Women in Business: E-Marketing, Traditional Marketing, or Both?

By Ashley Oddo, CCEDC Project Coordinator

In a business, marketing is very critical. Some may think that marketing is the same as sales. However, without marketing, your business will receive little to no sales.

Businesses need to market for a variety of reasons. They need to ensure the customer knows who they are and what product/service they are offering. They also need to build a relationship with the customer. Customers are much more willing to do business with a company that they are familiar with and trust than a company they have never heard of. With that comes the question, “How should I be marketing my business?” The big buzz-word these days is IMC, or Integrated Marketing Communications. This is the form of marketing where a combination of E-Marketing and Traditional Marketing tactics are employed.

The type of marketing most businesses are familiar with is Traditional Marketing.  This includes branding, personal networking, brochures, and advertisements on television, print, or radio. Traditional marketing can be very helpful to companies because it can help to form direct relationships with potential clients. When clients meet you in person, they are able to put a face with a name, and get a feel for who the company really is. Branding is important to companies and needs to be done very early on to establish the personality of the company. Without having a logo, a company is missing a staple part of their image, therefore making them less visible to consumers.

E-Marketing is the more recent form of marketing that many companies are starting to use at a higher percentage than Traditional marketing. The most basic form of E-Marketing is e-mail. This is a good place to start because almost everyone uses e-mail. With the majority of the population having smart phones, it is even easier for consumers to look at their e-mails wherever they are. In saying that, it is important that an e-mail translates well onto a smart phone screen. The e-mail should be complex enough to get a message across but simple so that it is easy to read on the screen of a phone and/or tablet device.

Another part of E-Marketing is having a company website. The website acts as your company’s “store-front” and is a first impression for customers. It is crucial to keep your website updated, not only for the enjoyment of your customers, but for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If content is not refreshed frequently, the website will appear further down when keywords are searched on a search engine such as Google. This does not mean you have to update your homepage every day. As long as something is changing on the site, such as a weekly blog, or newly posted information, your website will do fine!

Social Media is newly emerging, and possibly the most important form of E-Marketing. 60% more likely to purchase from a company who has a social media presence over one that does not. Social media levels the playing field. It allows smaller companies to appear just as large as Fortune 500 companies. It is all about the engagement that is done on the social media platforms between customer and vendor. Asking questions on social media pages encourages customer engagement. By not engaging, you are only reaching the people in your direct network. By encouraging “followers” to “like” or “share” your company’s posts, you will be able to reach a much bigger network. It is not necessary to be active in all existing social media platforms; however, your company should be active in at least one of the following: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube.

The bottom line is that if your company tried to do it all, it probably would not turn out so well. The key is to know your target audience and the type of marketing that they are most likely respond to, whether that is traditional, e-marketing, or a combination of the two.