Marketing – It Isn’t Just About Things
Important considerations for developing marketing plans begin with the differences between services and products, the challenges of service marketing, the influence of the internet on service marketing, and the values of marketing. In general, answers to these questions can be very industry-specific; overall viewpoints include the following observations.
Services are marketed differently than product marketing. The biggest difference between services and product marketing is ideas and things. Products are “things,” even without any special marketing things that have a way of selling, and differentiating a thing is often easier because of just changing the color. One might buy a crock-pot just because it is the only one shaped like a rooster. Services are people and ideas, and to truly market, the ideas must have value in a way that is easily shared in just a few minutes of time. Cell phone service – “more bars in more places”, “Can you hear me now?” etc. Another example might be the commercial for taxes – the box that does not talk back. Services have to express an idea rather than show a product.
Challenges in service marketing include the value of the idea versus the quality of the product.
The internet influences the objectives of service marketing. The internet is a valuable tool that should be a top priority for all service companies. This type of marketing is essential because high-quality companies prefer to have high-quality customers – and high-quality customers make decisions based on solid information. Using websites a lot more information can be supplied to potential customers in a way that allows them time – without pressure – to review the choices. Shopping online has become a great influence on the instant gratification generations; however, it also has enabled consumers to make better decisions on their purchases.
Examples of strategic and tactical marketing metrics:
Strategic marketing is about branding and product differentiation, while tactical marketing is about placement and market penetration; however, the metrics for strategic marketing are typically qualitative (Brand recognition) and tactical metrics are usually quantitative (ROI).
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Why are metrics so important, yet so difficult in marketing?
Metrics are essential to the ability of a company to place information where the most responsive groups will receive it. Additionally, metrics increase the understanding of the market and enable a company to be responsive to changes in trends and consumer needs. Finally, metrics are almost all opinions and measurements that can be tainted, collected incorrectly, or worded incorrectly ending in the wrong questions being answered. Marketing suffers from more people errors than it does math errors.
Understanding the value of marketing planning is the key to making accurate decisions. Marketing plans are essential to the success of a company because it develops ideas and puts into words how the plans will work and create value for the company. Marketing plans are as important as a business plan because they are both road maps.
Place importance on understanding the competition when developing a marketing plan. Competition is an essential part of the research that goes into a marketing plan because competition is one of the main contributing factors in the ability of a company to succeed. When markets have a lot of competition, the marketing plans may include different priorities than if there is little competition. Additionally, understanding the changes that will occur from the competition in response to changes in a company’s plan would be part of risk management.
Marketing objectives start with a single concept – understanding the basic principles that will guide you on successfully building your business towards industry leadership.