Marketing & Communication Activities
The goal of your marketing activities is to sell your products or services. Communication activities are an important part of marketing, as they are part of the promotion element. However, you should also embrace and implement communication activities to promote your business image. This strategy can still help your sales efforts by highlighting your company in a positive way, even though it's not directly tied to selling.
Research is a critical marketing activity that serves as the foundation for all succeeding activities. It allows you to analyze your customers so you gain a thorough understanding of what they want and what they are willing to spend. Much of this information can be gleaned from existing demographic research, such as household disposable income. You can also gain a lot of current information by asking your customers to participate in simple online surveys, such as likes and dislikes of your products or services, or online shopping habits.
Setting appropriate pricing is key to your business, because you need to recoup your expenses and make a profit yet find that “magic” number that appeals to your customers. It’s closely tied to sales and promotions -- one promotional activity, for example, is to set an introductory price to facilitate early sales and then level the price later once you have a solid customer base.
How you distribute the products is another marketing activity. If you have a storefront, you need to consider the advantages and risks of adding online sales. If you are a business-to-business provider, personal visits to purchasing managers may be an effective distribution activity.
You need communication activities that will help facilitate sales. Common activities include press releases that announce your products or services, providing information about features, prices and benefits of using your products versus the competition. If you advertise, you need to write compelling “copy,” or information that is concise and easy to read for your ad. This communication activity is called copywriting and is also used in product marketing materials, such as brochures, sales fliers and direct mail pieces.
Communication activities that don’t directly drive product sales are typically called corporate communications. It may be as simple as you writing a weekly feature for a local publication; for example, if you sell organic bath products, you might feature an herb each week, detailing its innate health benefits. This features your business, but you’re not overtly selling your products -- you’re educating the public. If you have employees, internal communication tools such as newsletters or company blog postings are activities that keep them informed and promote cohesiveness. Similar activities help you maintain communications with outside investors and financial backers.