There are three basic types of marketing strategies that all businesses, big and small use. All marketing plans can be broken down into one or all of these types. They are:
- Online or internet marketing.
- Offline marketing.
- Word of mouth or relationship marketing.
There can be some cross over of these categories mostly between online and relationship and as we get into our topic you'll see how this is. Also, you'll find that there can be a wide range of marketing costs between these different types and I know that this is important to all people who are just starting up a new business. Remember that marketing can be the most exciting part of a business start up because you can see your business grow and become successful.
Online / Internet Marketing
Many people today are starting businesses online. Like all business start ups, online or brick and mortar stores, not all who start will succeed and what will determine if they do is their marketing plan. Online marketing combines creative and technical aspects of the internet, including advertising, design, sales, and development. It also uses search engine marketing (such as Yahoo and Google), banner ads on websites, search engine optimization, and email marketing strategies. There are some definite advantages to online marketing. Internet marketing is fairly inexpensive when you compare it to the cost of reaching your target market with traditional marketing techniques. There are many companies that have found that they can reach a very large audience for a significantly lower cost than their standard offline advertising methods. Offline Marketing This is the traditional type of marketing strategy. If you are old enough, if not ask some old guy you know, think back about 20 years, before there was an Internet. All the types of marking that was used then fall into this category.
- Newspaper ads.
- Bulk mail.
- Magazine ads.
As you can imagine offline marketing will be the most expensive type of marketing because unlike online marketing, every time you want to get your name out there, you'll have to pay. So keep in mind how much of a budget you have to commit to marketing. You may want to concentrate more of your efforts to internet and relationship marketing but as always the choice is yours.
Word of mouth or Relationship Marketing
This type, if you commit to it, can and will be your most important marketing strategy. You will build trust in your customers that can't be built by the other ways. Think about your own experiences when purchasing a new (fill in the blank). If what you want to buy is recommended by a trusted friend the chances you'll buy is greater than if you just see an advertisement. Trust is HUGE in any marketing strategy. The trick here is building networks of people who know and trust you.
- Business Acquaintances
- Community Involvement Coworkers
- Fellow Churchgoers
- Anybody you meet in town.
When the opportunity presents itself, talk about your business! Tell them what you are doing, your plans, your dream of eventually want your business to look like. Opportunities present themselves all the time, all you have to do is recognize them and put yourself out there! As these people get to know your business and like what you have to offer, they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends and so on.
Since the advent of the internet and depending on the nature of your business, (if it's local or more far reaching in who your customers are) this could be the greatest part of your marketing strategy. I'm not telling you anything you probably don't already know but today the internet is built on relationships. People reach each other on:
And this is only the tip of the iceberg! There are more places to meet and get to know people than you can shake a stick at. Like online marketing. These are the 3 types of marketing strategies and they will work for you and your new business but you must commit yourself to them. It is work but you can do it. Believe in yourself! (if you made it this far, I believe in you too because you have proven that you have the will to succeed) You believe in you and so do I. That's 2 people – see, your plan is already growing!