Marketing is a function of a business to promote its products and services. The underlying objective of the marketing function is to make the product or service stand out amongst competitors in the marketplace in order to increase revenue by increase in sales as a result of the effective execution of the marketing function
Businesses, depending on their size and financial strength, either have their own designated team to take care of the marketing activities, or they hire professional services of marketing companies to outsource their marketing function. Outsourcing is usually done by smaller to mid-sized companies in order to conserve their limited resources to keep their focus on their core business activities. Its also a choice of some large organizations as well, primarily because leaving the marketing job in the hands of experts without heavily investing, in terms of time and money, in building their own team makes more sense to them, unless there is a good reason not to do so.
Either done in-house or outsourced, there are various traditional marketing techniques that are employed by businesses. Marketing techniques can be seen as the means by which businesses attempt to communicate, influence and remind consumers, either directly or through a third party marketing company, about their products, services and/or their brands.
Traditional marketing techniques are most commonly used tools to juggle with the ‘4Ps’ of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion and Placement. Their eventual goal is to increase sales. Traditional marketing techniques include; Advertising, Sales Promotion, Events and Experiences, Marketing literature, Public relations, Personal Selling, Direct Marketing etc. In addition to the traditional marketing techniques, there are numerous newer and innovative concepts of marketing employed by businesses today, such as, Internet Marketing, Marketing Driven by Business Behaviour and Search Engine Marketing etc.
Lets look into some of the traditional marketing techniques first.
Advertising: It includes print and broadcast ads, packaging inserts in the newspapers, movies, brochures and booklets, posters and billboards.
Sales Promotion: Product and service promotional activities to increase sales by means of short term incentives to encourage the consumer to buy the product or service, such as, Discount Coupons, Premiums, Contests and Games.
Events and Experiences: It includes sponsoring sports and entertainment events, experiential sales through arranging factory tours for the customers, increasing business’s interest in charitable and noble causes and participating in the promotion of events related to arts.
Public Relations: Its another communication technique employed by businesses and marketing companies. It includes, Public Speeches, Seminars, Lobbying, Annual Reports and Publications, such as, Newsletters. This technique also helps increase the credibility of the business and positively influences the demand of the products and services.
Personal Selling: Involves Sales Presentations, Sales Meetings, Incentive Programs, Providing Samples, Arranging Fairs, Trade Shows and Exhibits.
Direct Marketing: It includes Mailing Product Catalogues, Direct Letters to the potential customers, Telemarketing, Electronic Shopping, TV Shopping, Direct Fax Mails and Direct Emails.
Here, its imperative to highlight that the above list is in no way an exhaustive listing of marketing techniques that are used by marketing companies. Its a list of tried and tested techniques that work in most scenarios and it should be taken as a guide to the normal practice in the marketing world. Nevertheless, any business owner or any marketing company could come up with a new, innovative and workable marketing idea that could do wonders for the promotion of a particular business. For example, when PC sales was stagnant due to high competition and lack of variety for consumers, Michael Dell of Dell Computers, came up with the idea of providing PC on demand by linking his production line with on-line ordering system, where customers could place an order for a customized PC. This way, consumers got an opportunity to design their own PCs without bearing the extra costs of a tailor made design. This particular idea was highly welcomed by the customers and within no time Dell’s sales figures topped the chart in the industry. Now lets take a look at some of the non-traditional and innovative marketing techniques employed by marketing companies.
Internet Marketing: Marketing of products and services over the Internet is referred to as Internet Marketing or Web Marketing or sometimes called as On-line Marketing. The biggest advantage that comes with Internet Marketing is its low cost and global outreach. By having a strong Web presence, many businesses are rapidly choosing Internet Marketing as their primary marketing technique.
Search Engine Marketing: SEM comes within Internet Marketing, Its a technique used for the purpose of promoting websites by enhancing their chance of getting a hit from the relevant web surfer. This technique increases the visibility of the website in search engines by optimization methods. When a web surfer searches for an item, an optimized website that closely relates to that search query is automatically displayed amongst the top listings.
Marketing Driven by Business Behavior: Positive business behaviour goes a long way in properly recognizing and meeting the needs of the customer. In order to effectively identify and meet customer requirements, businesses need to be structured accordingly. Therefore, until and unless every single employee of a business does not recognize that the success of the business depends not only upon the collective effort of the whole company, but also upon his/her individual contribution into the business, the business’s progress is hampered. For sustainable success, Business Behaviour Marketing technique is a very important ingredient, which dictates that the staff’s ability to listen to the customer and to provide products and services according to the requirements of the customers is the key.
Keeping in view the eventual goal of marketing function, which is to increase sales, marketing companies provide a number of services to exploit various marketing techniques for the benefit of their client’s business. A successful marketing company would carefully juggle with available traditional and modern marketing techniques for the benefit of the stakeholders.