What does it mean to be a marketer?

That’s the question we wanted to discuss in this week’s live conversation on Periscope.

It’s an important question — especially for small business owners who depend on marketing to feed their business, reach new audiences, and turn new customers into repeat buyers.

In this week’s session, we discuss:

  • How today’s marketing tools have redefined what it means to be a marketer
  • Why email should be at the center of your marketing strategy
  • The relationship of marketing and direct sales
  • A 5-point checklist for marketing success

Watch the recording of this week’s session or read the full transcript below:

(Having trouble viewing the video? Watch it here.)

What does it really mean to be a marketer?

Marketing has changed quite a bit in recent years. With tools like email marketing and social media, and even just the ability to build your own website or blog, marketing has changed and put a lot more control into your hands.

When you’re doing marketing it can seem pretty overwhelming, especially if you own your own business or run an organization.

But marketing doesn’t need to be this gigantic concept. You now have access to tools that let you run your own campaigns, but you do need to figure where to invest your time and resources.

In today’s world, the best place to start for any business — especially a small business — is email marketing.

Email is the place people are going every day. While social media can also help connect with your audience, there’s no more direct way to reach customers and know your message has been delivered than email. With email, you own your contacts. These are people who have raised their hands and asked to learn more about your business.

It’s no surprise that in a recent survey of consumers 91 percent say that email is the preferred way to hear from the companies they business with. It’s also not surprising that in a similar survey, which looked at the tools that marketers are seeing the best response from, 91 percent said that email is the most effective channel for moving the sales needle.

So, start with email and that will allow you to build out your marketing across the different channels you have available.

The relationship of marketing and direct sales

One comment we’ve received: “Many people don’t understand the difference between marketing and direct sales.”

That’s a great point. Marketing is often a longer strategy. Not every message you put out there will result in automatic sales. Today, marketing is about providing value to your audience in the long-term so that you can build trust and familiarity with potential customers.

Everything that you do — whether it’s in-store or through the messages you send out — helps move the relationship along. Once you’ve built that relationship, you’ll be in a better position to directly sell your products.

Again, this shows the value of tools like email, which allow you to communicate with people in the way that they want and provide value over the long-term. Once you do that, you can send targeted messages that will help generate direct sales for your business.

A 5-point checklist for marketing success

While email will be at the center of your marketing strategy, there’s still a lot you need to think about to build that strategy out.

To help simplify your marketing, focus on these five keys to marketing success:

1. You need people to find your business

The ways in which people find your business has changed a lot in recent years.

Online search engines like Google and listing sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are great examples of this.

An easy thing you can do right away is to search for your business on a site like Google. Or search for your industry with your location and see what shows up. Is the information people find accurate? Does it represent your business?

2. Provide a WOW experience and stay in-touch

You’re hopefully already providing a great experience to your customers. But once someone finds your business, the next step is to find a way to stay connected.

This is where email starts to come in. I’m going to leave your business, hopefully I’ll remember you but there’s no guarantee I’ll come back. But if you collect my email address and take the time to follow up with me with relevant information, there’s a good chance I’ll return.

Make sure there’s a convenient way for customers to stay in touch with your business.

3. Create a plan to bring them back

I’ve interacted with your business and volunteered to join your email list. The next step is to create a plan to nurture that relationship so that you can encourage people to do business with you again.

One of the ways to do that is with a great offer. There are a couple of ways you can do this, but one of the easiest ways to engage new subscribers right away is with a welcome email. This will go out to new subscribers automatically and is a great opportunity to add additional value with a special offer.

And from there, you want to continue to provide value through the content and offers you’re sending out to your email list on a consistent basis.

4. Continue to engage

This is really where tools like social media can come into the mix; so you’re not just reaching people through the inbox, but you’re also building relationships through the interactions you have on social media.

You can use email to drive people to these different channels. This is a great way to extend the conversation beyond the inbox. This will deepen the relationship, which can drive repeat business and word-of-mouth for your business.

5. Measure your results

With an email marketing service, you can access valuable insights to see how your marketing activities are performing. Metrics like opens, clicks, spam reports, and opt-outs are all valuable in determining the effectiveness of your campaigns.

You also want to look beyond those metrics to see what they are really doing for your business. Marketing is about eliciting a physical and measurable response. So, you want to setup ways to track your results beyond opens and clicks to see what type of actions your emails are driving.

You can break these steps into five achievable steps:

Miss any of our previous Periscope broadcasts? You can watch them all here!