Picture how things might go, if the majority of the world went blind. Imagine what life would be like for the few who still see; to co-exist among those who cannot, they would have to constantly translate huge amounts of visual data into digestible sound-bites, or at least create a form of braille which efficiently does the same.
Marketing is a bit like the braille of consumer industry. Most people are blind to the purchasing options around them, therefore advertisers must translate to customers, in a palpable way, exactly what makes certain products and services worthy of attention.
A marketer’s job is to develop messaging that attracts anyone looking to fill a particular need, by making a case for exploring a product which fulfills that need. In crafting ads and devising public relations strategies, marketers employ targeted rhetoric, visual appeal, personalized perks, humor, and more; essentially, they do whatever it takes to gain their product the exposure needed to grow a customer base. Without a solid marketing plan, even companies offering exceptional products might struggle to win the recognition they deserve.
Not every business can generate the kind of local buzz that ensures a steady customer stream purely through word of mouth, and fewer still enter the scene fully equipped with a reliable flow of customers. To earn the sales that guarantee survival, most companies will have to invest in some form of advertising; for example, many restaurants institute loyalty programs, offering discounts and free products to customers who make a certain number of purchases.
Building a reputation
Companies whose products exceed public expectations benefit greatly from clever ad campaigns, as customers who already like a product are more likely to respond positively to ads that play on their admiration. Brand awareness is an integral part of constructing a reputation; by creating marketing strategies that encourage communication and criticism from customers, businesses equate their product with positive, pleasurable experience.
Sparking industry growth
Competition is the essence of a healthy industry; without the challenge in providing products that are preferred over the similar offerings of others, innovation stalls, customer enthusiasm grinds to a stop, and the industry wilts. A well-done advertisement spreads not only to customers, but competing businesses, who respond in kind by campaigning the positive traits of their own product.
Professional success often results from a marketing plan tailored to pique consumer interest. The strength of great marketing is useful to the new and unproven–in the first year of business, companies typically put as much as half of their sales towards marketing. It’s also common for businesses to spend as much as thirty percent of annual sales on marketing following the first year, as even veteran businesses acknowledge the value in sharp marketing.