How to succeed in a competitive market: Top tips on online marketing

Fat Buddha entered an extremely competitive market when they started selling urban street wear from their first bricks-and-mortar store in 2006. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, and a large part of this success has been through their approach to digital marketing and their internationally renowned online store.

shutterstock_248863417Leslie Docherty, managing director, of Fat Buddha, shares his top tips on using online marketing to succeed in a competitive market.

With the average consumer spending so much time online nowadays, it’s absolutely crucial to get your online marketing right. Luckily, with all of the tools and information available to you, it’s never been easier to find your target audience — but it’s still down to you to produce content which is going to get them engaged in your brand and interested in what you have to sell.

The ideal customer

The first step in any marketing campaign is working out who your ideal customer is. The more specific you can be about this, the better; describe their age, gender, where they shop, and what kind of sites they visit. From this information you can work out if it will be most effective to engage them through social media, PPC, blog advertising, or through other channels. This will mainly depend on whether you’re trying to directly sell to them, or just increase the customer’s awareness of your brand and products.

For example, when we launched our new website, we used our blog to bring people to the site and get them engaged with our brand. We weren’t giving anyone the hard sell, just trying to gain ourselves some much-needed visibility and hopefully make Fat Buddha Store the first site that comes to mind when they’re shopping for urban street wear.

Email marketing

After our target market got to know and trust our brand and felt safe buying from us, we began to utilise our customer database to push direct sales messages through email marketing. We also added all of our customer’s email addresses to our Facebook PPC and targeted them with sales messages.

B2B v. B2C

It’s important here that I make the distinction between marketing to business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) audiences. Getting through to B2B customers requires a greater level of sophistication, as the decision makers in every company are bombarded by people trying to sell them things they don’t want and don’t need on a daily basis. Getting your message through to the people whose decision matters is tough, and if this is your main target market, it’s going to require a greater level of sophistication to get through to the right people.

Crowded market

Marketing to B2C, in comparison, is a lot easier. These customers are more receptive to simple messages, and there’s less barriers between you and their attention. Simple marketing tricks that everyone should be doing, like discount codes and exclusive sign-ups, can get you plenty of easy wins. However, the downside here is that B2C marketing is extremely crowded, and it often becomes a battle of who can throw the most resources at the customer’s attention. If you don’t have the resources to compete with the big boys in your space, then you’re going to have to be clever with your online marketing efforts in order to grab your target market’s attention. To do this, pay attention to the details, spend lots of time looking at what is and isn’t working for your competitors, and keep an eye out for upcoming trends.

Ultimately, succeeding in a competitive market is always going to be hard — if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. To give yourself the best possible chance of success, you must make sure your online marketing is spot on. Keep these tips in mind when you’re marketing your business online and you’ll put yourself in the best possible position to succeed, no matter how competitive your market.