While many people use the terms interchangeably, marketing and sales are not the same things. You must market your product or service and your business to generate sales. Doing so can help you find your target customers who need what you have to offer.
Businesses must market and sell to generate profits. Otherwise, you may not earn enough to pay your overhead and other expenses. It can be challenging to master sales and marketing techniques, especially if you are not a “natural” salesperson. The good news is that several strategies you can follow may help.
Marketing versus Sales
Marketing refers to a business’s activities to promote its products or services. It includes:
- Delivering products to consumers or other businesses
Sales are transactions between two or more parties where the buyer receives goods or services in exchange for payment of money or other assets. If an individual or organization transfers something of value to another with no compensation, the transaction is not a sale but a gift or donation.
How to Market Your New Business
There are many ways to market your new business. Using some or all of these strategies will likely increase sales and build a solid customer base. These techniques include:
- Selling the benefit (and not making comparisons)
- Listening to your customer
- Marketing your product or service before it is ready
- Thinking outside the box
- Testing (and failing) fast
- Advertising from multiple angles
- Always seeking public relations opportunities
- Giving customers a place to talk to and about, you
- Rewarding loyal customers
Selling the Benefit (and Not Making Comparisons)
You should market the benefits of your product or services differently than your competition. This can make them stand out. There are strategies for doing so, such as:
- Highlighting the quality
- Comparing price
- Combining high quality with low price to promote the value
Keep in mind that you have to market and sell. For example, you can tell potential customers that your product or service is more effective or priced lower than others. This is marketing. But you also have to sell the benefit of how it will improve the customer’s life.
Listening to Your Customer
Many new business owners follow logic. But listening to and knowing your customer often works better. For instance, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, knew his customers. So, even though prevailing logic said that large retailers in small towns usually fail, Walton listened to his target customer’s needs.
In this case, families living in smaller rural areas typically needed to stock up on food and other necessities when they shopped. This led to the world’s largest and most powerful brick-and-mortar retailer. With that in mind, the customer is always right!
Marketing Your Product or Service Before It is Ready
Some companies wait until their product or service is perfect before they start marketing it. But this can be an expensive mistake because if no one knows about it, there will be no demand. Therefore, it is best to promote early, so potential customers understand the benefits and are ready to purchase as soon as it is available.
Thinking Outside the Box
Given the vast reach of the Internet, companies can promote their products and services quickly and easily with just a few clicks. There are many online tools available that can help you differentiate what you have to offer, such as:
- Social media posts
- Online videos
- Blog posts
- Content marketing
- Testimonials and reviews
Testing (and Failing) Fast
You must be able to measure your marketing. So, even though it may cost money to test it, doing so can pay off. If you commit to a marketing campaign, you must be able to test it. Given that, ensure you set up ways to track conversions to determine which marketing channels to continue using and which ones to forgo.
Advertising from Multiple Angles
You should never put all your eggs in one basket. Like other scenarios, this is true for marketing and sales techniques. Companies should not rely on only one form of marketing. Often, combining several avenues works best.
For example, if potential customers hear your ads on the radio, see your website, and read articles that mention your company, you will likely come to mind when they need your offering.
Always Seeking Public Relations Opportunities
When you market, you use your own materials and information to promote your products or services. But with public relations (PR), a member of the press or media talks up your company and gives you a third-party endorsement. Good public relations can do a lot for building your brand and increasing your company’s credibility.
Giving Customers a Place to Talk To and About You
You always want to know what your customers say, even if it is not positive. Therefore, you should provide ways for customers to provide reviews or testimonials. Praise from customers is excellent PR. Complaints can also be beneficial because they offer suggestions on bettering your offering and customer service.
Rewarding Loyal Customers
Your company should also reward customer loyalty. Depending on what your business offers, you can do this by giving repeat customers a discount, offering referral fees, or allowing them to build up points in return for free items.
Are You Marketing Your Business Effectively?
Marketing and sales are essential for your company’s success. There are many ways to promote what you have to offer. Before you invest a lot of time and money into a marketing campaign, it is vital to test it. A new business consultant can help you find the right combination of marketing and sales tools for your company.