Business marketing includes many different activities. All of them are related to selling the products and services your company offers. But they’re not all quite as simple as most people expect.

For instance, advertising is usually considered to be the same thing as marketing. But really it is only one part of a whole host of activities which also include market research, Search Engine Optimisation, service and product design and much more.

The aim of all of these individual jobs is the same – to make your products and services more suitable for your customers so that you can sell to them more easily.

But does every business really need to market itself? What is the best type of marketing?

In this article, we’ll take a look at why small business advertising and other related marketing activities are so important.

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Why Does a Business Need Marketing?

Marketing technically includes all of the actions involved in promoting and selling your products and services to your customers.

If you want your business to succeed, you need to know how to market your business. After all, you could have the best products and services in the world. But if no one knows you offer them, does it even matter?

Without proper marketing, you risk your customers not knowing why your product or service is so good. They won’t know why they should buy from you instead of your competitors. At worst, they might not even know you exist at all.

What Are the 4 Types of Promotion?

If you are starting your company from scratch – even if you are hiring a marketing professional or taking the easier path of becoming a franchisee, where your franchisor will handle your marketing for you – you need to understand the essentials of marketing.

Because how can you know if the professional you hire or your franchisor is doing a good job of promoting you if you don’t know what good promotion looks like?

The four types of promotion are:

1) Advertising

Advertising includes promotion of your goods and services which doesn’t involve a person trying to sell it. You can usually tell advertising apart from other forms of promotion because it:

  1. Takes up time or space which needs to be paid for (think TV or radio adverts)
  2. Uses a set format instead of personal persuasion
  3. Usually tells you who sponsored it

2) Sales Promotion

Sales promotion includes things like discounts and competitions. You can normally tell sales promotion apart from advertising and other promotions because it:

  1. Is usually shorter-term
  2. Often gives customers an incentive to buy (such as “buy one get one free” offers)
  3. Would be suitable for all types of service providers, including retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers

3) Personal Selling

Personal selling is the kind of promotion that a salesperson does. Your sales representative goes and meets the client, or has the customer visit them with the aim of persuading the client to buy.

4) Publicity

Publicity is Public Relations-type activities. It might involve getting your company or product information into a media outlet, such as a newspaper or TV channel, without paying for it.

Types of Promotional Methods Used by Small Businesses

All of these types of promotional methods are commonly used by small businesses. If you run a small business and you are not actively engaged in all of these activities, you are missing out on potential profits.

The only exception is if you are part of a franchise and your franchisor has the responsibility for your business marketing. Otherwise, your advertising efforts alone should include:

  • Online advertising and marketing – you should create a website, maintain it and write and upload new blog posts regularly.
  • Social media advertising – you cannot afford to avoid social media. Facebook should be the minimum platform you target. Aim to have an engaging, lively presence if you want to convince customers to use you.
  • Email marketing – if you do email marketing (and you should), do it right or risk being labelled as spam either by your email system or – worse – your client who may instantly delete your sales pitch.
  • Broadcast advertising – this might include radio, television and even cinema advertising. Do not make the mistake of using low-quality advertising anywhere, but especially here. If you are going to invest in an expensive TV or radio advert slot, make it a good one.
  • Print advertising – includes local and national newspaper adverts. Again, you need adverts you place to be well-designed, clear and persuasive.
  • Leaflets and flyers – much like email marketing, physical direct marketing such as leaflets and flyers need to be well-judged and cleverly designed if you want to avoid them being labelled as junk mail.

Why Marketing Is So Important for Your Small Business

Your goal with your business marketing is to do three things:

  1. Tell your customers about your products and services.
  2. Persuade your customers to buy from you.
  3. Remind your customers why your products and services are so good.

Doing this takes good knowledge of who your customers are, the skills to explain to them why your services are right for them, and the money to get your advertising to the places you need it to be.

If you are not a franchisee with someone taking care of this on your behalf, it’s time to start understanding what business marketing really is and what it can do for you.

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