18 jul 2017

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How to Be a Better Marketer

When entrepreneurs want to learn advanced accounting techniques, they enroll in classes. When entrepreneurs are interested in boosting their knowledge about business finance, they go to school. Yet, when entrepreneurs believe their marketing strategies to be lacking, they tend to power through on their own, perhaps picking up a few tips from the web or asking unqualified workers to take over.

Marketing is easily one of the most important undertakings in your business. If your marketing strategy is lacking, your business won’t receive the consumer attention it needs to make sales, and your profits will slowly but surely disappear. Yet, you, like other entrepreneurs and business leaders, are probably less than eager to pursue formal education to improve your marketing knowledge and skill.

Just because the web offers free opportunities for marketing doesn’t meant that marketing wisdom comes without effort. Marketing degrees, or degree programs that include marketing instruction like an AACSB-accredited online MBA, are exceedingly valuable to improving your marketing proficiency. To become a better marketer, you must be serious about marketing education. Here is a sampling of lessons you might learn by pursuing an advanced marketing degree.

HOW TO EVALUATE A TARGET AUDIENCE

If your company produces toys, you might expect your target audience to be children. However, there are dozens of toy companies whose primary consumers are adults. For example, Funko discovered that its pop culture-themed dolls were primarily sought as collectibles by an older audience, and even Hot Wheels claims a sizeable contingent of adult fans. You cannot assume what marketing tactics will work on your target audience if you don’t first know who comprises it.

Formal marketing education teaches nascent marketers how to evaluate their target audience. To use effective marketing tactics, you must understand the demographics of your consumers — or your competitors’ consumers, if you plan to launch a startup. What’s more, you must understand why your consumers buy; this information will form the backbone of your marketing strategy.

HOW TO PREDICT MARKETING TRENDS

In December 2016, marketing experts made hundreds of predictions about trends for the year ahead: the increase in use of augmented reality, the demand for greater personalization of marketing messages, the growth of the Internet of Things, the need for more interactive content. However, not all their predictions came true, so inexperienced marketers who chose the wrong tactics are suffering significant setbacks in their marketing goals.

Instead of relying on clickbait marketing blogs to give you insights into the future of marketing trends, you should be able to make your own predictions specific to your company’s needs and interests. A marketing education will give you experience observing consumer tastes and trends and help you practice making accurate predictions of effective marketing strategies.

HOW TO WORK WITH A MARKETING TEAM

Just because you don’t plan to become a full-time marketing professional doesn’t mean you can skip formal marketing education. Business leaders of all stripes, from middle managers to executives and entrepreneurs, often interact with marketing teams, both in-house and third-party. Marketers develop strategies, and then come to business leaders for approval — but if you don’t know what you’re allowing or rejecting, you could inhibit your marketing team’s effectiveness and stifle business success.

Having even a modicum of marketing experience will help you work with a marketing team. Marketing uses a unique jargon and distinct tools to develop plans and assets, and being familiar with marketing methods will help you become a stronger leader. Because marketing is such a vital element of modern business, being proficient in marketing is essential for anyone who hopes to lead businesses of any size.

HOW TO PRODUCE RESULTS WITH MARKETING

Marketing that doesn’t produce results is a waste of energy, time, and money. You cannot assume that because you are following the advice of marketing blogs, you are achieving the results your business wants — let alone the results it needs. You need to be able to monitor the activity of your marketing efforts and use that data to inform future marketing strategy. This is the most critical of all marketing-related labor, and unfortunately, it is also the most difficult to understand and execute. Thus, it is one of the most exhaustively covered topics in marketing school.

University courses on marketing provide a foundation in all marketing skills, from basic communication to complex analysis. Business leaders big and small, aspiring marketing gurus, and even freelancers can benefit by going to marketing classes. To become a better marketer, you certainly need experience — but before experience can be constructive, you need to learn the basics through education.

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