Kotler and Armstrong define marketing as “the process by which companies create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customer in return.” This definition alone can explain why marketing is important, but let’s outline several reasons why marketing should be one of the small business owner’s main priorities.
1. Marketing builds value in your products and services for your customers.
Most salespeople want to know as little as possible to make the sale. Some sales staff needs technical specifications and things of that nature, but ultimately, the less they have to learn the better. This makes sense, because their goal is to make sales. Therefore, marketing has to step in and create value for your customer. If you can not create value for your customers, why will they buy from you? Sometimes they will buy from you once, but will they come back if there is no value?
Many times, business owners don’t capitalize on all the ways they can give value to their customers. They get lost in the production or product concept of marketing and end up with marketing myopia. Marketing myopia happens when a company pays more attention to the product/service than the value or benefits it offers to the customer. You can not let this happen to you. Pay attention to your customers and why they buy your products. People buy a Toyota Prius not only because it saves on gas, but because it makes them fell more eco-friendly.
2. Marketing helps build customer relationships.
Everyone put emphasis on the sales staff when it comes to sales. “If the sales team doesn’t work harder, we won’t increase sales,” but this is not necessarily true. It costs three times as much to obtain a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. This means you need to maintain the relationship with your current customers in order to lower marketing and sales costs and increase sales.
Properly planned and implemented marketing activities are the only real way to build customer relationships. These activities can include a lot of things: loyalty programs, thank-you cards, customer appreciation events, free gifts, and so on. Each company must find a unique way to set themselves apart from the competition while building a loyal and long-lasting relationship.
3. Marketing establishes a brand image.
When you use FedEx for shipping, you know what you are getting: fast delivery, flexible shipping options, and better service than other shippers. Are all of these things true? They may be, but their marketing activities established all of these. FedEx will have to live up to these expectations of their brand, but their marketing department set the customer up with this image.
You must use marketing to establish your brand. Customers need to know what to expect from your company based on your brand image. What kind of products and what types of service will you provide the customer? Let your marketing tell the story and establish your brand.