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Marketing 101

Every business owner needs to become familiar with the basics of marketing. Whether your business is just starting out or you have run your business for a long time it is crucial to have a working knowledge of marketing. Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Keep in mind that if you don't market or worse yet fail to market effectively how will your customers know what you have to offer them and where to find you? While it can be a trial and error process before you find the right marketing strategies, business owners who make the effort to learn all they can about marketing can help to guide their business to long term success. Here is an overview of the basics of marketing-

- Know what your customers want-The basis of effective marketing is knowing what your customers want. If you don't know what your customers are looking for then you will have little chance of meeting their needs. You want to focus your marketing on the products that your customers want the most. However, in order to know this you will need to do sufficient market research to learn all you can about your target market. Keep in mind that it won't be enough to learn who your target market is. You will also need to know their income, lifestyle choices, gender, shopping habits and even their ages if you are going to be successful with your marketing.
- Use online marketing-Business marketing experts stress that every business should have an online presence. The reason for this is fairly simple. Today's tech savvy consumers are using the internet to research before they make a final purchasing decision. This means that you if you don't have an online presence then you may not even be considered by the very people who you are hoping to attract. Every business should start with a website and then they can branch out to using a business blog, social media networking, email and text, and mobile marketing. All of these online marketing methods have been shown to be highly effective in reaching customers and have shown to have high results in generating sales.
- Offer the best in customer service-Many business owners overlook one of the easiest ways to market their business. When you offer the best in customer service you are showing your customers that they are important to you. Studies have clearly shown that many customers will return to a store to buy again simply based on the level of customer service that they have received. This is true even when the price of the item that they are buying is not the lowest!This makes it crucial that you train everyone who works for you that customer service is their top job priority. In addition, when you are offering a consistently high level of customer service your customers will let their family and friends know that they should be shopping with you. This is priceless word of mouth advertising that every business wants.
- Know what your competition is doing-Many new business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don't have competition or if they do that the competition doesn't really matter. Both of these mindsets are a mistake. You must always be aware of what your competition is doing in terms of what they offer your customers and how they are marketing. Then you can make sure that your marketing strategy plays up their weaknesses and shows your business strengths. You should also keep in mind that due to the internet your competition is not just the store down the street but it may be a business halfway around the world, as well.

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