[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o matter the size of business you run, having a marketing strategy is imperative to your success. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it yourself or, have employed an agency, you need a plan!
Today, people shop in a very different way than even two years ago. Next year their habits may have evolved further, you need to know how they shop now and, how it changes as time goes by. Then you need to incorporate these new habits into your marketing mix.
Traditionally, the marketing department, the sales department and the process people (those who actually make the product or provide the service) all had their own little fiefdoms. Separate from and in competition with each other for attention, budget and awards.
Today they must be integrated if you’re to stand any chance of winning the market in the crowded and competitive world that is today’s globe spanning market place. I can buy almost anything from Amazon and in the majority of cases have it delivered free by the next day.
With Amazon I also get a 30 day no questions asked return policy, there are many convenient places for me to drop the parcel off to be returned, not just the post office.
Amazon has one of the best integrated multi channel marketing systems going, and it competes with you, even though you’re local. If you want to win against Amazon (and you can) you need to integrate your marketing, sales and processes to provide a superb customer experience. Why else would anyone do business with you?
Really think about who your competitors are, often, it’s not who you think. People are wary of doing business with a company they don’t know, that’s why Amazon and Ebay do so well. A consumer can see reviews on amazon, feel safe in completing the transaction, plus it’s quick and easy because Amazon hold their credit card details and delivery address. If the consumer has ‘one click’ ordering turned on, that’s all they have to do, click.
Ebay, shows reviews of the sellers and some products. It’s safety (in the minds of consumers) comes from the power of PayPal and the security of knowing you can raise a dispute with PayPal much more easily than you can with your bank.
Your marketing strategy must therefore take account of these two giant retailers. Think about whether you can sell your product on either or both platforms. There are several options open for working with Amazon and it may be worthwhile looking into it as part of your strategy.