A closer look at marketing for small business.
But with the passing of time, the best marketers recognize and accept the fact that marketing is as much psychology as it is technique. Combining these two elements effectively can yield your business fantastic marketing results.
Generally speaking, there are three broad types of marketing strategies:
- Offline (or traditional forms of) marketing
- Online marketing (with the arrival and development of the internet)
- Word-of-Mouth marketing (which is the oldest and arguably the most effective still today)
Let’s take a look at each…
Traditional (Offline) Marketing
The term offline market is a term that acknowledges the fact that the Internet has radically altered the way the world relates and communicates. Offline marketing refers to those types of marketing strategies which have long been accepted because of their proven and consistent results.
Offline marketing can be split into three categories:
- Print – like newspapers, magazines, yellow pages, ads, flyers, coupons, etc.
- Television and radio
- Word of mouth (which is important enough to talk about separately)
Other examples of offline marketing include billboards, posters, newspapers and mailers. Also common are the more direct methods of press releases and conferences, and seminars. Product samples and demos are yet another way to promote a brand.
Offline marketing can be cheap or expensive, but if done correctly, is still highly effective. In fact, despite the introduction of the internet as a powerful marketing tool, offline marketing still prevails as the main form of advertising for many large organizations.
In many ways, offline marketing can target audiences based on behaviors and usage. For example, TV advertising can target channels watched, times of day or even certain days in a month. Radio ads can be targeted similarly. Newspapers also have the ability to target certain types of readers by selecting a certain newspaper or even a section of a newspaper based on who reads it. Flyers and mailers can be distributed by postal areas.
The Internet has revolutionized the way we work, live and also spend money! Today, the Internet is a goldmine for businesses because of the ability to reach and service customers globally while reducing operating costs significantly. Online marketing offers businesses opportunities which would be insanely expensive in the offline world – at a fraction of the cost.
Imagine wanting to broadcast an advertisement globally on TV for a new product – how much would that cost you?
With the Internet, you can accomplish that same goal at a relatively low cost.
Still, much of what is done online in terms of marketing and sales mimics the offline world of marketing. Online, however, you have the ability to target your audience more finely – and more quickly.
There are several types of marketing strategies online. Examples include…
- Performance marketing – marketing by ad placement based on search engine queries, where the advertiser only pays for advertising when someone clicks on the ad. Google has become the leader in performance/search marketing – because of its powerful search engine and data resources.
- Banner marketing – once the main form of online marketing during the tech bubble, has lost favor to performance marketing. The once high cost of banner placements did not necessarily translate into sales conversions. Banners are now for the most part, considered as supplemental advertising, except when the banner is itself a form of contextual or performance marketing.
- Email marketing and press releases – considered by many today to be the “king” of marketing online. You can commonly hear marketers say stuff like “the money is in the list” when referring to email marketing. Beware though that there are acceptable and unacceptable forms of email marketing. Be careful not to become a SPAM artist!
- Social Networking and Social Bookmarking – This type of marketing has quickly gained favor with the explosion of social networks like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook. They are such powerful promotional tools that not only businesses are tapping into them – so are politicians, musicians and celebrities. It’s phenomenal how quickly you can get the word out about something and have it travel the world within minutes.
- Affiliate Marketing – a bit slower to develop than other types of marketing strategies online, affiliate marketing has now become a multi-billion dollar industry. The concept of affiliate marketing is to let website owners promote your products or services and give them a commission for every sale or lead they generate for you. It’s a very efficient form of marketing because the cost to set up and implement is relatively low, and you let the “real” experts promote your brand for you – on a performance basis.
Word of Mouth Marketing
By far the most powerful form of marketing is and will always be word of mouth. People trust their friends and family and other users more than they trust banners or ads. The power of word of mouth should not be underestimated.
Word of mouth advertising transcends beyond all other forms of marketing because it can fit into any one of them. Take for example, the logo on a can of Coke. Someone drinks a Coke and leaves the can on the table. That in itself is powerful marketing. Even though there technically was no word of mouth, the mere fact someone drank a Coke and left the can behind for someone else to see it … get my drift?
Same thing with online marketing strategies like affiliate marketing – which is essentially word of mouth. Someone recommends a product or service on their website and the word gets out.
Multilevel Marketing (MLM) is entirely based on word of mouth advertising – the idea that one user introduces other users to try and use a product, in the hopes of converting some of those users into promoters as well – is a powerful one.
Marketing isn’t just about creating awareness…
…it’s also about creating loyalty. By creating a consistent presence in the mind of target users, businesses also create a sense of permanence and thus encourage users to become loyal to a brand.
Successful businesses don’t just market to introduce new products or capture new users. They also market after-sales to upgrade or up-sell existing users. One of the best decisions you can make is to learn the skills necessary to forecast market ups and downs and to stay ahead of your competitors. You can learn these skills and acquire your masters degree in management by studying at a reputable university.
Some types of marketing strategies are known as loss-leaders. This basically means he marketing efforts are done at a loss rather than profit – in order to first build up awareness and build up a user base. Once you have that user base, you can up-sell them to more expensive products or full-scale services.
For example, you may have received a free one month subscription for a newspaper. Once you’ve become used to getting and reading the paper, you may then sign up for a one year paid subscription. Similarly, you might have downloaded a trial version of software, which after the trial period, you didn’t want to stop using. The free trial period was enough of an offer to get you on board as a paid user.
If conducted properly, loss leader marketing can become profitable in the longer term and should be considered as one of the types of marketing strategies if it suits your product or service.
Depending on your business model and business plan – you will want to explore which of these types of marketing strategies best fit into your sales and marketing plan.
Back to the Create a Marketing Plan page from this Types of Marketing Strategies page