Whether you have a physical brick and mortar business, or one that is run entirely online, there are common goals that all entrepreneurs aspire to achieve. Some aspects of running a business are easier to do online, while others are easier in a physical business model. In today’s competitive world, the two are not exclusive; even if you have a small retail clothing store, you will need to allocate at least some of your marketing methods to online strategies.
Many business owners delegate their online marketing to professionals who understand the technology and strategies needed for best results. Good companies have experts on staff who can improve your website’s visibility within search engines and also ensure that your website resonates with your consumers; factors that are crucial these days if you want to succeed.
Marketing, branding and customer retention are aspects that every business must strive for. Here are some examples of how that can be achieved in the physical world and the online world.
Traditionally, marketing was limited to things like brochures, flyers, business cards and newspaper ads. If you had the budget, you could splurge on a radio or TV ad, but that was generally reserved for big businesses with big budgets.
Today, offline marketing methods like newspapers and TV ads are all but extinct. Flyers and business cards can still work well, but networking has become a better way to engage people and tell them more about what you have to offer.
A physical store or business is generally easier for building trust. Why? Because visitors and customers can see for themselves what kind of business you have – is your store or office clean and tidy? Is the staff friendly and helpful? Your employees are the face of your company and the first line of communication between your customers and your company. With the power of physical contact and a pleasant shopping experience, customer retention becomes easier.
Branding can be limited because your marketing efforts are largely based on your local area. So, if you’re located in Dallas, someone in NYC likely wouldn’t know about your business.
With millions of online shoppers each year, you would think it would be easy to capture customer attention and have them buy your product. But there are millions of websites out there and competition is fierce.
Online marketing can be overwhelming because there are many different methods that can be utilized to reach your audience – including social media, SEO, banners, PPC, etc. It can be dizzying trying to decide which ones will get the most results for your business. On the other hand, many of these marketing methods are more inexpensive than offline methods, so you get more bang for your buck.
With online businesses, reputation management becomes extremely important; visitors want to know if they can trust you before they will buy from you. The higher your reputation, the quicker you will build your brand and customer retention becomes easier.
But online marketing can be tough because your visitors don’t get to touch or see your product in person. Unless you are very specific in your description, they may order your product and still worry that it won’t match their needs or expectations.
Balanced Marketing Strategy
Whether you have an online or offline business, your best course of action is to create a balanced marketing strategy. This means having both online and offline marketing methods in place. If you master your marketing strategy, branding and customer retention will all fall into place.