Funny question isn’t it? Simply put I’m asking you, why should you consider marketing? Well the answer is very obvious. Being that you want to sell your products and services to make profits, it’s a no-brainer.
But here is the question I truly believe every business owner should ask themselves, it’s a similar question with answers that can be broken into more than just one and the question is; what am I trying to achieve with marketing?
So apart from the obvious answer which is wanting to get profits, here are some of the answers you should also think about and take very seriously and these are not just for profit motivated organizations.
1. To create awareness for something.
A lot of people seem to have not realized this but awareness is one of the most important part of marketing once you get started. If you have an NGO and you’re looking to raise funds, get sponsors or get donations, people need to know about the NGO and whatever method you choose to use to create awareness – face to face or digital, it is marketing at the end of the day. For business owners or let me just say for businesses, you want to sell your products or services to new customers if the business is already operational, if it is a start up, well, all your customers are new.
So before they buy anything from you, do you know what they ask themselves about your business? I’ll tell they first think “who are you?” and if they don’t know you don’t expect to easily make a sale out of them. So first, you need to create your brand, get some attention, hey, get as much attention as you can. People will then notice your business, now the next question they will ask, “what are you offering us?”
NOTE: They are not asking what you are selling, they are asking what are you offering us? Think about it this way, before you buy music from a musician you’ve never heard of, you want to know who they are, where they are from and what they are offering you in their music – is it emotional, spiritual or are they going to make you dance? Then once these questions are answered, only then do you buy the music. So look at your business as a musician meeting a new potential fan and you have to tell your story and answer those questions before anyone buys.
2. Introduce your products or services.
Just like the musician, before buying a lot of times we want to see a music video, a performance or a radio interview or maybe even a friend talking about a particular song or musician. So with your business, you’re now introducing your product. Look, no idea is really fresh these days, so before anyone buys from you they want to know about what you are selling, do not confuse this with selling, let’s look at it as a pitch. If what you are selling is in demand it will most likely sell during your pitch, but if not you have to convince the customer to buy.
Go ahead, convince them to buy the product or service but remember that 2, 3 or 12 other businesses are selling the same thing you are selling, similar if not the same, some have very strong brands, some just have the luck of being the first to pitch and the customer is weighing their option. Introduce the product and answer the why questions, if you have been following my articles you know what the why questions are, if not then they are as follows now in detail:
- “Why should I consider your product?” for demand creation;
- “Why should I meet with you?” for meeting creation;
- “Why should I change from the status quo to a new solution?” for opportunity creation;
- “Why should I buy this new solution from your company instead of your competitors?” for order creation;
- “Why should I buy now?” for urgency creation.
If you can do that then you can move on.
3. Create leads and close sales.
Now that people know who you are and what you are offering, it’s time to sell to them. Create leads wherever there was a potential lead, follow up and close sales. At this point it is much more simple for you to sell, sell and sell. To all your existing and potential customers, then I advise creating an email list of your customers, stay in contact with them just to remind them that “HEY I’M STILL HERE, YOU DO REMEMBER ME RIGHT?”
Be careful though, especially on social media marketing. Do not over get annoying by constantly posting promotional posts because it gets boring at some point, so you might as well go back to the first answer again, create awareness, well, in this case increase it. Come up with new ways to stay relevant and to keep your customers engaged with your business. Remember it is social media after all and people want to socialize, not be bombarded with advertisements and never given the opportunity to ‘socialize’.
Okay, now we go back to the question again, why consider social media marketing? I will use South African statistics, so if you are reading this from Ghana, Nigeria or any other country you can look up the statistics in your country or the whole of Africa if your business aims to have that reach. These are the 2016 statistics conducted by World Wide Worx and Fuseware for social media users in South Africa alone and the numbers are constantly increasing, too fast might I add:
- 13 million Facebook users;
- 7.4 million Twitter users;
- 8.28 million YouTube users;
- 2.68 Instagram users.
Next, I believe we will soon make our mark on SnapChat, but we also have LinkedIn. So for your business, it’s just a matter of determining where your target market hangs out the most and go get them. Everyone wants to buy something or needs something to be done for them, so align that with your business, find the best social media site and start creating your brand. Read other articles from other social media gurus and learn more do that then #GrowthIsInevitable.
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Source Beauty is pushing the boundaries of Egyptian e-commerce
Egyptian e-commerce: the county’s digital drive has not yet gotten to the growth typically seen in European countries and North America. However, as businesses have started shifting online, customers are now following suit, resulting in the gradual development of the digital eco-system.
Innovation, such as digital marketing, is reinventing the consumers’ path to purchase. The Egyptian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 33% annually to approximately $3bn by 2022, according to Oxford Business Group.
Source Beauty and disruption
The increase in e-commerce comes from rising internet penetration rates, driven by connected and digitally savvy millennials. Several platforms, both locally and internationally, such as the direct-to-consumer beauty platform Source Beauty, have disrupted the beauty industry in the region to drive their growth by truly connecting with their customers.
By being aware of the changing consumer behaviour trends in the e-commerce landscape, service providers like Source Beauty are continually fostering customer engagement with a community they have created. The customer service team, along with the editorial and marketing teams, respond to each comment and direct message, making customers feel listened to.
Lydia Schoonderbeek, the founder and CEO of Source Beauty, said:
“Egypt has traditionally been a price-driven market. After devaluation and high inflation rates, people have become much more price sensitive. People are consuming less and are shifting away from imported products due to price, accessibility and inconsistency in supply. As a result, they’re looking for local alternatives.”
In line with its digital transformation and financial inclusion agenda, the Egyptian government has set in place directives to raise the limit for electronic payments for individuals via mobile phones to EGP30,000 (USD1,905) per day, and EGP100,000 (USD6,350) per month, since March 2020. Traditionally, 70% of online purchases were cash on delivery, which has proven to be a major challenge to e-commerce growth throughout the region. This preference has changed to credit card payments, increasing to 30% from 16% due to the spread of Covid-19, but it remains to be seen whether purchasing behaviors will be affected in the long term.
The CEO of Source Beauty further added that, the company had seen substantial growth thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with existing and new customers wanting to limit in-person beauty services and adhering to social distancing and mask-wearing requirements. Beauty customers, she says were changing spending habits, moving towards products that allow them to recreate the salon experience in their homes and protect them from the potential impact of an increasingly digital lifestyle. Finally, she believes they have seen customers prioritising skincare and haircare purchases over makeup.
The question is, ‘Is anyone in Egypt going to buy beauty products online?’. Who thought people would buy books on the internet from a website called Amazon! Well, the answer seems to be YES. Consumer spending in Egypt on non-essential goods has reached EGP 3.90bn in 2020 and is set to reach 8.81bn in 2021, according to FitchSolution’s 2021 Report.
According to the Egyptian e-commerce beauty company, Source Beauty, it believes that the world is in an era where consumers are looking to associate with brands and not products, to make their beauty purchasing decisions and this is where homegrown brands like theirs will doubtlessly lead to economic growth in Egypt.
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