A business can acquire more customers while retaining its existing clientele to increase revenue and enhance profits. A company can also diversify with more products or services or expand to new markets or territories. Many businesses aspire to combine all three growth prospects.
Marketing is very important for growing your business since new products or services need a dedicated marketing thrust to create awareness and reach the target group. Venturing into untapped markets or diversifying across niches also demands fresh research and distinct branding for the new markets.
If you’re trying to grow your business and figure out what role marketing plays in your plans, you’re in luck. In this article, I’ll discuss why marketing is so important for growing your business and what you need to think about when implementing a marketing strategy. I’ll also explain what green marketing is and whether or not you need to think about it for your business.
Why is marketing important for small businesses?
Small businesses have a few inherent limitations compared to many midsize enterprises, which are confined to a local area or regional territory.
Digital products and services can transcend geographic segmentation indeed. However, if significant sociocultural, economic, and demographic differences exist, each region requires a unique marketing strategy.
Usually, small businesses don’t have the financial leverage of large companies with humongous spending appetites. Thus, sponsoring popular events, celebrity endorsements, and super primetime commercials are a nonstarter.
Word of mouth and other referral systems work only to an extent. Besides, word of mouth can often backfire. Small businesses can only grow and sustain increasing revenues through meticulously conceived, comprehensively planned, and flawlessly executed marketing strategies.
Small businesses have an unmatched advantage of being agile. Large companies, especially conglomerates, are gigantic, hence rarely nimble. Their almost bureaucratic hierarchies and policymaking turn them rigid.
Marketing is important for small businesses because it empowers the business to sustain visibility, communication, engagement, and customer relations. Enhancing brand exposure, reemphasising credibility, and personalising customer experiences are possible only with marketing.
Salesforce reports in its State of the Connected Customer analysis that 80% of customers prioritise their experiences as much as a company’s products or services. In its State of Marketing survey, Salesforce found 84% of marketers admitting that their digital strategy has changed in recent times due to customer expectations.
According to a Segment report, 71% of customers don’t prefer an impersonal shopping experience. The Segment survey also reveals that 44% of customers intend to become repeat buyers following a personalised experience, not otherwise.
How is marketing important to an organisation?
Marketing is fundamental to business viability. The entire spectrum of marketing activities leads to more sales or acquisitions, hence revenue and profit. In the medium term, marketing contributes to growth and development. Research infers that the long-term effect of marketing strategy on brand sales is more rewarding than transient advertising and discounting.
Marketing is important to an organisation because market research affects company policies, implementation planning, and profit maximisation. Marketing also helps organisations gain clarity through SWOT and PEST analysis and compare themselves against their competition.
These noteworthy benefits aren’t exhaustive. Marketing has far-reaching consequences for any business, irrespective of industry, sector, product or service type, and target groups. The specific scope of the marketing initiatives of a company determines the array of consequential developments.
Market research effects on company policies
The traditional inside-out approach of many companies compelled them to try and conceive marketing ideas based on what they’ve created and thus must sell. The relatively contemporary outside-in process is the exact opposite.
Agile businesses with market-oriented or customer-first company policies develop products and services that serve prevalent needs. Hence, the required marketing becomes an organic process of positioning a product or service as quintessential for the target group.
Thorough market research with the singular focus to find opportunities for a specific business can transform company policies. A company’s research and development approach, product or service ideation and conceptualisation, prototyping, manufacturing of goods or creation of services; every strategy can be revised and adapted to serve the needs of the target groups.
The consequences of frequent brand audits
One of the primary functions of marketing management is a brand audit. Frequent brand audits are as significant and consequential as comprehensive market research, qualitative and quantitative, and a holistic marketing strategy.
A brand audit can reveal systemic issues in an organisation. Unbeknownst to the owners or stakeholders, management, and key executives, a company may have some fundamental flaws in how the business is operated. Such errors may happen inadvertently. The urgent requisite is detecting the problems and fixing them.
Take the example of brand identity and image. A company will decide upon its brand identity, but the target group or market ultimately determines the image. The owners of a business may consider their created brand identity as objective. The market may feel otherwise.
Likewise, brand image is subjective from the target groups’ perspective and could be objective for customers that have tried a company’s product or service. Regardless, a company’s management may continue to believe their brand image is public perception and that the disparity with the identity is an aberration.
A company must intervene to rectify the precise differences between brand identity and image. A brand audit recognises such aberrations. Then, a reviewed marketing strategy can address the discrepancies and ensure the brand image as perceived by the market is aligned with the intended identity.
Business review with Lucid competition assessment
Brand audits are imperative in the 21st century, partly due to unprecedented competition. The same reason necessitates competition assessment. Except for a few companies operating in rare niches, no business exists in isolation. The only way to know a brand’s actual value in the marketplace is lucid competitor analysis.
A comprehensive study to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all relevant competitors enables a company to initiate a partial or complete business review. Every customer-centric element is crucial, from the graphic design of the official website to the pricing of products or services, the turnaround time for addressing grievances and something as minor but significant as the wait time on live chat support.
Like market research and brand audit, competitor analysis can compel companies to make changes that may not happen otherwise.
Organisational clarity through SWOT & PEST analysis
You’re probably familiar with SWOT analysis. PEST analysis isn’t as instrumental in scripting a company’s success as SWOT. However, it’s essential and consequential. A business can attain impeccable organisational clarity through both SWOT and PEST analysis.
Political, economic, social, and technological analysis has become immensely important. Markets, in general, and many target groups, in particular, are now more aware and informed than ever before. Brands are routinely judged per their political stands, economic imprints, social responsibilities, and technological prowess.
In the United Kingdom, many companies rely on an expanded version of PEST analysis, known as PESTLE. This broader version of the concept includes legal and environmental aspects. Public perception is easily influenced by presumed legal and environmental ramifications of what a company does. PESTLE explains why an increasing number of businesses are actively endorsing and practising green marketing.
Implementation planning & profit maximisation
Every marketing strategy includes implementation planning with the ultimate objective of profit maximisation. No plan, however comprehensive and flawless, can assure the desired impact if the implementation goes awry.
Marketing management is the overarching controller of implementation planning. The several departments operating within a business have varying specialisations and priorities based on predetermined objectives. A company cannot excel if departments function in isolation.
Marketing is the synergistic force that unites all critical departments and expert personnel to execute an implementation plan. Consider implementation planning as a broader version of a financial audit. An accounting audit often reveals cash-flow leaks and identifies potential cost-cutting opportunities.
Marketing with its implementation planning does the same for all departments of a business, the entire supply chain, and the whole sales and distribution network, including storage, support services, and other industry-specific operations.
Is global or regional marketing important?
Both global and regional marketing is important for global brands to invest in. Brands may have a universal identity, but regional markets demand localised campaigns. Likewise, a company familiar with local marketing must adapt its communications strategy for each regional market.
Technology has somewhat transformed the world into one market, albeit with numerous target groups. However, the growing insignificance of geographic borders doesn’t imply a regional marketing strategy can determine a global campaign or vice versa.
Sociocultural differences are a reality, posing a danger of inappropriateness. Social media frowns upon appropriation. Even the slightest hint of bad humour or messaging gone wrong can have a terrifying blowback. Thus, both global and regional marketing should be sensibly planned and executed.
In the age of digital marketing, many businesses need both global and regional strategies. For instance, your business must use local search engine optimisation for every region where your products or services are available. Also, you must use geo-targeting as your business explores new territories.
In addition to these targeted campaigns, a company can have a global marketing plan for virtual and real worlds, depending on its business goals. Authority sites aren’t heavily localised because the objective is to reach out to a vast audience. Such websites have multiple avenues of traffic and are regarded as credible. Companies should try to emulate The Authority Site Business Model.
Likewise, you should craft the marketing strategy accordingly if your business targets customers based throughout the UK. Search engines Google and Bing and global marketplaces like Amazon have country-specific sites but not acutely localised versions. Devise a strategy based on your business plans, the relevance of products or services, and intended target groups.
Is digital marketing important for business?
An online search is the second most common way to find businesses in the UK. Google Search and Ads account for more than £50 billion a year in economic activity.
Digital marketing is vital for business. A tiny minority of Britons use traditional business directories, and most are either retired or have limited access to the internet. A vast majority of Britons are likely to hit Google to search for a product, service, answer, or troubleshooting advice.
What is green marketing?
Green marketing attempts to reduce reliance on materials, mediums, and methods that increase a company’s carbon footprint and aim for net carbon-neutral operations. Companies use organic materials, recycling, and renewable power for their marketing campaigns and emphasise green marketing.
Hundreds of publicly listed companies worldwide have pledged to reduce their carbon footprints in recent years, including this list. Some companies in the UK are already carbon neutral, such as Sky, Logitech, Google, Microsoft, M&S, and Quorn.
Many mid-sized companies like Innocent, Bulb, and Leon are poised to be carbon neutral in the near future. Chilly’s, Toast, and Unpackaged, among other startups, aren’t far behind. Most of these companies are also using green marketing.
Do we need to think about the environment?
The answer is a resounding yes. However, do businesses have to be particularly conscious about carbon footprint while marketing their products or services? The answer is again yes. PESTLE analysis has become significant for such practical reasons.
The world has never been more informed. The millennial generation is vocal about transparency for eco-friendly companies, products, and services. Many businesses use carbon offset programs and publicly announce the same for goodwill. Companies also bank on environmental, social, and governance criteria to win the backing of socially and environmentally conscious investors.
Green marketing isn’t always viable or inexpensive. Businesses must do the math and weigh the pros & cons of such initiatives. However, doubling down on digital marketing can reduce the net carbon footprint of a company. Besides, carbon offset programs can boost small to midsize businesses’ social and eco-friendly reputation.
One of the greatest marketing lessons in history is embedded in the remarkable success of Disney. The brand tells stories and then sells products. Beth Comstock believes in something similar because she says you can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything. Sale is the destination. Marketing is the journey.