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How to get started with marketing?

It may not look appealing to many entrepreneurs at first glance and seem unnecessary, but the opposite is true. Having well-built marketing is very important when running a business. Why this is so, what marketing is and what are its basic ideas were explained to us by social media marketer and online creator Tony Dúbravec. […]

13. April 2023 | 7 min.

It may not look appealing to many entrepreneurs at first glance and seem unnecessary, but the opposite is true. Having well-built marketing is very important when running a business. Why this is so, what marketing is and what are its basic ideas were explained to us by social media marketer and online creator Tony Dúbravec.

What exactly is marketing? 

Many people confuse marketing with advertising or communications, which is a broader discipline. Its basic structure is built on the four P's: Product, Place, Price, Promotion. That is, we focus on the product, where we sell it, at what price and terms, and how we let people know about it. A lot of people only focus on the "pretty" - the advertising and how to promote it to people. However, before we start communicating with clients we need to have these four points sorted out. 

Do I need to have a marketing strategy in place from the start? 

Yes, you have to have a strategy. At the beginning, I have goals that I want to achieve. The goal of marketing is for the company to do well in business. In the early stages of a business, a marketing strategy cannot be planned in complete detail, but the better the plan, the easier the job. It needs to be as detailed and specific as I can be in what I can put together at the time. It is very difficult to form a strategy when a problem arises. 

What all should a company do to thrive? 

Focus on all four P's that I mentioned at the beginning and have them tuned up. Have a strategy in place that also reflects the business plan. The marketing strategy shouldn't be put together separately, it should build on the business one to meet the objectives. You need to stick to a plan and go for it. But at the same time be flexible as well. We have seen how quickly and radically things have changed in recent years. It's been a rough year in e-commerce and we need to react to that, not just in communications but in all ways, in pricing and in product delivery. 

How do I know if our marketing is successful or unsuccessful? 

The basic point at which we find this out is whether the company is doing well. From this, more detailed things are determined. Such as reactions from people, customer sentiment, negative reviews, whether people are happy and whether our customers continue to recommend us. All this has to be taken into account. But the basic indicator is whether the company is growing. 

What definitely not to do, what to avoid? 

Don't just leave everything up to the owner's discretion, or focus all decisions on one person. It should be a consensus of qualified opinions. When communicating, it is certainly not a good idea to follow the cliché: "even bad advertising is advertising". Bad advertising is advertising, but it is really bad advertising. It cannot be fooled. They are shortcuts behind which people may see increased viewership, but it is not whether they talk about you that is important, but how they talk about you. This is then reflected in sales, employee turnover, frequent gatekeepers or negative reviews. 

Can I prevent negative reviews? 

Rather no. The important thing is to perceive them, take them into account and want to change them. Most people equip negative reviews with the phrase "thank you, we'll learn". However, there should be some shift to be seen here. Of course, these are serious issues and then there should be room for compensation and proper communication of the problem. 

How to deal with such reviews? 

It is advisable to retreat the conversation to emails or somewhere private so that negative things are not addressed in public. At the same time, care should be taken to make sure that the dissatisfied customer sees that we have a personal approach to them and are interested in solving their problem, not just writing them back briefly. It is essential to set up a process for dealing with negative reviews. It happens that when a negative review comes in it is dealt with by someone in marketing who has absolutely no input on operational matters. Then there is a shuffling of the problem between employees in different branches. A lot of customers think they are writing a review to a specific salesperson, but the truth is that the message is being received by the social media manager.

How much to invest in marketing at the beginning of the business? 

There are different keys for this. For example, it can be 10% of turnover. Someone calculates it on profit. It depends on how our business model works, which is initially impossible to determine. That's why the initial investment is bigger. But people do it the other way around. They don't have that much money in the beginning and therefore unfortunately they don't invest in marketing. It is recommended to invest more at first and then set it at a healthy rate according to the pricing structure. 

How to build a brand and raise awareness? 

We will raise awareness of the company through advertising and communication. This is thanks to a large and repeated intervention. This means that we need to reach a large mass of people, ideally in a repeated frequency. Awareness is just a matter of intervention: whether people have already encountered the brand, whether they know something about it. The bigger challenge is measuring awareness. The quantity of brands doesn't address this. It is research in the thousands of euros. 

What should I think about when choosing a company name and logo? 

The logo should not be created separately from the name. These two things must be in symbiosis. However, the name is much more important than the logo in the beginning. 

The name should not contain a word that directly describes what we do in the company. It shouldn't just be a product label, because if I decide to sell something else, it wouldn't make sense. If I want to operate in foreign markets, this needs to be taken into consideration when starting a business. It is also necessary to look at cultural factors, whether my name, the name I have chosen, means something negative abroad. 

The choice of logo is very individual. Someone works only with typography, someone with icons, symbols, for someone the colour scheme is important. It is important that the logo does not change, that it is recognizable and ubiquitous. 

How can we ensure that we are recognisable and different from the competition?  

It's easiest when we know our competition and we know what others are not doing. We need to have relevant insight into who the competitor is. It's not just about products, it's also about how to engage customers. We need to know the competition, the market and ourselves. To tell ourselves what we are interesting in, what we are different in. 

And finally... What do you think is the biggest magic of successful marketing? 

For me, it's not going crazy with all the new impulses, knowing my customer, being confident in what I'm doing, and most importantly being patient. You have to wait for the results.

Paula Lipková
Article Author
Paula Lipková
PR marketing specialist

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