Today, i’m sharing a very special success story. This entrepreneur combined her full-time job with a dropshipping business, and she is making amazing profits.
So, here’s an in-depth interview that uncovers the secret of how to make money with eCommerce.
Disclaimer: The success stories published in this blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.
Hi, please introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Tumini, and I work in a real estate company in Lagos. I’m also a dropshipper– that’s what my story is all about.
Why did you decide to try the dropshipping business model?
Dropshipping has 3 advantages that changes the status quo.
Firstly, you don’t need any warehouse and an employee for fulfilling orders.
Secondly, you are not limited by your cash flow, you don’t have to order and “wait” till some customer buy your goods.
And the last one – you can import lots of products without stocking them in!
Basically, you are selling goods to customers by clicking to “Place order automatically”.
What was your previous experience of making money with eCommerce?
I had a fairly solid previous experiences with eCommerce, i have been running an Instagram shop with mini importation (and yeah, with high logistic expenses).
Anyway, i started with dropshipping 6 months ago and my first shop was bad, the total revenues was not so good and i was in the negative.
How did you learn about Dropshipping Mastermind?
I’ve been looking for a good course that would allow me learn:
Copywriting and internet marketing.
How to build very good converting stores.
The intricacies of the dropshipping model
Dropshipping Mastermind was the best Nigerian course i have taken after a friend referred me on twitter. So, due to its simplicity i was able to learn everything i needed to know from the beginner level to where i am currently.
How much money have you made with eCommerce?
I went from 0 to $1,800+ monthly revenue with a very positive ROI (return on investment).
My current ROI is 5, so, from every invested $1 i got $5 back WITHIN 5 MONTHS.
Also, I want to mention that running and creating performance Ads is really hard. I would recommend to learn by taking a course. You will learn a lot from from this, and then you will be able to use the expert knowledge to create better campaigns and save lots of money.
And oh – don’t forget about customer service. It’s the most important thing.
Running a successful eCommerce company takes more than just knowing WHAT products to sell – you need to know HOW to sell a product.
Knowing How to Sell a Product is Important for a Variety of Reasons:
It makes you money… obviously.
It invokes sustainability for your company.
It lets you focus on picking theperfect nicheto sell in. More time can be spent picking a niche, and less time will be spent learning how to get conversions.
It forces you tounderstandandempathizewith your customer.
How to Sell a Product in 2019
Over the years, manyparts of the business machine have changed. The “ages” of business management and operational procedures evolved through the waves ofexecution,expertise, andempathy. The ethical umbrella thatmostbusinesses operate under today is different than what was commonplace 100 years ago.
In the Forbes article linked above, Robert Wallace writes that:
“Even as tech changes our processes and delivery mechanisms, we still need to have a clear idea of who we’re talking to, how to find them and what messages will resonate and convert them into paying customers.”
Adapting to the Future of Drop Shipping
Below are two common schools of thought when looking at the future of drop shipping:
Some people believe that it’s too late to get into this business. I get asked,“Anton, isn’t everything saturated? Isn’t drop shipping just a trendthat’s going to die?”
Other people are already drop shipping and making money, but they aren’t sure what’s going to come next. They are curious as to what their business is going to look like in the next two to five years.
So some people think drop shipping is a trend, and others have no idea how to grow their business.
Here’s what I think:
There willindeed be some shifts in the drop shipping world. When?
I don’t know. I don’t spend my mornings deciphering the letters in my alphabet soup. I don’t claim to see the future.
But know that if you ever see any videos, blog posts, or headlines that say anything like “drop shipping is dead”… stay wary.
I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
First off,drop shippingis just a way of fulfilling orders. That’s all drop shipping means. You as the retailer sell items on your online store, andthe supplier ships those items.
Drop shipping is NOT like aneCommerce trend, or a trending niche. It won’t just “go out of style”
The drop shipping business model will never die. Manufacturers and brands will always need retailers to brand themselves. That’s the reality of retail.
3 Simple eCommerce Marketing Strategies you Need to Take More Seriously
I’m going to sharethree broad tips for selling a product.
As I mentioned earlier, the roots of marketing have stayed the same throughout history. Of course, we must adapt to current styles and trends, but the formula is simple:speak your customer’s language, get the sale.
Below are three strategies that will ensure you know how to sell a product, even when the future is uncertain.
This isn’t an all out guide – it’s a place for you to start. I provide information from industry experts like Derek Halpern,Empire Flippers, andShopify. They are awesome. The community has A LOT to thank these people for, and Drop Ship Lifestyle is grateful for the impact these folks have had on digital marketing.
Let’s dive in.
1. Learn How to Sell a Product to Passionate People
Just put products they love right in front of them. Give them products they’re actuallyexcitedabout.
Find a group of people that are passionate about a certain product type. Look at what they like, and what they don’t like. If you truly know your customer, you will be able to deliver relevant products and content.
But here’s the caveat… products don’t exactly sell themselves.
In this video, Derek Halpern shoots the breeze about why people don’t always buy what you sell.
“People rarely believe that what you do is as awesome as YOU believe it is”says Halpern.
Hecontinues on to saythat“you must realize that creating a good product or service is the cost of entry… and to succeed, you’ve got to sell it.”
Halpern couldn’t be more right.
Yes, finding good products to sell is important. Finding passionate people to sell to isextremelyimportant. If you don’t pick a good niche to sell in, you’re gonna lose sleep and hate yourself for it.
If you don’t know how toSELLthe product, you won’t make sales (aka, NO money for you).
So pick a niche that breeds awesome, passionate customers… then SELL TO THEM! There’s a million strategies for doing this. Check out morestrategies on Social Triggers, or look at some of theselling techniqueswe teach on the Drop Ship Lifestyle blog.
Put more effort and energy into new websites and new product types that people are passionate about.
Your audience needs to be passionate about what the product does or what they can use it for. Could it fuel their hobbies or help them with their career?
If you sell to a passionate audience, you will take advantage of opportunity as you move into the future of eCommerce. Your customers will stay with you, even if the going gets tough. They will love you, but again, you need to SELL to them. Read more about that in the next section.
2. Learn How to Sell a Product with Trust and Authority
Trust is a HUGE factor when selling online.
People always ask why someone would buy from their store overbuying on Amazon.
Imean, why would someone choose to buy from [.generic example namehere.] when they could get the product on a super site that’s trustedall over the globe?
Methods to Build Trust
Marketers use little hacks to increase a store’s level of trust. We do things like:
Getting reviews from customers
Paying for different badges and trust seals to put on the website
Building asolid brand(I will talk about this at the end of the section)
Having other people vouch for you(what we will focus on for right now)
The latter point, “having other people vouch for you”, is my first suggestion for gaining trust and authority in your industry.
Partner with people in indirectly related industries. If other companies vouch for you, your customers will fall in love.
The trick is to find non-competitors who are involved in your circles. These people/companies/organizations will be interacting with the same people as you, having the same conversations, and they will be interested in the same products.
From here, you could:
pay them to vouch for you
do a joint venture with them
or you could scratch each other’s backs by promoting one another’s products
This is known asinfluencer marketing. If these indirect competitors vouch for your product, talk about your product, or promote your product, it’s going to hold A LOT of weight for your business.
Influencer marketing will definitely increase your conversions. Not only it will send you people, but it’s going to make sure your site stands out as an authority in your space.
This is one of the areas where marketing is taking somewhat of a new turn in the future. Yes, influencer marketing has always existed… but not in the vast universe of social media and the internet.
Times are a changin’ for sure.
Focus on Good Branding
Empire Flippers wrote a fantastic article on the importance of good branding.
In thispiece, Gina Edwards reminds us to “keep in mind the intended effects of branding — promise, loyalty, and differentiation. Your brand should speak to how your business or services follows through on the things your customers are looking for, and you can build a relationship with them from there.”
Good Branding Does 3 Things:
Makes a Promise
Builds Loyalty & Recognition
Sets You Apart
If your brand effectively speaks to your customer, you will form a bond with them. Making promises you can deliver on is an effective way to build trust.
A great way to become a big player in your industry is to partner with other people inindirectly relatedindustries.
The more other authority figures vouch for you, the more trust and authority you will gain.
Building a brand builds trust.
My next point builds off of what Edwards wrote in the Empire Flippers blog. Branding brings opportunity…
3. Branding is the Icing on the Cake
One of the benefits that we have as independent retailers over huge shopping mall sites iscustomer access.
A site like Amazon targets EVERYONE. They sell everything fromchicken nugget soaptocarburetors. Your store, on the other hand, is able to target specific customers. This provides them with a unique and personalized experience.
Comprehensive Overview From the Pros
Shopify is an incredible source of information for up and coming entrepreneurs.
“Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business—both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.”
Kumar gives some great tips for getting in the right mindset to build a brand that leaves the right impression for your audience. If you’re currently in the initial stages of the branding process, you need to read this. You could be missing something vital to your branding endeavors.
While this isn’t absolutely necessary, I think it’s the next logical step in the process of growth for your eCommerce business. Even if you’re just private labeling a few products, a product line makes a massive difference. Not only will you be more profitable, but you’ll expand your reach.
If you go with creating your own brand and product line, your products could even end up being sold in your competitors’ stores. There are plenty of benefits to this:
Alittle more work
But more opportunities (not just to your drop shipping store, but with your new brand!)
Discovering How to Sell a Product is Worth It… Even if it Takes Some Work
Get into product types that people are passionate about.
Build trust and authority in your space. You want to be someone that people talk about – someone that your indirect competitors are linked to.
You’ll want to create a brand within your space [AFTER you’re already successful – making money and sales].
I’m always down to chat, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Let’s face it, to the average business person, marketing equals promotion.
Marketing is what you say and how you say it when you want to explain how awesome your product is and why people should buy it.
Marketing is an ad. Marketing is a brochure. Marketing is a press release. And more recently, Marketing is a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
Let’s face it, to the average business person, marketing equals promotion.
Marketing is what you say and how you say it when you want to explain how awesome your product is and why people should buy it.
Marketing is an ad. Marketing is a brochure. Marketing is a press release. And more recently, Marketing is a Facebook page or a Twitter account.
At a fundamental level, marketing is the process of understanding your customers, and building and maintaining relationships with them.
Marketing is the key to an organization’s success, regardless of its size.
There are several types and sub-types of marketing, digital and offline. You should determine and pursue the ones that work best for you.
Marketing and Sales teams need to have a unified approach. Automation helps them work towards the same goals.
WHAT IS MARKETING, REALLY?
There I was, minding my own business, resting after completion of an amazing content marketing strategy workshop for a client. And someone asked about my opinion on the difference between marketing and branding.
I was directed to read this cartoon that defines marketing as “I am a great lover” vs branding which shows the consumer saying “I understand you’re a great lover.”
This got me a little fired up. OK, a lot fired up!
I’ve already tried to define what marketing is many times here. I’ve tried to address the common perception of marketing as beingall about promoting and selling. And I’ve taken on theproblem of advertising,mad men and their “big” ideas, and the sheer idiocy ofbanner ads.
I believe marketing has a marketing problem. Ask most people what marketing is and they think of some form of either selling (I am great and you should choose me because of reason A or B) or advertising (buy our stuff and you will have a better life, be more attractive, have more sex, attract better partners, be happier.)
As the global economy settles into a new normal of consistent doubt, Marketing has an identity problem, a brand perception gap, maybe even a crisis of confidence.
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
~ Milan Kundera
When I transitioned out of a successful sales career almost 3 years ago, most of my peers thought I was crazy. The head of our division hung up on me (it wasn’t the first time).
Increasingly, after more and more conversations with real customers, I had bought in to the idea that marketing represented the future. I sold what was “in the sales bag.”
But I wanted to help shape the future. Naive? Probably. Delusional? Certainly. Possible? Definitely!
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
~ Peter F. Drucker
Marketing is not about who can talk faster, or close better. It is about deep psychological understanding of customer needs. Steve Jobs had this gift better than almost any example. Henry Ford. Thomas Edison. Every innovation in the history of the world combined an uncanny understanding of human needs and the innovative vision to deliver it.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
~ David Packard
If business is composed of marketing and innovation, and marketing is about deep customer insights, then marketing is the job of every employee.
Social media has only made this point painfully clear: every employee is an extension of the brand. The brand serves to meet the needs of the customer and the business serves to innovate.
Marketing starts by asking consumers who they are, what they want, and what they care about. Marketing starts with a question. Marketing is not “I am a great lover.” Effective marketing simply asks “How are you?”
MARKETING IS A CONVERSATION
I learned in college that marketing is a conversation. Marketing is the conversation that starts between two people who don’t know each other well. Great conversations lead to understanding needs. Great insights like this lead to amazing products delivered through engaging customer experiences.This is Marketing.
When I meet someone I don’t know, I ask them questions. I try to get to know them. I try to understand their dreams and problems and needs. I do NOT talk about myself unless there is a genuine interest from the other person to learn about me as well. But this only comes from true and authentic empathy. I have to actually care about this other person to earn their trust.
This conversation continues as we get to now each other better. And like human relationships, the brands who continue into deeper connections are the ones who seem to care more about the other person than they do about themselves.
The brands who win more customers are the ones who put their customers ahead of their desire to sell more stuff.
They show potential customers that they are interested in solving real problems. They don’t just act like they care. They actually care and they prove it in the way they act. They genuinely seek to help their customer to improve their lives through their content, their expertise, their passion and, if they are lucky, through the stuff they sell.
And like in real life and common human interaction, Marketing means you have to give much more than you hope to receive. Great marketers are passionate teachers, giving away their expertise with only the hope that they are helping people. The business benefit is in establishing trust, and building an audience of people who believe in you to help them in times of need.
When given a choice, we only buy from brands we know, like and trust!
MARKETING REQUIRES EMPATHY
But how do you do you explain thepower and importance of empathyto executives who don’t have any? How do you explain empathy when businesses only want to sell, and promote, and hang their logos on stadiums and golfers hats?
You have to show them that, as a society, we tune out ads, and promotion, and ego-driven marketing tactics. Promotion and propaganda don’t work in today’s world.
But we tune into content and brands that helps us. The only way to accomplish this is for brands to create content that actually helps people. And lots of it. Because we have been burned many times. We are skeptical. We are tired. And angry with auto-play video ads on the sites we like to visit.
IS MARKETING BROKEN?
Yeah Isaid it.
“Most of marketing is ineffective pushing, and that’s the stuff that we as consumers are tuning out.”
I’m sorry if that’s hard to hear. Hey, I’m one of you! I want to be a part of great, meaningful work that contributes to the success of a business.
it’s really hard to deny the point that much of marketing is broken. Look around you. Can you remember the last banner ad you saw?
I think that too much of marketing is tactical. The boss asks you to do something. The marketer goes and does it.And usually that thing is something promotional and ineffective. Partly because we don’t care if it’s effective. We only care if it gets done.
I believe we have to remind the boss what the brand stands for. Every business is started in order to solve a customer problem. The company grows and becomes successful because it created something unique and helpful. But as the business grows, too often the focus becomes the business, not the customer.
But yourbrand is morethan what you sell!
But to be truly effective, shouldn’t marketing start with a focus on meeting customer needs? Marketing should be telling stories, not selling products. That’s why I define content marketing as the simple process of answering customer questions.
The business that wins becomes known and trusted as the brand that solves customer pain points along their buyer journey.
I believe that too many of us lose sight of that commitment, and that is why I think that in many businesses, marketing is broken.
There’s a huge a cultural element to this. I believe the executives inside the business need to be held accountable for creating aculture of customer-focused content. But it’s also up to us in marketing to push back.
I know it takes courage. I know it’s hard. But that’s the difference between the marketing that’s broken and the marketing that works.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
I learned a long time ago that your brand is something that exists in the mind of your customer. Ads don’t change the perception of your brand. Branding is a judgment, a sentiment, a feeling, that is created by the sum of all the interactions I have with a company.
Only experiences change the perception of a brand in the mind of the customer. Brands must deliver amazing customer experiences. Not just in the products we sell, and how we well we deliver “features,” but in the way that we behave as companies, in the way your employees treat me, in the sum total of all those experiences, a brand is created.
I believe that Apple and Starbucks care about delivering great technology and good coffee. But I also believe that Apple delivers on the promise of easy to use products, simply and beautifully designed. I believe that Starbucks cares more about their impact on the world than selling more coffee.
True or not, this is the experience I have with these brands. This experience sits deeply inside my mind. And no advertisement, logo, or sales person could change that.
MARKETING AND BRANDING
Marketing can impact the brand in a positive or negative way. Marketing can help create a positive brand experience by having positive, helpful, and empathetic conversations with their customers.
Marketers can hurt brands when they interrupt our TV shows and web experiences by showing ads of men with pretty girls on one arm and their product in the other.
Companies that think that a million dollars in sexist, promotional advertising, logos splashed everywhere, grumpy employees, and aggressive sales people are simply lost. They don’t understand the world we live in.
Marketing helps build brands through great experiences.
In the perfect world, marketing supports building strong brands. Great brands do great marketing. They act as teachers to their audiences. They deliver amazing products. They treat their employees with respect. They act like concerned global citizens, thinking of the generations to come. And they consider the planet that their children will inherit.
Great brands show us who they are in the experiences they deliver. Marketing seeks to understand what a great experience should be. Advertising interrupts our experiences and sometimes we don’t hate them for it.
WHAT ABOUT ADVERTISING?
Advertising is great, for brands who can afford to interrupt the content we want to consume. I appreciate some ads that tell a great story or are very clever and open about interrupting my content with something emotional or funny. But I honestly don’t even remember the brands behind many of the ads that made me laugh the most.
I appreciate Dove for “Real Beauty.” I give them credit for what they were trying to do. I am sad thatthey stopped.
Interestingly, the brands I mentioned earlier, Starbucks and Apple, do very little advertising. The best ad ever was Apple’s 1984, which told a story of disruption in a compelling way. But it was backed up and followed by products that truly changed my life.
But if we’re being honest, we don’t want to be advertised to, any more than we want to be sold to. And this is true especially for stuff we don’t need.
When a site plays an auto-play video ad, I hate them for it. But I hate the brand even more. Because I know they are the one paying for it. Publishers have to make a living. So I give them some slack. But the brand gets the brunt of my frustration.
So we have moved beyond a time of tolerating ads to actually having interrupted ad-driven experiences cause us to think negatively about them.
TYPES OF MARKETING
For those who think that marketing is the same thing as advertising, nothing could be further from the truth. Advertising can certainly be one small part of a marketing plan but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Indeed, it’s possible to work from a marketing strategy that doesn’t utilize advertising at all.
Marketing can roughly be split into offline and online or digital methods. Offline marketing consists of “traditional” advertising in print, radio, and television marketing, as well as attending events like tradeshows, fairs and conferences. It can also include word-of-mouth marketing.
Most businesses will use a combination of online and offline marketing methods. However, these days the balance is shifting more towards online marketing. This is because consumers are increasingly spending more time online and digital marketing offers various advantages in terms of speed, efficiency, and ROI.
So let’s look at some of the different types of online marketing that are available to today’s businesses:
Content marketing – Publishing content in different forms to build brand awareness and nurture relationships with customers. Content marketing is usually thought of as a type of digital marketing but it can also take place offline. Examples of content marketing include blogs, posts on social media, infographics, and video.
Search engine optimization – Commonly known as SEO, this is the process of optimizing the content on your website to make it more visible to search engines and attract more traffic from searches.
Search engine marketing – Also known as pay-per-click or PPC, with this type of marketing businesses pay to have a link to their site placed in a prominent position on search engine result pages
Social media marketing – Using social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to build relationships with existing customers and reach a wider audience through digital word-of-mouth.
Email marketing – Sending regular email communications to users who have signed up to your list to build relationships and drive sales.
Retargeting – Contacting existing or potential customers after they have already had an interaction with your brand to get them to come back or convert into a sale. For example, placing an advert on their Facebook feed of a particular product they’ve looked at on your site.
Influencer marketing – Using individuals with a high profile and many followers on social network channels to promote your product or service.
These are just a few examples of the most popular types of digital marketing in play today. Each of these methods can be broken down into several other types of marketing and there are indeed hundreds or thousands of different types of marketing covering both online and offline channels.
No business relies on just one form of marketing. On the other hand, unless you’re a multinational corporation with a practically unlimited budget and resources, it’s not possible to tackle all different forms of marketing either.
To form an effective marketing strategy for your individual business, you must select the types of marketing that will be most effective for you, and form a plan in which they are integrated into a master strategy.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARKETING AND SALES
Sales and marketing are closely linked but they cover very distinct activities in your business.
The sales team doesn’t have any say in what the product is or who buys it – they simply take leads and convince them to buy. Employees working in sales must build close relationships with your customers and they need intelligence from marketing in order to do this.
The marketing team provides these leads by informing potential customers about your brand and product. They also use customer feedback and intelligence to decide what products to produce in the future or how to change existing products so they meet the customer needs better.
You won’t be effective at selling unless the people you are selling to already have some awareness about your brand or product – this is what marketing can do for you.
For a successful strategy, marketing and sales teams need to work closely together and have a unified approach. This ensures that only good-quality leads are passed to the sales team.
You can use a marketing automation platform to align your marketing and sales teams to ensure they’re working more efficiently towards a common goal.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMER
In marketing, knowing your customer is key. In fact, some marketers go so far as saying that marketing is essentially the process of understanding your customers.
Marketing should start right at the beginning of your business journey, before your brand even takes form. This initial marketing involves research and learning more about your customers in order to develop a product or service that meets their wants and needs.
This in-depth customer research isn’t a one-off marketing task, but one that is continuous. Focus groups, customer surveys, and collecting user data online are all ways that can help you to learn more about your evolving customer base and ensure that your brand is communicating with them in the right ways.
After a particular product or service has been introduced to the market, its success must be evaluated to see if it’s meeting customer needs. Marketing also plays a part in customer service and nurturing customer relationships. It’s not just about attaining new customers, but also making sure you get the most out of your existing customers and that they stick around for as long as possible.
Digital marketing has opened up a new world of possibilities when it comes to understanding your customers better and building relationships with them.
We now have the ability to collect a vast amount of data about individuals including their demographics, location, shopping habits, previous brand interactions, likes and dislikes, and more.
This data can be used to build a picture of your customers in a way that’s much more accurate and meaningful than the traditional “customer avatar” exercise.
Some of the other ways that today’s modern marketing technology enables us to learn more about and grow better relationships with customers include:
Using hyper-personalized messages to speak to each customer on an individual level
Predicting future behavior with artificial intelligence
Publishing content that’s more relevant to your audience
Seeing what other content they’re engaging with online
Analyzing brand interactions and optimizing your marketing campaigns
Automatically staying in touch and nurturing customer relationships after the initial sale
“Listening in” and talking about your brand on social media – and using it to improve your products and customer service
Conducting customer surveys easily, cheaply, and with instantly analyzed results
THE MARKETING MIX IN THE DIGITAL AGE
The “marketing mix”, also known as “the 4 Ps” of marketing are considered to be the foundation of your marketing plan. They represent the main decisions you will have to make when marketing your products or services:
Product – what will your product or service actually be and how does it meet the needs of your customer?
Pricing – what price will you set your product at? This is not always a monetary figure as customers may exchange their time or information for a “free” product.
Place – how do you deliver the product to the customer? Do they come into a physical store or do you sell online? Are you targeting a particular geographic region?
Promotion – what marketing methods will you use to tell the world about your product?
Getting the marketing mix right means you’ll be able to align with your customers’ wants and needs, strengthen your brand presence, and maximize your ROI.
The concept of the 4Ps marketing mix was thought up well before the internet became a part of normal everyday life, but it can be adapted pretty easily to form the basis for developing a marketing strategy in today’s digital world.
In the digital marketing mix, the 4 Ps are the same, but the approach is different.
Product – The internet means that you can have a business with no physical inventory. Instead, you can sell digital products such as e-books and courses. Even if you do sell tangible products, the process of product development has been forever changed. It’s now possible to order and create products on-demand to test out the market first, and the ability to survey your customers quickly and easily means you’re less likely to make mistakes when it comes to product development.
Price – Digital marketing technology means that you don’t have to decide on a single price for your product or service – you can dynamically adjust the price depending on who’s viewing it. There’s also more flexibility when it comes to pricing models, with subscriptions and recurring payments made more accessible to businesses and customers of all kinds.
Place – Clearly the main difference here is you’re selling online instead of in a bricks-and-mortar store. But there are also many different channels to explore when it comes to selling online. Your own website, online market places, email, and social media are all avenues to consider.
Promotion – Again, you’ll still promote your product but the methods are different than what you would have used 30 years ago. Instead of direct mail and print advertising, your strategy might include email marketing and social media marketing instead.
DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED A MARKETING STRATEGY?
It’s common for small businesses in particular to underplay the importance of marketing. However, it’s arguably the case that every business needs marketing to succeed. After all, how will you sell your products and services if nobody knows about them?
This misunderstanding of the importance of marketing most likely stems from the confusion around “marketing” as a term in the first place. If you’re asking yourself “what is marketing anyway?” or thinking it’s the same thing as advertising, it’s understandable that you may be reluctant to devote budget and resources towards a marketing strategy.
It’s true that some businesses have become very successful without using advertising.
Krispy Kreme is one example of a global brand that was built on word-of-mouth marketing rather than television advertising and other forms of promotion. They also invest heavily in employee engagement, meaning that each employee is a marketer for the brand and is trained in creating the product and customer service.
Camera company GoPro was also launched without advertising. Instead, they relied on the power of social media marketing and understanding their customer motivations to produce a product that customers actively wanted to promote. The GoPro Instagram account is still primarily made up of user-generated content today.
As discussed previously, marketing is not just promotion. But rather, it’s about learning and understanding more about your customer. Your marketing strategy will help you to figure out exactly who you’re serving and how you can align your business plans with your customer needs. This will not only result in happier customers but also drive revenue, and ensure you’re heading in the right strategic direction for both short-term and long-term growth.
HOW TO DEVELOP A MARKETING STRATEGY
Developing an effective marketing strategyis no quick and easy task, but the basics can be broken down into a few key steps:
Identify your goals – what do you want your business to achieve in the short and long-term? This may include specific sales figures but also consider factors such as raising brand awareness and your presence on social media.
Market research and identifying your customers – learn as much as you can about your target customers. Who are they and what do they want and need?
Competitor analysis – what are your competitors doing in terms of marketing? What products are they selling and how are they interacting with their customers?
Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) – what are you doing that makes you a better choice than your competitors? How will your marketing reinforce your brand message?
Choose your marketing channels – most businesses opt for a blend of online and offline strategies. Again this comes down to understanding your audience – where do they spend their time? What platforms are they likely to trust more?
While your marketing strategy lays out the overall aims and direction of your marketing activities in the coming months and years, your marketing plan will provide the details of the actual activities you’ll be carrying out to achieve these goals.
Both your marketing strategy and your marketing plan are keys to your long-term success, whether your business is a small startup or a global organization.
WIR SITZEN ALLE IM MARKETING!
I’m not sure Google translator gave me the right translation but whether you are in finance, or sales, marketing or the owner of a small business,we are all in marketing.
What is Marketing? I did a search on this term to look for some inspiration and found this recent article fromReliving MBA Days that does a great job reviewing the basics of marketing.
What is your definition of Marketing?Let me know what you think in the comments below and follow the conversation on Twitter
For your business to grow and succeed, you must market your business. However, before this can happen, you have to know what marketing really is. Marketing ain’t what most people think it is (ads) and it has changed dramatically in the digital era.
Marketing today no longer revolves around outbound techniques. It’s no longer one-dimensional, consisting of just ads on TV, the radio, or newspaper. Most of us tune that stuff out. We’ve been trained (by marketers of course) that brand messages consist largely of selfish promotion and even propaganda.
The secret to effective marketing is putting your customers first. Today’s marketing has many facets, one of the most important being digital content marketing and the use ofthought leadership contentto gain your audience’s trust.
To set you up for success, you’ll need to understandwhat marketing really isand how it’s changed in the past decade. With this information, you’ll be able to market your business properly to grow by attracting new buyers.
WHAT IS MARKETING?
While you may not be an expert in marketing, you certainly are familiar with it. You see it every day across many mediums. At the heart of marketing is what you say and how you say it. It’s not simply about the promotion of your product or service.
Marketing, in many ways, is like a story you tell your target audience—one they’ll respond to. While selling is often used simultaneously, that’s not what marketing really is. Yes, marketing’s goal is to entice people to want your product, but marketing actually starts with understanding the need you solve, more than your solution.
The secret to understanding what Marketing is today lies in being truly customer-centric, not brand-centric. It’s about understanding your customer so well that the message they hear seems like it was created just for them. You have to get inside their head and understand what motivates them and what their biggest pain points are.
Marketing starts by asking questions about your target audience. It’s the beginning of a conversation. At first, your brand and customer don’t know each other well, but your brand’s job is to find out who they are. The brands that are the most successful at marketing welcome the conversation and the answers they receive. They are never caught up in just making a sale.
The best marketers understand that education and information supersede promotional material. They have a desire to share knowledge with their audience. This is true for marketing for B2B and B2C companies.
How do marketers do this? With content marketing, which is a discipline of marketing wherein brands use content to attract buyers. We’ll dive into that topic soon, but first a look back at what marketing used to be.
MARKETING’S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
Marketing was initially something that consumer-facing companies invested in and it was typically handled by an outside agency.
Marketing, as we know it, saw a heyday during the “madmen” days of the 1960s when mass media were all looking for advertisers. And brands were happy to pay good money to reach engaged audiences on 3 TV channels.
During its early stages, marketing was all about a catchy jingle or a great tagline. This type of marketing still exists today. Think of all the commercials you see in one day. From banner ads on a website to the billboard you see on your commute, it’s a very crowded space.
The amount of media competing for attention is larger than ever. Plus, many people have become immune to ads. We dismiss them immediately. Instead, buyers now want to do their own research. They crave information to help them solve their challenges.
This change in buyer behavior was, of course, ushered in with the age of the internet. In a few clicks, you can find everything you need to know about a problem. Buyers want to consume information now, and they look at and judge a brand by its content.
Marketing has gone through a real transformation since the beginning of the digital era. This evolution brought about inbound marketing. It’s the exact opposite of an ad, which is created on a channel that the masses see, not a target audience.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that attracts customers with relevant content and experiences personalized for them. Outbound marketing (ads) disrupts an audience with content they didn’t ask for, whereas inbound marketing does not. Users are already looking for answers and with the right content, you can deliver them.
Most brands still employ both outbound and inbound marketing. And while they are both parts of marketing, as you can see, they are very different. So, there’s definitely tension between the two disciplines.
The inbound and outbound marketing dichotomy centers on the age-old tension between push marketing and pull marketing. Inbound marketing uses pull marketing tactics, and outbound marketing uses push marketing tactics.
In this sense, a pull is an action that the customer takes. With the push, it’s the brand making the first move. Inbound marketing also is two-way communication. Outbound is one-way and static.
Outbound strategies seek to engage audiences by being loud and off the wall. Inbound has a different take on engagement. It’s done with compelling content, not simply a shout out about how awesome the brand is. Let’s look at the power of content marketing.
THE NEW AGE OF MARKETING: CONTENT MARKETING ENGAGES AND ATTRACTS
Almost every brand is currently using content marketing in some way. Even consumer brands have realized the value of content marketing and how it can increase revenue, reduce marketing spend, and deliver better and more loyal customers.
In today’s marketing ecosystem, a brand cannot compete or survive without producing great content. It’s connected to every modern marketing principle. You can’t have social media without content. Social media has become a key channel for marketers to meet and nurture prospects, and it’s one of the leading ways to distribute content. It’s an excellent place to start a conversation—one that begins when you post relevant content that your target market will find valuable.
SEO and organic search traffic is (still) one of the bestreasons to do content marketing. What if you went to Google, typed in a query, and no results came back? That would be pretty unbelievable. Each day buyers are pursuing answers to their problems, and they do so with a search. With the right content, you’ll be a top choice.
So, what is the blueprint for great content marketing? You can find exceptionalexamples of content marketingall around you. There are certain key ingredients that when combined absolutely work.
First, the content itself needs to be relevant and interesting to the audience. It must share insights and ideas, not just regurgitate facts. The content should have a point of view and not be a plug for your brand. It also has to have a clean and inviting design.
Some other attributes of great content marketing include:
Content based on the needs of an audience
Empowering and inspiring viewers
Having a spirit of fun
Offering sound and expert advice
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP IS ESSENTIAL TO CONTENT MARKETING
Another key aspect of content marketing is thought leadership. It’s become a bit of a buzzword, but it’s important to your content marketing. Thought leadership is a type of content marketing that taps into thetalent and expertise within your businessor from your community to resolve some of the most prominent questions of your audience.
In old school marketing, endorsements were essential to get consumers to pay attention. Those endorsers weren’t subject matter experts but were popular. Endorsements from celebrities and professional athletes are still big business, but they don’t have the same impact as thought leadership.
Thought leadership, when executed well, guides an audience to a higher level of understanding and offers great credibility to your brand. If a buyer thinks your business is run by a bunch of experts, of course, they are going to come to you to solve their challenges.
What’s important in thought leadership is conveying a depth of knowledge that your competitors don’t have. It’s not an opportunity to promote. It’s a time to educate. And both B2B and B2C brands can use this strategy to forge deeper connections with their audience.
Thought leadership is a long-term investment in content marketing. You won’t be recognized as an authority right away. It’s something you have to build. It requires marketers to get inside the head of their subject matter experts, conduct a lot of research, and know their audience. But it can reap significant dividends for your business. You’ll want to develop a thought leadership strategy, which will enable you to market your business in a whole new way.
Marketing your business isn’t easy. And you’ll probably make mistakes along the way. What’s important is to keep your focus on how your brand will tell its story and engage audiences. Once you have a grasp on what marketing is and how it can help you grow, it’s time to develop compelling content that will transform the way in which you connect with your aud