Many may view business and marketing as separate endeavors, but at the end of the day, the two go hand in hand. Marketing and business complement each other as naturally as ice cream and good times – more on that later.
The same can be said for sales and marketing, but they too both benefit from shared goals and resources. Marketing, in its simplest form, means getting consumers interested in your product or service. Marketing does, or at least should, influence all aspects of your business, from product development through distribution.
Your Messaging Strategy
The best products or services can explain to consumers what they are all about in one tidy sentence. Think express car wash or In and Out Burgers. Little more needs to be said about how purchasing these products will help consumers. A clean car and a satisfied appetite can both be quickly completed by shopping there.
This month, we feature Katie Imler’s podcast on the Ice Cream Factory. Inside their scoop shops in Eldon and Jefferson City, MO rests a large sign that indicates Ice Cream Makes You Happy. It’s hard to disagree with that. There are two things that stand out with this message, brevity and benefit.
Messaging strategy also needs to be updated to keep time with consumers’ constantly shifting behaviors. Two cell phone giants, Apple and Samsung, are good examples of this. Apple will be happy to sell you their Apple iPhone 14, now in yellow, while Samsung counters with the S23. Both companies spend millions of dollars on messaging strategies to constantly inform consumers how their latest products will improve their lives. And just between these two companies, they have introduced 37 variations on the same theme with more updates on the horizon.
Actively Pursue New Markets
There is a great lesson to be learned from 3M, a Fortune 500 company based out of Minnesota. 3M is constantly exploring new products by understanding the importance of constantly innovating to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, and introducing new products also uncovers new markets with different marketing messages and channels.
3M has created a culture of innovation that requires:
- 30% of revenue must be created by products that are four years old or less.
- 6% of revenue is dedicated to research and development.
- On average they file 4,000 patents annually.
- 15% of an employee’s time is spent on innovation.
And while Post-It notes may have been created mostly by accident, their strong growth and new revenue streams are not. They are a by-product of their continuous quest for new markets and utilizing marketing with each forward step.
Growing your business may also involve finding a new end user. Many companies that started with a direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategy found greater benefits by switching to a Business-to-Business (B2B) model. They realized that it is easier to manage and distribute to a small set of large customers instead of a large population of individual users. Some companies do both, and their marketing efforts look different as a result.
Marketing Includes Distribution
The popular TV show Shark Tank motivated many entrepreneurs to market their product or service to become the next millionaire. What may surprise you is that the judges aren’t necessarily evaluating products for what they believe is the best or revolutionary. They are looking for the product that will most easily fit into their already established supply chain or distribution channel.
This is an example of how business and marketing complement each other. Before a business expands manufacturing or otherwise multiplies its service, a method must exist to distribute these products. If expansion comes too soon, you are left with a hulking warehouse that eats up your profits. Expand too late and impatient consumers will have simply substituted your product for another. A strong marketing campaign walks in-step with product launches proving in business what is true in life – timing is everything.
Great Marketers Understand Business
Have you ever wondered why great marketers ask so many business-related questions? In order for us to help you we have to understand your business, your competition and the industry. We want to know your opportunities for growth, how you operate and ultimately how you drive sales and make money, so you can do more of that. We ask so many questions so that we can find the best solutions, and most solutions, just like your business or service, are unique.
If you have questions about marketing and the impact it can have on your business let us know. Because even in a rapidly changing digital world, trends come and go but a sound marketing strategy never goes out of style.