It’s Back-to-School time. Marketing has changed and evolved since we were last in school. Here are the ABCs of Marketing (Here’s the definition of marketing to start.):
- A is for advertising from the Mad Men era to the present day in all of its various formats across channels and devices. Measured in terms of reach and frequency, advertising’s your means for attracting your target market’s attention, a scarce resource in today’s message laden environment. A also stands for acquisition, the lifeblood of any business. You need to keep bringing in new customers to replace those who stop buying. And don’t forget apps, an important marketing mechanism for engaging users on smartphones and tablets (aka iPads).
- B is for branding (Here are 12 branding attributes) which sets your product apart from other similar and generic options.
- C is for customers defined by their demographics, psychographics (aka interests) and past activity. These are the people who buy your product and services. Without them, you’d have no business. Don’t overlook marketing’s other important Cs including communications (How do you convey your message(s) to your various audiences?), community (Who’s part of your social media tribe?), and competitors (Which organizations are vying for your audience’s attention?)
- D is for direct marketing, the one-to-one marketing focused on driving specific actions, mainly sales. Also, don’t overlook the importance of design because it provides the visual cues that are integral to your branding and marketing.
- E is for e-commerce, the online conduit for shopping, and email, the cost-effective online communication.
- F is for fans. Every firm wants raving advocates who love your brand and tell others about it. Of course, free (including freemiums) is useful for engaging prospects and customers.
- G is for goals every marketer needs them whether it’s improved branding or increased sales. G is also for guerilla marketing the predecessor to viral and word of mouth marketing that uses unconventional means to break through and attract an audience and green marketing for reaching the eco-sensitive consumer. G can also stand for guarantees an important element in old-fashioned direct marketing as in your money back if you’re not completely satisfied. Additionally, there’s the new entrant, gamification, a way engage prospects using game theory.
- H is for holidays are at the heart of every marketer’s promotional plan.
- I is for incentives to entice prospects and customers to purchase. It can be a discount, an additional product or everyone’s favorite, free shipping and handling. Additionally, I is for influence which is important in social media marketing.
- J is for jingle. Jingles are associated with the Mad Men era and useful for building brands. Don’t forget junk mail, the mail that your prospects throw out. Of course, there’s marketing jargon that marketers use to obfuscate the truth.
- K is for Know Your Customer! It’s difficult to market effectively if you don’t understand your audience.
- L is for lifetime value, a direct marketing metric, used to determine how much to invest in advertising to acquire a new customer. Also L’s for loyalty that keeps customers coming back for more of your offering.
- M is for marketing plans that are at the core of marketing. It’s also for market share and other metrics to track your marketing performance. M is also for media where you place your advertising to reach their aggregated audience. Mobile marketing is another specialized form of marketing and communications.
- N is for niche. Niche marketing is useful for attracted very small, targeted populations.
- O is for online and out-of-home marketing. Online marketing is any marketing that uses a connected digital device. Out-of-home marketing involves a diverse collection of options such as billboards, transportation shelters and vehicles and elevators. The benefit of out-of-home advertising is that it can be useful for building brand in a contextually relevant environment.
- P is for marketing’s classic 4Ps: Product, Place, Promotion and Price. P is also for positioning which Trout and Ries referred to as the Battle for your mind.
- Q is for quality that’s an important element of any offering. For others, there are QR codes which make any surface a marketing device.
- R is for research that’s at the center of many marketing decisions. R is also for retention, keeping existing customers, referrals, the customers suggested by other customers, rewards, the incentives customers receive, and resources (human and financial) that fuel marketing campaigns.
- S is for social media (particularly social media marketing) that’s changed how customers and businesses view marketing. Additionally, there are sales, the life breadth of a firm and segmentation, the ability to measure small numbers of like minded customers.
- T is for tactics, the actual activities that marketing executes. It’s also for tagline a short branding phrase, target market, the specific customers you’re after, and testing, the means to determine the most effective marketing promotion. Of course, you can’t overlook trust since it’s important to build consumer relationships.
- U is for USP or unique selling proposition. This is the one phrase that you use to distinguish your product from your competitors. Additionally, there’s upsell, the ability to get a customer to buy more or a higher priced version.
- V is for value that you must deliver to your prospects and customers. Also, it’s for viral marketing an outgrowth of guerilla marketing. It’s where a marketing promotion takes off seemingly out of nowhere and gets passed along. Lastly, there’s video that’s become a important aspect of marketing, largely due to its similarity to television.
- W is for website, your home base on the Internet and the hub for your online activity. W is also for word of mouth marketing where consumers sing your praises and get other customers to buy from you.
- X is for x-factor, that unknown element involved in any marketing program.
- Y is for youth marketing or marketing to preteens, teens and young twenty-somethings. They’re important due to their buying power and different way of using digital devices from their parents.
- Z is for zero based marketing where you start thinking about your marketing from scratch without the restraint of a specific budget. If an element is important to use you must make a case for it. In addition, you need to think about other ways to finance this marketing.
The reality is that you don’t need to go back to school to learn more about marketing – just pay attention and continually update your business knowledge.
Are there any other marketing terms that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they and why would you include them.
Photo credit: Jerebu via Flickr