Before a product reaches consumers, it must first pass through a long process of development, manufacturing and marketing. Small to medium size companies not only have to compete with the tough larger brands as competitors but the creative tasks and tools necessary to bring their ideas to life which can be challenging if you have a limited budget for design, advertising and promotion.
One of the key things that I believe a business of any size needs to remain aware of is their products’ relationship to those already existing in the marketplace. You need to develop each offering in a way that strengthens your brand so an existing or potential customer does not move away. Needless to say, effective marketing and product success requires a tremendous amount of planning. This essential guide below to product placement, mobile marketing and use of social media will help you with the daunting logistics of marketing in today’s digital business landscape.
Pitch and Sell
For most small to medium companies, the first step in selling a product to consumers is selling it to another business. Whether you are trying to get an item on the shelves of a supermarket or to a hardware store, the first obstacle is convincing a buyer that your items will sell. To do so, your pitch must be polished and your product must be complete in every sense of the word. Your presentation should outline a product marketing strategy which demonstrates the strength of your brand, showcases the quality of your product, and proves that there is a market for what you’re selling. In addition, you should show how social media can influence and impact your product.
If you happen to be selling directly to consumers (from an e-commerce site, for example) your sales page must demonstrate many of the same things. In any case, make your information convincing, and easy to digest. Show the development of your brand and products so far, for example do customers or people who look for your product log on and buy over mobile devices? If so, how effective for sales is this – show figures. Once you can convince a buyer or direct customer that your future product is worth the investment you can begin thinking about other placement logistics.
In recent news, Ragan’s PR Daily reported on how YouTube stars are now being hired by businesses due to how they pitch their products on this social media network. Brands hiring off the talent of YouTube is the future of pitch and sell; showing the influence of social media and the need for its presence in business.
One of the most important aspects of product placement is having the infrastructure to physically get your goods into the hands of those who buy them. So before you launch a large-scale marketing campaign, ensure that you have established distribution channels that can operate smoothly, without cutting into your profit margin too heavily. [pullquote]Effective marketing can spell disaster for a company or start up without a solid backbone of reliable distribution.[/pullquote]
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or you might be a large business who needs to downsize, in each case distribution logistics is important. It’s actually mad to think that someone could potentially run a wholesale distribution business successfully just from their basement. It is possible but would your customer trust your product if they questioned you on distribution and you say “it runs from my basement?” For the sake of customer trust and loyalty you might want to invest some money on the layout of distribution. Hiring out a storage unit or renting warehouse or office space would look far more professional than your basement and would speak volumes about your business.
Did you know that Richard Branson started his business life in a small office above an old shoe shop? Richard Branson and the Virgin brand are very successful and this is the history of the Branson brand; from newspaper advertisements to profitable sales, it all started from a small office space above a shop.
Once you have sorted through your distribution process, it will be time to get that creative thinking cap on and think about promoting your goods. The Internet offers businesses of all sizes a wealth of creative marketing solutions today. Companies have the opportunity to pool resources, cross list items and connect with customers through collaborative content creation. Sainsbury’s, for example, recently gave their marketing campaign a major boost by teaming up with Vouchercloud a discount site to offer value for money. Oreo, has driven their century-old brand to viral stardom by promoting a quirky DIY science competition on YouTube to divide their cookies using complex machines. Great marketing means pioneering new ways to reach consumers, while providing them with content they will value, share and take away from.
If you have not developed an app for your business or implemented a mobile marketing strategy into your promotion, now is the time to do so. Why you ask? The answer is because it’s how people interact and buy today. Mobile is becoming increasingly the core of business success. Smartphone use is beyond addiction now, so do you have a mobile presence, if not get one. It may sound little that 25% of businesses have a mobile strategy but this shows how much room there is to grow in the field and get above competitors. App store marketing is clearly a good route to consider for promotion of a product when you know that Apple and Google Play have 700K apps each and two thirds of those have never been downloaded, meaning that the majority has. So, think about how you could tap into this, but account for this into your budget planning from the get go. Every day the world and internet is revolutionizing. It behooves you to keep up with the trends.
Social media is no doubt the most important marketing tool in the world today. Social Media Today reported that 93% of marketers use social media for business and it is obvious why. Businesses leverage it to connect with customers, conduct market research, inspire loyalty and promote their brand images. Its greatest strength is the avenue it provides for targeted marketing campaigns, which appeal directly to those who are most interested. Being able to tap into dedicated communities and sell products to the people who want them most makes all the difference.
As emerging mobile technologies increasingly influence the marketplace, the marketing world is constantly being transformed. Advertising campaigns today can take a nearly endless number of shapes and work in countless different mediums. So while social media and the web have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach out to consumers, the complexity of doing so has increased tenfold. Thus, companies need to keep a close eye on how other businesses are conducting successful marketing campaigns, dedicate their resources to pioneering creative networking strategies, and craft their brands to appeal to a new generation of tech savvy consumers. You can get your product placed well if you just think about these points mentioned today.