevant. Use emotive language if it’s appropriate. Don’t be technical or try to be too professional, and use everyday language if that’s where your audience is coming from. 

#4  Love

Love and cherish your audience by being committed to go above and beyond for them. 

Think of ways to deliver real value to them, because you know what they need. It may take a few trial runs or surveys to get this right, but it’s necessary to try it out.

It could be giveaways, freebies, helpful advice. Solutions that will save them time and stress. Make it easy for them to know you and buy from you.

#5 Help

Serve your audience. 

Provide easily accessible ways for two way communication – answer any questions promptly, address any concerns or issues fast. Invite ideas or opinions – that’s one way to improve on your product or service.

Have honest conversations with them and make it simple for them to give feedback. Resolve issues fast, reply to questions and emails within the same day, otherwise they may think you’re inefficient, or worse, that you don’t care.

#6 Add value 

Offer your audience more than they expect, even surprise them –  pleasantly.

Offer education, training courses, freebies, bonuses. Tailor make value-added packages/gifts/add-ons as a way to build that relationship and to keep ‘em coming back for more

What is marketing?

Now, looking at your blog, product or service, how can you put these keys into action? Or how many of these keys have you already applied?

Don’t know how to use your words? You need to write up an ad, your story or content but don’t know how?  Jump on here for a quick’ crash course’ on copywriting.

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