Maybe you’re just now investing in marketing and building a team. Maybe your marketing campaigns or marketing efforts “aren’t working.” Or maybe you’re just having a moment where you’re questioning what the hell marketing even does.
If you ask any marketer about the benefits of investing time, money, and resources into marketing for your business, you’ll typically get a few of the obvious answers: it helps drive awareness and generate more revenue and sales for companies.
Those are both true. But there are also a handful of lesser-known benefits from investing in marketing—and they can serve as a great reminder of the importance of marketing, and how we can expand our efforts, expectations, and goals.
Good Marketing Helps Build Trust and Authority
Marketing gets a bad rep for being all smoke and mirrors without any substance—heavily promoting a product that’s just not that good. While you don’t want to overdo the marketing and make promises the product or service can’t live up to, good marketing builds on what’s authentically true to your company (we call that finding your brand essence or brand identity) and communicates it to your customers.
A good example is the famous ad campaign launched by Avis in the 60s. Trailing Hertz, the then market leader, Avis looked inward and launched the concept, “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.”
They didn’t try to tell consumers that they were better than Hertz (they weren’t). Instead, they found what made them different (they try harder) and leaned into that. Because they were upfront about being No. 2, consumers trusted them more, which ultimately led to their first profitable year in more than a decade.
Good Marketing Can Increase Brand Loyalty
Once you can say the truest thing about your product or service to the market, you start to build trust. And once you build trust, you can also increase loyalty to your brand.
Brand loyalty is important for businesses because retaining loyal customers is typically a lot less expensive than the cost of acquiring new ones. So not only does brand loyalty increase the love for your brand (and how many of your customers talk about your product or service and recommend it to their friends) but it also helps the bottom line.
Increasing brand loyalty isn’t just about building trust—it’s also about convenience, status, character, excitement, and camaraderie. All things that good marketing can help support and amplify.
Good Marketing Can Save Time for Your Customer Service Team
The less glamorous, less glossy part of marketing is answering questions your customers might have. While questions vary depending on the business, a few that span across most industries include:
- How much does this product or service cost?
- What are the specifications of the product or service?
- How do I use the product or service?
- What can I expect from the product or service?
- What does the product or service look like?
- Can I see an example of a person using the product? Or, can I hear from someone who has used the service?
If you don’t have a place to answer these questions on your website or marketing materials, chances are customers will contact your business directly and ask. Instead of hiring more customer service reps, a better solution would be to simply answer those questions on your website or through an automated chat service. That way, your customer service team can be freed up to answer more complex questions and your customers won’t get as frustrated trying to find answers that don’t actually exist on your site.
Good Marketing Can Help Build Communities
When brands focus on marketing that builds communities, they’re typically labeled as lifestyle brands. These brands do a great job of making their customers feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. They cultivate a certain type of feeling that embodies the interests or attitudes among their base, and draw customers based on that feeling—not just their product or service.
A good example of how a brand can use marketing (particularly, content marketing) to build a community is the MyFitnessPal app. The health-focused app developed by Under Armour is free (a premium app is also available for a fee) and allows users to not only track their health information for the day, but actually add their own recipes, find new recipes, and interact with other users through forums.
Good Marketing Makes People Want to Work for You
Gone are the days where you can expect an employee to stick around for 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. The competition to attract and retain employees isn’t going away, and companies that don’t have a strong employer brand (or don’t market that employer brand) are going to struggle.
On the flip side, businesses that have invested in defining their employer brand (you can also think of it as their internal brand, or their brand that’s focused on their employees) and know how to share that message across their organization will find more success engaging their employees, attracting new talent, and keeping that talent within their organization.
The important thing to note is that when it comes to your employer brand, you really need to be authentic and true to who you are at your core. If you define core values that don’t actually resonate with your employees, you’ll risk coming off as inauthentic. So, when investing time and energy into your employer brand, make sure you not only spread the message throughout your organization (you can do this through the office environment, newsletter updates, swag, etc.), but that you live up to those expectations, too.
Invest In Authentic Marketing, Reap the Benefits
As data-driven business professionals, it can be tempting to dismiss marketing because a specific campaign didn’t deliver the immediate results you thought it would. Or, you might think that spending tens of thousands of dollars rebranding just isn’t worth it. But when it comes to building a brand and marketing it to your audience, there’s a lot of long-term benefits that can’t necessarily be measured overnight. Don’t underestimate the effect of really great marketing on the bottom line—even if you can’t see it right away.