The Importance Of Understanding How To Effectively Market Your Business*

 

 
*This is a collaborative post*


The Covid 19 pandemic has caused all kinds of trials and tribulations for businesses and business owners over the course of the last 12 months. Whether a sole trader or multinational conglomerate, the economic turmoil has been very real for many businesses across many sectors. With in store retail sales drastically down anywhere from 25% plus on the previous year of trading.

People are obviously opting to stay in the relative safety of home rather than going to the store, and with government lockdowns in full effect, the surge in ecommerce has been tremendous. Established businesses are being left with little alternative but to embrace this all prevailing trend of online business or else they face being left behind.

Marketing is a forward looking approach used by any person or business organization with the fundamental goal of attaining a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and demand of customers.



What is Ecommerce?


For the unfamiliar, in simple terms, ecommerce (electronic commerce) simply refers to the process of buying and selling products or services and exchanges of information between businesses and individuals via the internet. Although ecommerce has undoubtedly grown due to the Covid pandemic, it should be noted that ecommerce has been growing year on year at a very healthy rate long before the pandemic arrived.

For example in 2015 during the first half of the year, ecommerce in China accounted for 10% of all the country’s sales for that period. With 668 million online users, China has the largest ecommerce market in the world, with more than double the number of internet users in the United States. 

 

 


 

One of the greatest attributes of having an online business or at least a business which is accessible online to consumers, is that you are then able to market your product or service to a far greater consumer base. Why struggle selling your wares locally when you literally have the opportunity to engage with a truly global online marketplace with hundreds of millions of consumers.

China had increased its ecommerce transactions with other countries by 32% to $375.8 billion) in 2012, which accounted for 9.6% of China’s total international trade. More recently as of October 2020 US ecommerce sales were predicted to reach $794.50 billion for the year. This represents an increase of 32.4% on the previous year of trading. This is a much higher growth rate than the 18% predicted in the 2nd Quarter forecast, again this is due to consumers continuing to avoid stores and opt for online shopping during this pandemic.



Marketing an Online Business



With so many people being furloughed and losing their jobs as a result of the economic downturn online businesses are being set up in record numbers everyday. From people creating online stores, making and selling cakes and confectionary, to online car traders, there seems no limit to the potential for online commerce. However, it is worth noting that with so many new businesses all shooting up, and all in search of their own percentage of the global online market share, competition is fierce. 

It is not enough to just set up or digitalise your business and simply sit back and think the job is done. 

Like all aspects of business, the businesses which are least likely to adapt will be the least likely to survive and you must remain highly active as trends can change rapidly in the commercial sphere, marketing is something which should be at the forefront of your mind at all times.

In order to maximise the profitability of your business and to ensure that your foray into ecommerce is a fruitful one, it is important to consider how you will market your business/services. How will you advertise your business and how will you ensure that as many potential consumers are aware of your existence. There are many methods for doing this but i’ll just give a couple of examples here as follows:



Marketing Your Business With Facebook Ads


As of February 2020, Facebook had 2.7 billion monthly active users which makes it the biggest social network on youtube. This makes it a fantastic platform to utilise in order to help the expansion of your business. There are many benefits to using facebook ads such as the fact it can increase brand awareness and it can help to generate greater traffic to your business site.

Facebook advertising is also very fast, you could literally be reaching thousands of potential customers by the end of today which is a huge bonus for those who feel they have little time to waste. Another huge benefit of using Facebook Ads is that it is so inexpensive, it is one of the cheapest forms of advertisement available. For the nominal sum of $5 you can reach 1000 people.




When one considers the traditional costs associated with advertising it really is a great option, especially for smaller business owners who may not have access to a huge advertising budget and are therefore looking to reach as many people as possible while doing so in an economically viable way.

For anyone new to the online business world, or if you’re just getting started with your own venture, definitely do some research into some of these cheap and very effective marketing methods, it could save you and your business a fortune.


Email Marketing


Email Marketing is one of the biggest and most popular forms of online marketing. I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the seemingly endless torrent of spam mail which fills our inboxes on a daily basis. This seemingly annoying fact actually tells us just how good a tool for marketing emails are. Once again it is comparatively cheaper than traditional methods of advertising or trying to reach an audience via other media avenues such as radio, newspapers and TV.

Email is consistently cited as one of the marketing methods which delivers the highest return on investment. By utilising email you can reach an already engaged audience which enables you to deliver targeted messages. Email marketing can help you to drive revenue and it is easy to use, simple to measure and you can engage with a global audience too. You can find out more here.

 
 
*Header photo source. Second photo source. Third photo source
 

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