Everyone needs marketing. It's how your brand gets exposure and draws in customers. Before embarking on whatever marketing options you choose, consider the following:
Marketing involves commitment
Marketing isn't a one time thing, or a set it and forget it aspect of your business. It's an ongoing effort that you must invest your time in consistently. All too often we find that people look to run one campaign and hope that they will have tons of success and make a killing. This is not how marketing works (even if you do have one successful campaign). There are many parameters that affect your marketing efforts and you must be committed to exploring and improving them throughout time.
Never market without measurement
How can you tell the effects of your marketing and campaigns without a measurement strategy and some form of analytics? Simply saying "I didn't get any sales so that didn't work" doesn't tell the whole story. If you run a campaign, and your goal is to get traffic to your site, and your efforts drive 1000 visitors to your site, but only five people buy something, analytics might tell you there is something wrong with the experience users had on your website, vs. your marketing efforts not working. If you opt not for analytics and measurement components, you have no recourse for going over the marketing campaigns and their effectiveness.
Not every marketing campaign will be successful
Even fortune 500 companies make mistakes. Even well thought out and executed plans don't always get the results that you'd expect (google McDonalds failed Twitter campaign #PinkSlime and you'll know exactly what I mean). Many factors affect marketing efforts, such as time frame, social climate, demographic, weather, local and global events, holidays, etc. All of these factors have to be evaluated to ensure that you have the best opportunity make the most of your marketing efforts. Even the best marketing campaign isn't going to sell Winter Coats during the summer in Texas.
Marketing needs to be about customers, not about you
You may not be interested in Twitter or Facebook, or running a Pinterest Campaign but your customers are, even if you think they aren't. There are certain aspects of your efforts as a business that you customers are expecting. Make sure these elements are in line with your marketing efforts and that you are making the most of the varied offline and online marketing channels.
You must always be a student of marketing to be successful
Marketing has changed and is changing ALL THE TIME. Principles that applied 5 years ago aren't valid, and new concepts are popping up every month. You have to be willing to take the time to learn and invest in what's new to further your marketing campaigns. If you think you can run the exact same campaign over and over again and expect great results, you're missing key elements of marketing. You must continue to study the market and the marketing trends to stay competitive in your field.
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