A common perception of marketing, derived through what we see, read and hear about every day, is associated with terms such as traditional marketing, content, social media, digital, and other media which in essence, relate to marketing communications. Looking at a product or service from a marketing perspective gives a wider view of how it can be successful on the market and meet the customers’ expectations.
One of the skills required for good marketing is that of building relationships, in this case between customers and products or services. When we buy a product or service, we have expectations which may be inherent or direct. For example, when dining out, apart from the quality and presentation of the food, we look for ambience, service and other elements which make up our full dining experience. Simply buying clothing, an accessory or fragrance can contribute to a ‘feel good’ factor. In essence, the success of a product depends on the customer’s experience, in satisfying expectations and what value the customer gives to each element incorporating the product purchased.
It is in the interest of any business to understand the customers’ needs and wants and to get to know the market segments which relate to the product or service. This is the first step to start building a good relationship with the customer. The creation of demand and customer engagement could give an organisation a competitive edge in promoting a product or service successfully. This can be achieved through creativity, building the name, image and reputation for both the product and the organisation. If a product is promoted through a company which has a good image, whilst the product itself enjoys a good image too, then there is a strong basis for success.
Promoting a product successfully needs good planning, creativity, coordination and hard work. It can consist of a mix of marketing activity and communications. For example, the organisation of seminars, product tastings, participation in fairs and exhibitions, organisation of open days and sponsorships are all but a few examples of below the line marketing activity. Meanwhile, above the line activity is about advertising and marketing communication. This includes traditional marketing such as billboards, television, radio and others. It also includes digital and social media advertising. A well thought-out strategic and implementation plan will determine how the product is communicated on the market, how much product engagement is built with the customer, how much demand is created, how popular the product becomes and hence how much is sold. A successful promotional strategy is also a good tool for salespeople, as it makes the product sell faster on the market.
The best equipment to gain insight into how and where to promote and communicate your product or service through the right channels, is knowing your product, acquiring a deeper understanding of your customers, and targeting those you wish it to reach.