Marketing refers to various activities that a business undertakes to advertise the sale or purchase of a particular product, service, or even good. It is generally acknowledged that marketing is the science of identifying what the public needs and wants, and then meeting that need through the supply of information or advertising. Marketing uses the most systematic and sophisticated methods of gathering data and compiling reports that show the public’s reaction to a product. The process also includes the study of consumers’ behavior in response to marketing strategies. This type of marketing often involves the use of statistics, consumer surveys, experiments, case studies, and market tests.
One popular definition of marketing is the process by which a firm or company develops and implements a marketing strategy to sell its products to customers. The strategy could be viewed as a set of marketing tactics or a unique brand identity. A set of marketing tactics could include the distribution of promotional materials, the creation of new products or services, the production of services, or the promotion of existing products. A unique brand identity represents the visual signature of the brand. Finally, marketing strategies usually incorporate an awareness program, research, and testing to determine how effective a brand is in terms of generating sales and profits.
Although the definition above covers most of the basic aspects of marketing, there are a few key elements that marketing usually excludes or doesn’t consider. One of these is customer needs or buyer expectations. Marketing focuses on selling the product to the customer, not identifying what the customer needs. Customer needs are usually understood within the broader context of the product or service being offered. For example, when a person is searching for a new car, they typically don’t care whether it has the latest features or whether it has a large storage capacity or whether it has a warranty.
Instead, the focus of the advertising and marketing strategy is on maximizing the customer’s satisfaction with the sale. This is why social media marketing is a critical strategy to enhance an existing customer’s experience after purchasing a product or service. To help customers make the right buying decisions, a social media marketing agency can design and create ads, coupons, discounts, and testimonials that will trigger customer sentiment and encourage them to take further action. For example, an advertising agency may create an ad that compares the various prices of the same car models, but the key selling point is that the car bought through this ad will always come with a discount, a guarantee, and a referral to a specific service or supplier.
Social media also offers marketers an unprecedented opportunity to create buzz around a brand. Buzz is the viral nature of consumer behavior that makes products and services get noticed by everyone from local high school students to major news networks. Social media allows marketers to create a buzz around their brands without wasting marketing budget on TV commercials or radio spots. In fact, a successful social media campaign can result in more website hits and website visits than any other form of advertising. Brand recognition, increased website traffic, and word-of-mouth referrals are all positive results of the increased buzz created by an active social media marketing strategy.
Finally, marketing with social media provides marketers with a unique opportunity to build a strong relationship with the customer. Customers love it when businesses to allow them to be heard, and they love it when their voice is heard by a trusted representative of the brand. This is one of the few marketing strategies that can turn an obscure customer into a lifelong customer. By hearing the customer needs, problems, and preferences, a social media marketing agency can turn those needs into marketing opportunities.
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