Ever since I stumbled across this little skill called SEO, I witnessed the growth of the Internet from a side most still have no clue about. I was also able to expand my knowledge beyond just an SEO and step into the world of Internet Marketing. A whole different ball game that my SEO skills meshed with well. Upon arriving to the dance, I began to notice the change from traditional marketing channels used to inform the masses. A new age of marketing now placed businesses at the fingertips of those searching for a particular business or product. Then it started to hit me - Marketing and Branding make all the difference in your businesses survival.
The old saying "if you build it, they will come" has just about met the end of its road. The average business in the U.S. closes in the first 2 to 5 years of opening their doors, and the majority close due to lack of marketing. Even if your business is in a busy area with tons of foot traffic, you just can't rely on people floating in on a whim. Creating a marketing plan allows your business to gain the attention it needs and found by those seeking your brand or product.
So when someone is searching for your product or brand, do they find you or your competition?
Marketing and Branding are actually kissing cousins. Once you begin marketing your business, you've started to push your brand as well. A brand could be:
Branding your business, product or service while Marketing is one thing, but building a solid reputation for it is what makes it stick. Growing your brand is all about its trust and reputation it builds in the eyes of its consumers. This means that what ever brand you offer the public or your clients, it has to be trust worthy enough to come back for more. If it doesn't accomplish this, then even your marketing is dead in the water because no one believes in your brand.
What do I mean by the right way? What I mean is make sure your marketing plan places your brand where people are searching for it. The number one issue with businesses opening is that they NEVER take the time to create a marketing plan or still rely on old outdated marketing tactics. Their lack of marketing knowledge and information dooms them from the start. Remember that your marketing Budget is ALWAYS a priority for your business. Without it, there is no real need to even open your business.