If you’re just starting out in the tricky business world, here’s a nugget of wisdom to fast track your journey to success: you can have the best product or the best service, but what will really get you to your goal is a solid marketing infrastructure. Accelerated Growth Enterprises, a digital marketing agency in Tampa, FL, has detailed some of the most important things to understand about marketing infrastructure to ensure that it can work for you.
Understanding the Importance of Marketing Infrastructure
Merriam-Webster defines “infrastructure” as the underlying foundation or basic framework (as of a system or organization); the system of public works of a country, state or region; and the resources (such as personnel, buildings, or equipment) required for an activity. In the field of business, marketing infrastructure is akin to a complex system of roads and bridges that will get your product or service from “just being a good product/service” to being one that consistently drives business to your company.
A popular business misconception is that a good product sells itself–it simply isn’t true. What sells good products is a reliable marketing infrastructure. In fact, you can even sell mediocre or downright bad products with a good marketing infrastructure but, of course, please don’t do that.
In an article uploaded to Linkedin by marketing expert Jonty Yamisha, he talks of a company whose efforts, despite having a well-defined product niche, a loyal community of customers, and reasonable prices, do not convert to profits. “The company strategy was fine, and its marketing tactics were best in class; the company lacked any real marketing infrastructure and decisions were based more on intuition than real data,” Yamisha explains of this retail company’s shortcomings.
Components of a Marketing Infrastructure
Planning and deployment of a marketing infrastructure may vary across the different types of industry but components of which are generally the same. Here are the components of a marketing infrastructure as prescribed by AddKraft Technology:
People/resources: People play a vital role in any marketing infrastructure. At the planning stage, it is important that each person’s role is defined and that resources necessary to fulfill that certain role are adequately established.
Technology applications: Technology is an effective tool that has remarkably changed the landscape of sales and marketing. Various technology platforms such as customer relationship management software, analytical tools and social media tools have proven useful in meeting the marketing needs of businesses.
Database/audience segment data points: Creating audience segment data points allows you to design marketing efforts that are more relevant to your target audience. As Umbel’s senior content manager Tal Vinnik explains, “The deeper data you have, the more effective data-driven marketing will be.” Data-driven marketing includes email blasts, social media marketing and app activity.
Marketing collateral (physical and digital): Marketing collateral leaves a lasting impression on your target audience; this impression may be good or bad depending on the quality, relevancy and consistency of your materials. This is how consumers are able to associate color schemes, taglines and characters with specific brands. Marketing collateral may come in the form of brochures, flyers, infomercials, banners and websites.
Benefits of an Effective Marketing Infrastructure
Optimized sales and marketing performance: Creating a sound marketing infrastructure takes the guesswork out of marketing and allows for optimized sales and marketing performance. Analytical software allows business owners to keep track of which and how marketing efforts perform. This enables them to adjust their system as necessary–whether to maintain, modify or remove.
Cost-, effort- and time-efficiency: Marketing is a great investment that requires cost, effort and time. An effective marketing infrastructure assures that these three things are allocated when, where and in the manner that they are needed the most.
Provides a clearer understanding of your market: A clear understanding of your customer is critical to the improvement of your existing product/service and in the development of new ones. While it is important to know which of your products/services sell, it is essential that you know how your target market reacts to these products/services.
Faster ROI: A series of trial-and-error marketing guesswork is costly, time-consuming and does not assure ROI. On the other hand, a sound marketing infrastructure allows you to make reasonable predictions of a timeline of events including ROI. The faster you establish your infrastructure, the earlier you are able to enjoy the fruits of your investment.
Marketing for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business owner with no marketing expertise, all this talk about marketing infrastructure may be overwhelming, daunting and may even sound impossible, but do not get discouraged. A smart decision you can undertake is to outsource the services of a marketing agency to create and implement a marketing infrastructure for your business.
Outsourcing a marketing staff allows you to select the best marketing team for the nature of your business and one that is suitable for your budget and preferences. This also allows you to hire experts without having to go through the tedious task of recruiting full-time marketing employees.