Below are explanations of some of the marketing terminology used in this site.
Advertising was once a mass marketing tool: a TV commercial, a billboard poster or a page in a magazine. However, with the meteoric rise of digital and social media, advertising is now a highly targeted way of reaching your audiences. Advertising is primarily about generating sales, but it also creates brand awareness. Even if people aren’t going to immediately buy your product or service, your brand will be familiar to them. It’s therefore important to be creative, to make your advertising stand out.
The dictionary describes a brand as “a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name”. However, there’s more to it than that. Brands are rooted in values. It’s much more than just a logo, strapline and set of graphics – although these are all important for conveying the brand. Brand is about how you want your customers to view you and respond to you. For example, do you want to be seen as traditional or quirky? Bold or safe? Define your values first and the visuals of your brand will follow.
Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organisation by building relationships with customers and prospects and researching new markets and opportunities. It is very closely related to sales; indeed the two go hand in hand, as you can’t make effective sales without business development. Likewise, business development should be practiced in tandem with marketing, to ensure alignment of key messages.
Content is relevant, useful and readable information. How content is presented is vital to capturing an audience’s attention. It can be through the written or spoken word or presented digitally, such as in a video. You will often hear talk of content marketing; this is essentially using great content to attract audiences – creating value for them with the goal of ultimately converting to sales.
Your choice of words should never be underestimated. Done well, copywriting can elevate your business, reaching out to your audiences in the right ways. Done badly, copywriting can cost you dearly. Your written content should always be captivating, concise and jargon-free. If you’re not a natural writer, then hiring a copywriter is a very sound investment. Copywriting should focus on the customer benefits of using your product or service. Too many companies talk about themselves and neglect to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question.
A database is a computerised system that makes it easy to search, select and store information. There are many different types of database available on the market nowadays and which one you select will depend on your business requirements. It is a very important tool for any marketer and is essential for building relationships with
a company’s customers and prospects. CRM (customer relationship management) systems are the most advanced types of database; they allow you to upload contacts and target them with a range of communications in a timely and cost effective manner.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. However, it is more commonly used to describe a targeted, mass email campaign using a tool such as MailChimp, whereby eye-catching communications can be tracked and evaluated.
Exhibitions can provide an excellent way for you to reach your target audience cost effectively; however, the trick is to pick the right one and ensure that your target audience is aligned with the visitor demographics for the show, otherwise it can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise. This information is always available from the exhibition media pack, which can usually be found online. It’s always worth looking a past events to see who was there and if possible, ask around for feedback. Depending on your product, exhibitions can prove to be a good sales channel. To make an exhibition stand successful, you need to ensure a strong design that will make you stand out from the crowd. You should also try to gather as much info as possible from your stand visitors and follow up with any prospects after the event.
Founded in 1998 by two PhD students, Google Inc. is an American multinational tech company, specialising in Internet-related services and products, including online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware. Google is best known for its leading search engine, the “go-to” web page for any query. So iconic is the brand that it has been turned into a verb. “Google it” is often the response to a difficult question! It should be the aim of any business to appear on the first page of Google search results, whether that is through a natural search, paid advertising or Google Maps.
Google Analytics is another important tool in the suite that can help website owners to track and evaluate how their sites are performing and can help inform what adjustments may be needed to increase sales.
Graphic design is the art of creating visual content through the use of photography, illustration, typography and colour. It is used to communicate a brand or message. Whether it's a logo, business card or website, it’s no secret that bad design drives away business. Nowadays, great graphic design skills are in hot demand as businesses seek to carve a strong identity and stand out from the crowd.
Hubspot is a company which specialises in inbound marketing - driving customers to you, rather than you hunting them down – and helping to convert leads. Hubspot offers some useful – and free - online tools which can give you an insight to how well your website is performing, and how well your online marketing compares with your competitors. It is useful for benchmarking and highlighting areas for improvement.
Inbound marketing is where prospects naturally come to you when they are actively in the market for your product or service. Since they are ready to purchase, they are far more receptive to your messages and communications and so your conversion rates are far higher. Inbound marketing is more likely to happen when you have already implemented a brand awareness campaign, usually this happens through a well-managed social media presence or search engine optimisation.
KISS stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. It essentially means that you should keep messages clear and concise. Nowadays, we are exposed to so much marketing “noise” – through a combination of online, radio, TV, billboards, apps, emails and much more besides – so if your message is anything other than simple, it is likely to get lost. Avoid hyperbole and don’t get dragged into detail. Key messages should be short and sweet.
Loyalty is an important element of any marketing strategy for any business – and one that is all too often overlooked. Too much focus tends to go on generating new leads and sales – but you should invest time and effort into building a relationship and fostering loyalty to your brand and product or service. Building brand loyalty can be achieved in a variety of ways, including rewards/discounts exclusively for existing customers, developing an outstanding customer service offering which ensures your customers don’t ever need to go elsewhere and showing appreciation for custom through your social media channels.
What’s more, if your clients become true brand ambassadors, they will do your marketing communications for you – spreading the word on social media and to their friends and communities.
A marketing audit is an essential part of putting together a marketing plan. It is commonly undertaken as a first step: commonly comprising a SWOT analysis, an assessment of the competitive landscape and a review of what activities currently work well – and not so well. It also evaluates a business’ goals, aspirations and results. While a marketing plan will generally follow an audit, the audit should be a living document which continues to evolve as processes and ideas are tested.
A marketing strategy combines each of a business’ marketing goals into one, comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the customer need, with a view to achieving maximum profits. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan, which details more of the tactics that will be employed to fulfil the strategy.
A marketing consultancy will provide end-to-end marketing services, from an audit through to planning, implementation and evaluation. They will have expertise in a broad spectrum of the marketing mix, including market research, communications, digital and social and experiential. Ultimately, a marketing consultancy will help a business to increase its competitive advantage and maximise its sales potential.
In previous years, media was a broad term which encompassed print (newspapers and magazines) and broadcast (TV and radio). Nowadays, thanks to the digital revolution, the possibilities are endless. Media can be defined as any medium which is used to communicate with consumers and that includes mobile phones, tablets, websites, social media, apps and a whole host of digital radio channels. In spite of the increase in media, it is in fact easier than ever before to target specific audiences, particularly given the popularity of social media.
Word of mouth is still one of the most effective mediums for marketing and you’re far more likely to get a glowing review or positive recommendation, if you play the networking game. Networking is no longer solely about attending face to face events (although they still play a part), it’s about building a presence online – being active on social networks and interacting with customers in a human and authentic way. Networking is an important tool for winning positive affirmations and should be an essential feature of any marketing plan.
Having an online presence used to be a bonus, but now it’s a given for any business which wants to succeed. Although a website doesn’t necessarily need to play a key role in terms of lead generation for your business, today’s generation of media savvy purchasers will always be researching online – regardless of the type of product or service you are selling.
If you went online to check out a potential supplier and they had no website, you would probably assume they are either dormant or stuck in the dark ages and therefore out of touch. It’s going the same way with social media – if you don’t have a presence, then what does that say to your customers and leads? Of course, it’s not only a case of having an online presence, you need to do it well. Your website should look and perform better than the competition’s and your social media channels must be responsive and active.
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing whereby advertisers must pay a fee each time someone clicks on one of their ads. Essentially, it's a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. Ideally, you want your website to list on the first page of google in a keyword search but if it’s a particularly crowded market, you may find PPC offers a cost-effective solution to increasing inbound sales.
Referral marketing is a process designed to vastly increase referrals from word of mouth. This can be achieved by encouraging and rewarding customers to recommend your products and services. Although recommendations can happen spontaneously, there is much that a business can do to encourage them, such as building a network of brand ambassadors, creating custom links and codes and incentivising referrals.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it describes the process of enhancing a website so that it appears higher in the rankings on organic searches. In other words, it’s all about getting onto page 1 of Google! There are a range of techniques which can be used in SEO, including the platform a website runs from, quality website content, backlinks and tagging. Businesses are advised to seek the advice of someone well versed in SEO before creating their website.
Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have become daily features in most consumers’ lives. It’s how we share and discuss pretty much anything. Social media can be used in so many ways. You can build a brand which can speak directly with your customer base and prospects – and best of all, it’s totally free to use! There’s paid advertising, too, which can be incredibly effective when used wisely. However, as a free platform to engage and excite customers, you’d be crazy not to be a part of it.
USP stands for either Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition. In other words, what is it about your business that will make you stand out from the crowd? It could be something you do differently, or you might just do something a whole lot better than your competitors do. Your USP should be driving the development of your company and your marketing strategy. Your brand and image should clearly communicate the benefit you are offering.
A website is a virtual shop window. It’s therefore essential that a website is a true reflection of the business, with the right kind of design, content and branding. Websites can vary in complexity; some businesses only need a simple layout to show people who they are and what they do. Others include shopping capabilities and booking systems with live availability, live webcams and interactive chat bots. It’s worth speaking to an expert who can guide you to the right kind of design and cost-effective model to fit with your business goals and aspirations.