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Welcome to our easy-access guide to business marketing methods, a consolidated, quick-fire look at 20 essential sales and marketing strategies for your business.
At Content Nation we’ve been sailing these fair marketing seas for quite some time now, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s how confusing it can all be to navigate for beginners.
When you’re learning new things, it’s good to start from the beginning. So we’re not going to bore you with a complex in-depth guide. This is more a cheat sheet for your understanding. So when you’re speaking to a new partner or holding talks with a potential marketing agency (make it us, we’re great), you’ve got a good handle on understanding what the heck they’re talking about.
There are seemingly endless marketing strategies and definitions to choose from, so we’ve done the hard work and picked the 20 most important for you. Here’s a simple look at some important business marketing methods, strategies and terms.
B2B marketing, or business-to-business marketing, is the action of marketing products from one business to another. B2B marketing should be more focused on problem solving and value generation, showcasing how your solution can help deliver operational improvements, better business results or add a positive impact on the bottom line.
B2C marketing, or business-to-consumer marketing, is the strategy of marketing direct to consumers from a business. In today’s environment B2C marketing involves a focus on engagement, both emotionally resonating with customers, but also engaging them to show how your product can meet their needs or tackle challenges in an organic and value-adding way.
Content marketing is the new kid on the block, and it’s an essential strategy in today’s marketplace. Content marketing is based around the creation and curation of quality online content such as videos, blogs, infographics. It’s about building relevant and engaging conversations with an audience that help generate long-term and sustainable business results. The idea here is to attract attention, add value to your audience, and build engagement that’s based around generating positive customer relationships through relevant content.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that covers the wide range of online and connected marketing opportunities emerging from the internet and digital platforms. With over 2 billion internet users in the Asia-Pacific alone, 25 million of them here in Malaysia, digital marketing isn’t something a business can afford to dismiss. It covers social media marketing, online advertising, email marketing etc…
Direct marketing is outreach marketing with a targeted twist. It’s a broad term that incorporates a range of techniques based around direct outreach to the customers – whether that’s phone calls, text messages, emails or targeted direct mail.
The clue really is in the name here. Email marketing is about marketing to customers through email, whether that’s direct marketing outreach to a curated list or a more content marketing style interest-driven newsletter approach. Some misguided souls dismiss email marketing as dated in a world of targeted social media posts and search engine advertising. They’re wrong. Email marketing consistently outperforms other digital channels according to many reports, and provides a significant ROI to your marketing efforts.
Face-to-face events are a crucial part of an on-the-ground marketing strategy. This is a chance to build those customer relationships in a personal, engaging way. If you’re running your own event then you need to focus on ensuring customer experience and quality brand reputation is delivered at every step of the journey. That means consistent branding, simple customer lines of enquiry and a clear message. You don’t need to throw some high-end bash to enjoy these benefits. A well branded street stall handing out promotional material or offers is just as much event marketing as a glitzy gala event.
Want to get a bit more unconventional with your marketing? Guerrilla marketing may well be for you. This is about using attention-grabbing stunts and surprise tactics to gain widespread brand recognition and promotion. Think of this as the ‘something different’ in your marketing toolbox. Quirky street art walls, strange art installations, selling cholera on the streets of New York… check out the video to see what we mean. Bonus value for the hilariously old mobile phones on display.
Inbound marketing is a term we use to describe the modern marketing mindset – building brand recognition that leads to attracting customers in an organic way. As a strategy it focuses on content, primarily digital, that engages an audience by adding value to their experience, helping solve problems, presenting your business as a genuine thought leader, and generally positioning yourself so that at the point of need the customer then makes an informed choice to engage your company’s product or services.
Mobile marketing is about engaging an audience through the rapidly accelerating use of smartphones and connected devices. It’s distinct from other forms of online marketing because it is specifically designed to cater for mobile devices, meaning that size and functionality issues are keyed for more limited screen sizes and possible data consumption challenges. It takes a variety of forms, from mobile advertising to apps. With over 21 million mobile users in Malaysia, that’s a powerful opportunity to consider.
Partnership marketing is all about collaboration. It’s a strategy whereby your business teams up with another business or businesses to create a mutually beneficial marketing campaign. This is a great way of sharing the cost of marketing while amplifying your message across multiple brand audiences. It’s about finding a brand synergy that works for your business, like a sustainable fashion brand teaming up with a charity that focuses on reducing waste. It’s all about smart partnership.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) describes the essential practice of building an online presence that is visible, ensuring that your brand ranks highly in search engine results for your key focus areas. If you’re a chocolate donut chain in KL, you want your webpage to be the first thing people see on Google when they type in ‘delicious chocolate donuts in Kuala Lumpur’. This is about strong digital strategy, best-practice website building, and promoting a positive user experience on your website.
Not to be confused with SEO, search marketing also includes the more payment-driven end of the online marketing space. While SEO does fall under this umbrella term, what differentiates it is that search marketing also covers things like paid adverts such as those you see hovering at the top of Google.
Seasonal marketing, potentially also called trendjacking, is the process of leveraging key seasonal events to provide a promotional twist to your marketing efforts. Think malls decked with shining Christmas lights or big sports brands hosting World Cup promotions. The idea here is to find a way in which your brand can tap into the excitement around an important seasonal event, then using that to resonate with your potential audience.
Social media marketing is the process of using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote your brand. This can be both organic (a well-liked brand Facebook page) and paid-for (targeted social media advertising etc..).
Social media is a huge opportunity, but it is a crowded space. That means understanding the best-practice guidelines can make a huge difference in your success. Make sure you read up on the best ways to interact with your audience, be that times of day to post, frequency etc.. And be sure and read up on the paid advertising side of things too. Proper targeting can make the difference between burning money on a digital bonfire or delivering a positive return on investment.
It’s maybe got a bad reputation, but there’s still a role for telephone calls when it comes to marketing. Telemarketing has a reputation for unsolicited and unwanted calls that do little but pester the target customer. It doesn’t have to be that way. Building qualified leads that you follow up with a personalised phone call can be a powerful sales and marketing tool. Or you could just phone people repeatedly until they swear at you. Your call really.
Traditional marketing is the slightly condescending term that we modern marketers use to describe ‘everything that came before’. It’s an umbrella phrase that covers things like telemarketing, direct mail, billboard marketing etc.. Basically it means ‘what people used to do before the internet’. At Content Nation we know that’s still an important part of successful marketing, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Viral marketing is the twisted dream of most digital marketers – essentially creating online content that generates huge, ‘viral’, appeal. What that means is that it gains significant traction through widespread and rapid sharing on social platforms in a very short space of time.
People will try and tell you there’s a formula for this sort of thing, but if there is, it’s not one anyone has managed to reliably bottle yet. Building high-quality, value-adding content is the best way forward. Whether it goes viral or not is often left up to the Internet Gods.
Website marketing is intrinsically linked to SEO. There was a day when just having a website was a status symbol in itself, but nowadays that website has to really shine. Don’t get distracted by thinking something that looks fantastic is the only benchmark for websites. User-experience and customer journeys are the most crucial part of your online experience. You could have the most beautiful website in the world, but unless your audience can work out how to follow a pathway to a sale, it’s basically just a really shiny window display with no door to get in. Build with best-practice SEO in mind, and user-experience guiding every step of the journey.
Last but by no means least is word-of-mouth marketing. It goes without saying that the power of personal recommendations is still hugely influential in today’s world. A Nielsen study showed that 88% of consumers in Southeast Asia trust word-of-mouth recommendation from people they know. The best way to engage that is by delivering an outstanding customer experience at every stage of their journey. You might find it hard to track, but that recommendation that follows could have a substantial on-going impact for your business.