First to Market
Let’s Go To The Market
Marketing is one of the most overused terms in business. People breathe life into it as a verb: “You need to market this.” Executives refer to it like a resource: “What does the marketing data indicate?” Manufacturers use it as a destination: “We need to go to market with this.” People also use it as a title: “Let’s get a marketing guy in here.” Then there’s the stock market, to which traders refer in the morning as the opening market and when prices rise, it is a bull market. The variety of ways people use the term can make it difficult for businesses to measure marketing results.
Customers measure a product or service by the most primal metric: Is it any good? As a seller, you should not be the only one happy about the transaction. What you are marketing should be so great that it inspires people to talk about it with enthusiasm. Word-of-mouth—also called testimonial—is the best promotional vehicle. This is more important than lowest price. So make certain you are delivering something customers love to see and are proud to use—even boast about.
What is Marketing?
Context can alter meaning. When we speak of the market for your product, we are referring to a characteristic group of people. When marketing a product or service we are referencing the use of data to make educated promotional decisions. Marketing is the study and management and business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. Simply put, it is the method of meeting the needs of customers. This might involve collecting data from focus groups, surveys, customer feedback cards, or phone inquiries.
Marketing is meeting the needs and wants of a consumer. —Andrew Cohen
Marketing doesn’t just compliment advertising, it is even more important. Suppose your market is primarily 30–50 year-old doctors. An advertisement depicting teens at spring break may not resonate. What appeals to your audience? This is what your market data tells you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can hire a marketing guy for a couple of hours to send you in a profitable direction. It takes time. For a small business, the marketing guy may be you.
“Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential.” —Dr. Philip Kotler
How does market data speak wisdom? Initially, data is quite dumb. Through trial and error, you gather information and adjust methods. You will get many suggestions that are not based on your data. Friends may tell you to send emails or jump on a particular social media platform.
There are some principles that statistically lead to better results than others: great product, responsive website with fast and affordable shipping are the basics. If you are going to advertise online, prepare a landing page. Stripped of distracting links and navigation, this differs from a standard product page. Beyond these basics, you need to measure.
“Marketing is the process by which a firm profitably translates customer needs into revenue.” —Mark Burgess
A marketing plan is a road map of how to gain exposure and react to market conditions. In time you will understand which promotional method performs less than industry average for your business. When you begin answering questions with statistics, you earn the title “marketing guy.” Eventually, everything from the products you offer and how you price them down to the colors you use and places you advertise are influenced by market data.
Building Reliable Marketing Data
If you have an existing customer base, learn its motivation for using your product. How did customers find your company? What is the level of satisfaction with your product or service? Is theirs a one-time purchase or are there future opportunities for the same or complementary products?
Using surveys or phone inquiries, sample a significant subset. You can multiply reactions of 10 percent by 10. If you have hundreds of thousands of customers, a sampling of 1 or 2 percent may be more attainable.
New companies make more errors in the beginning. Eventually, they discover what works best. Start out by defining the market you want to reach. List what you think might interest that market. Sample, gather data, and adjust.
Use Marketing Data to Promote
When purchasing ads to support or test your marketing efforts, the demographics of the advertising vehicle should align with your target audience. Venues with less specific demographics are generally less expensive than ones that match your needs to the minutest detail. Since Facebook has the most information about its subscribers, an ad presence there is on the high end. Twitter Promote is on the low end with poor results. A social media platform with many active users or one amplified by influencers can be effective.
“Marketing is the act of developing an engaging relationship with every single human being that shows an interest in you.” —Paul Flanigan
Discover hidden gems by identifying an option that resonates with as many descriptors as possible and testing for a few months. Your ads may have more targeted visibility on niche websites. This provides you with measurable data.
ClinicalPosters is opening up its website to advertising partners who are looking to reach health conscious consumers. If this sounds like a good fit, we can work together on a campaign for you. By taking advantage of opportunities now, you can be first to market.