Creating Value Through Marketing
Marketing is a means of creating value for the customer. Traditionally, this has been achieved through a combination of The Four P’s:
- Product – An object or service you are offering to your customers.
- Price – The amount your customers pay for your product.
- Placement – The location the product can be purchased.
- Promotion – Modes of communication to inform the customer of your product.
Traditional Marketers optimize the value of their product by differentiating their goods or services from their competitors by offering affordable quality that is easy to find and use.
A more contemporary interpretation of marketing is The Four C’s:
- Consumer – Identify the individuals who use your goods or services.
- Cost – Online price comparison makes it difficult to compete on price, which means you must now focus on cost – and the product quality inherent in that cost.
- Convenience – The internet makes placement irrelevant, today’s consumers can make purchases from virtually anywhere.
- Communication – Promotion implies a one-way flow of information, communication takes the customer into account and creates a dialogue.
Online Marketers optimize the value of their product by engaging customers at precisely the time they want or need their goods or services.The Online Marketing World
Online marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it enables an interaction between you and your target audience. The internet allows you, the advertiser, to select your target market – either by advertising with services like Google Ads who have information about users and can target your ad using that information, or by advertising on sites focused on a particular segment such as Eventective’s event planners. Traditional marketing offers nominal segmentation when you discuss demographics of a particular print or broadcast media outlet, but online marketing offers precision.
What is the ROI?
With traditional marketing it is notoriously difficult to measure your return on investment. There is no telling how many people saw and responded to your commercial on cable television or your ad in the local paper. With online marketing, most channels give you a precise account of the users who clicked on your ad, and many can even provide additional details about those users. You can now put hard numbers against the dollars spent and accurately measure your return on investment.
Online Marketing is More Than Just Your Website
Possibly the most important aspect of online marketing is the level of interaction you can achieve with your customers. If you have a website, your internet service provider (or Google Analytics) can tell you what type of people are coming to your website. Engage those people and educate them about your products or services. You can write a blog, or create a Facebook page or Instagram account for your business, and post entries to these social media channels on a regular basis – daily, weekly, monthly, whatever fits your schedule. These are your opportunities to introduce yourself to hundreds of new customers each and every day.
Build a Community of Advocates
These customers are also talking to one another. They read and write reviews of venues and services and influence each other in their online decisions. Posting testimonials from happy customers on your website is a good start, but you need to look farther afield. Check to see if your business is listed on review sites such as Yelp, or if you have received recommendations on Eventective. Read and respond to your reviews – the good and the bad. A bad review is an opportunity to show the community that you care about your customers and an opportunity to improve your product or services.
Perceived Value Drives Profits
How you present yourself online is a reflection of how you present your business. Your online marketing strategy should communicate the value you have to offer consumers and convince them that yours is the product or service they should choose. Your profit margin is the difference between your customers’ perceived value of your product and your cost to deliver that product. If you appear attractive to online users, you will be attractive to consumers and you will reap rewards on your bottom line.