Marketing Basics: A 101 Guide to Everything You Need to Know

    Marketing is a vast industry, and there are many aspects involved within this field. This article aims to provide a high-level understanding of the significant elements that make up the marketing mix and some tips on how to use them effectively. The marketing mix, commonly known as The 4 P's model, is explained in detail, and additional areas such as digital marketing are also discussed. The importance of measurement and analytics is emphasized to ensure that any strategy can be effectively evaluated and tested. The article's final section provides a brief look at how social media companies are using new technology to innovate in the marketing arena.

    What is Marketing?

    Marketing is the process of achieving a solid customer base by finding out what people want, selling to them in creative ways. Marketing encompasses all aspects of the business, including product development, distribution methods, and sales.

    Inbound marketing and outbound marketing

    The difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing is in the approach. Inbound marketing is more about being there when someone is searching for a solution to their problem.

    • Blog articles
    • Social media
    • training videos

    Outbound marketing is more like broadcasting or speaking to a crowd with a megaphone. Someone wasn't looking for it but could be interested based on what you say.

    • Ads
    • Cold calling
    • Brochures

    The Four P's of Marketing

    The model consists of four parts: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion and is one of the most widely used frameworks for planning and evaluating marketing campaigns. Thinking through each element in detail can help you develop a complete marketing plan for your business or organization. Let's go over each one to explain how it can impact your marketing strategy.

    Product

    The product is the reason for your business or organization to exist. Customers and clients need a product or service to be able to buy something they need or want. It also helps you think about the kind of product you are going to sell, how it's made, what it's made of, and where it comes from.

    When it comes to your product, consumers aren't only influenced by tangible factors. They take into account intangible things like fragrance and flavor in their decision-making process as well. For example, most consumers like to buy a bottle of wine with an appealing label design and feel unique. For this reason, products are often embedded with value proposition marketing techniques to help improve sales conversion and boost the customer experience.

    Product involves decisions of:

    • Quality
    • Features and options (colors, sizes, etc.)
    • Product and packaging design
    • Product lines
    • Product branding
    • Added services (assistance, warranty, training, etc.)

    Price

    Price determines whether people will buy your product, how much you're going to sell it for and helps define who your target market will be. It's not just about cold hard cash, though. It also includes an emotional and even unconscious component that factors our decision-making process when purchasing something new. When considering how much to spend on these goods, people make cost-benefit analyses to weigh what will please them more: their wallet or feelings? A few examples would be:

    • Being the most expensive because you offer the most features compared to your competition
    • Being the least expensive to undercut your competition
    • Being the most expensive because there is a high status tied to your brand

    Place

    Place is a defining factor in distribution channels and points of sale. It impacts how the product will reach the consumer, so it's essential to consider its effects when determining your P strategy overall.

    • Distribution channels
    • Ways of reaching consumers, such as retail stores or e-commerce
    • Pricing method
    • Brand positioning
    • Target market

    Promotion

    What are the methods that you are using to get the word out about your company or product? While it's a good idea to market to your audience through different channels, you also have to consider where your customers can be found online. For example, if you figured out the a good place to find customers is on Facebook, how are you promoting your product there?

    Some forms of promotion would be:

    • Advertising
    • Create a YouTube channel
    • Getting a booth at a tradeshow
    • Direct marketing

    The Most Important Marketing Elements

    A modern marketing strategy for a new product, especially a digital one like a SaaS, is more focused on digital marketing than anything else. You should focus on both inbound strategies as well as outbound, which will cover a lot of ground when it comes to SaaS sales. Let's go over the main areas that you should look into.

    Content Marketing

    This is one of the digital marketing basics that every company should take seriously. In fact, this article is part of our content marketing strategy... and you are reading it, which means it works. :)

    A form of inbound marketing is called Content marketing, which involves creating content that your target audience is looking for. Don't just put anything out there, create content that provides value to your potential customers.

    Content marketing can come in multiple forms. For example:

    • Blogging
    • Video
    • Podcasting
    • Email
    • Slide decks
    • Free apps
    • Social posts

    74% of companies found that content marketing increased both quality and quantity lead generation (Curata, 2020). Businesses with a content marketing strategy achieved 27.1% higher win rates and 18.1% higher quota attainment than those without a content strategy (CSO Insights, 2020).

    2 types have proved to be very effective for content marketing these days:

    Videos

    This is a fairly new phenomenon in marketing but it can reach an incredible number of people instantly. YouTube has over one billion users! Think about that. Now think about how many millions of views videos on YouTube get every day. The best part? Videos are easily shared across social media platforms, increasing the likelihood your audience will see them.

    According to Word Stream, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.87% of online marketers use video content. The most popular video types made by marketers in 2021 include explainer videos (72%), presentation videos (49%), testimonial videos (48% ), and sales videos and video ads (42% each).

    In recent years, more and more people are becoming online content creators. They build an audience around their brand and generate a significant income off of it. It's more intimidating than it is difficult. If you can use a camera, write some scripts and film yourself or others on essential video equipment, you're most of the way there!

    Blog Posts

    Blog posts are strategically created to give answers to questions people are searching for. When properly crafted, Search Engines will organically direct traffic to your site which will give you the opportunity to create a positive user experience and potentially get them interested in what you offer.

    One of the best things about blogging is that it's as close to free marketing as you can get, and you can do it from anywhere! The only downside to blogging is that it is not an overnight success. It can take months or years to see the benefits. That doesn't mean you should skip it, though.

    Additional reading - The Fastest Way to Write a Blog Post Outline

    Additional reading - Best Online Proofreading and Editing Software & Tools

    Email Marketing

    This can be both inbound and outbound, depending on what you're trying to do. Let's look at two ways you can use email marketing. In general, inbound emails are newsletters or announcements about new products, and outbound emails are requests for customers to buy.

    Create a newsletter using a service like Mailchimp or Encharge that will keep help you build an audience and potentially direct traffic back to For cold emailing, there are many tools like Mailshake and Lemliist designed to make emailing a lot easier - these can be used to shorten the process.

    For a really inexpensive email marketing platform with some beautiful templates, check out our Flodesk Review. If you use this link to sign up, you will get 50% off your subscription.

    Social Media Marketing

    In 2020, there were 3.96 billion people active on Facebook and 958 million on Twitter. That's a lot of potential customers! Social media also enables you to start building your brand and connect with your following from day one - which is good news for anyone starting out in business.

    If you want to generate leads from LinkedIn, check out our article on the best LinkedIn automation tools for outreach and lead generation

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    This is probably the best long-term marketing inbound marketing strategy. SEO is an effective way to increase traffic, but it does take some time. The idea is that you write an article based on a keyword, something that someone would search for like "Best proofreading tools", and the Search Engine will show your article when someone searches for that topic.

    According to SEJ: 53%: The percentage of all trackable website traffic that comes from organic search. (BrightEdge). The hard part is knowing what to write about which is why you use tools like Semrush or AHREF to do keyword research. They allow you to see what your competitors are up to, monitor how well your site is performing in search results, and so much more!

    Use this hack - Sign up for AHREF's 7-day trial export all the keyword research to give you enough articles to write for months. Then export all of those keywords to have them ready to use when building blog posts around your topic ideas. It's the best $7 they'll ever spend on marketing!

    Advertising and Pay-Per-Click (PPC

    If you can't wait for the benefits of SEO, putting up ads will give you immediate results. Depending on how you are advertising, this could be both inbound and outbound marketing

    Search ads - ads that show up before the organic listings in a Search Engine Display ads - Show a fun or catchy ad on other people's sites For startups and small businesses, PPC is a good way to get started. It requires you to put money down in order for your ads to display but you can directly reach your target market.

    Public Relations

    A great way to get your name out there in the digital space is with public relations. For example, you are getting covered on Techcrunch and newspaper coverage and brand awareness campaigns are all a vital part of PR. Prowly is a PR tool that lets you manage all of your press contacts, send eye-catching visual press releases, and track their performance.

    Influencer Marketing

    This is another inbound marketing tool that allows you to find influencers by location, industry, and number of followers. You can then engage them with "shoutouts" or sponsored posts to grow your business' reach.

    By working with influencers, you can market your brand and increase sales dramatically because of the trust that an influencer has built up with their following. We've seen influencers get paid to promote everything from a new show on Netflix to $55 "rose gold" hair ties.

    Events and Sponsorship

    Companies put on their events to engage with the audience. There could be webinars, conferences, hackathons, and other stuff that they attend for this purpose. They would mostly be going to these b2b focused gatherings where most of their customers exist.

    Sponsorship is another vital way to get the attention of their audience. For example, you could sponsor a video from a micro-influencer where they mention or use your product in their video. If they already have an audience you would like to reach, it could be a great opportunity.

    Marketing Funnel Stages

    In simple terms, a marketing funnel is a complete journey that a consumer goes through before converting into a lead or sale. Typically, this will consist of a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

    Generally, a marketing funnel is broken into stages that look like this:

    Awareness

    Awareness is the stage of marketing where potential customers are drawn in through various forms of advertising and other campaigns. Trust and thought leadership begins to be established, as does lead generation. Some call this the "Top of the funnel" (TOFU)

    • Blog articles
    • Social posts
    • Landing pages
    • Infographics
    • Videos

    Interest

    At this stage, people are aware of a company and its products. They may have even had the opportunity to try out those products or see them in action (through promotional material). This is where they become interested, sign up for an email list or reach out to sales reps but still might not be ready to make a purchase.

    • Blog guides
    • Live chat
    • Webinars
    • Targeted Ads

    Some of the channels that are used at the Awareness and Interest stages would be:

    • Ads
    • Social media
    • Cold emails
    • Pop-ups
    • Website

    If you want to know more about marketing funnels, our funnel mapping article is a great place to get you started.

    Consideration

    The next stage is the Consideration stage, where people start to think about buying. They compare prices, consider their needs and decide on a brand or product to purchase. This is when they show interest in sales reps, sign up for newsletters, or fill out lead generation forms.

    Intent

    This is where people are ready to make a purchase. They may be interested in getting quotes, but they're prepared to commit. This purchasing stage might include contacting sales reps, signing up for webinars or requesting product samples.

    Evaluation

    When evaluating a brand's product, buyers decide based on the input of marketing and sales. They work together to come up with information that will convince them whether or not the buyer should buy from them.

    Purchase

    This is the final stage of the marketing funnel. This is where the buyer becomes a customer. There may be multiple touchpoints in each stage with multiple methods of communication during each phase before they make this final step.

    Understanding Marketing Analytics

    The only way you will have an effective marketing strategy is to use analytics to measure your success. This is a powerful weapon in your arsenal to improve every aspect of the buyer's journey, but which tools are the best fit for your goals?

    Google Analytics is currently the most popular online analytics platform for measuring website traffic, providing deep insight into their behavior, and even connecting with other tools.

    They offer a free solution for individuals or businesses with less than 10 million page views/month.

    Semrush also has a free version, but it only offers three reports: keywords, backlinks, and traffic. On the other hand, the paid plans do offer some value to individuals who are serious about their business and have several sites for tracking.

    Tracking these will give you a better picture of your website performance and the value of your keywords. It also provides keyword tracking, site audit, social monitoring, domain vs. domain analysis, and backlink profiles.

    Marketing Tools to Help

    There are many benefits of using marketing tools that every marketer should utilize to help them grow their business. Here are some essential tools that every marketer should use: · Email Marketing Tools · Social Media Marketing Tools · Advertising and Pay-Per-Click Tools · SEO Tools


    Greg Tucker

    Written by

    Greg Tucker

    Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Oncore

    Greg Tucker is the founder of Oncore. With a background in digital marketing and many years of working with small businesses, he is creating and curating content on Oncore to help others build their own startups.


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