By Nicholas Cucci
Fluid Pay LLC
I'm in marketing. The dreaded statement anyone who is actually in marketing despises hearing. I'm sure you've come across different terms and titles by now: B2B, content marketing, digital marketing, marketing management and so forth. What's it all mean? Are they just buzzwords?
With so many distinct names, possible roles and divergent notions of what marketing is, the first step is figuring out the process and what exactly you are looking for. In my eyes, there are three types of marketers.
The first is the all-around marketing hire. This describes individuals who can be creative and set campaign trends while doing their own artwork. The pros of hiring this type of individual is they have immersive experience in Adobe products and can slate their own materials, saving you the expense of a marketing firm. However, for a small business this may not be the best use of funds, as this is the most expensive of the three. The second type of marketer is the hobbyist. This group comprises people with minimal experience creating their own content, but they have wonderful ideas and communication skills to get their point across and actually out there into the world. It's one thing to have an idea but another to be able to communicate exactly what you are looking for. This hire will require a marketing company with a graphics designer but will be slightly cheaper than the all-around marketer.
The last type of marketer is the minimalist. This is the hire you try to groom into one of the two above. This typically is a younger individual who is more in tune with current trends and may need a little help organizing thoughts. This hire is not bad at all but will lack experience and graphic design skills. The key here is to hire someone who you see catching on quickly to your brand and/or learning graphic design.
The payments industry is complicated, but it really doesn't have to be. Keep it simple! Simplify the complexity and block out the noise. I've always tried to stay true to the four P's: placement, product, promote and price.
What's the best channel for you to reach out directly to your audience? Define your audience. You should already be sourcing current and past leads that have come in. Where did they come from? It might not match up to what you'd expect, but do not deviate from your findings. This is where the most common mistakes are made.
Ask yourself where you want to go with this marketing campaign. Is it for current or potential clients? What are the industry magazines for vendors and for clients? How often do they publish? When are the tradeshows? These are all matters you will need to consider. Marketing on a budget could involve placing advertisements only when the magazine is present at a tradeshow, doubling the exposure.
What is the product or service you are advertising and what is your differentiator? You want to make sure you're offering a product that is not already widely offered and abused. Set yourself aside from the competition. Do you have 24/7 customer support? Certified staff? In-house developers? Think like a consumer because at the end of the day, you are too. What would you want to see? What would make you switch providers?
Promote your product. Figure out how, what, when, where and why. Is it having a precise elevator pitch and telling people about key features? One major asset to use in promoting your product is reviews. Customer reviews are the new word of mouth. Those are the simplest and easiest way to attain new customers. Keep your current customers happy.
Do what you say, and say what you do. Online reviews are an easy way for potential customers to check you out, so make sure you stay on top of everything. Commenting on customer reviews is also a good idea; good or bad, it shows you are ready to answer anything and stand behind your product or service.
Pricing strategy is the justification of a competitive price for a product or service. Here are two common examples:
Leads. Leads. Leads. You need to find a way to drive customers to your website or to pick up the phone and dial in – a call to action. Marketing can also set the tone for your business. This is your chance to tell your story to any potential customers and turn that potential customer into a client by providing a high level of service for both product and support. No matter how great your product is, you will cripple it if you don't support it. Marketing begins with understanding your customer's needs.
Nicholas Cucci is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Fluid Pay LLC and former director of marketing for NMI. Cucci is also a graduate of Benedictine University and a member for the Advisory Board and Anti-Fraud Technology Committee for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Fluid Pay LLC is a true cloud-based Level 1 PCI payment gateway processing transactions anywhere in the world. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-526-8670.
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