When you start to think about opening your own business, people will advise you to craft a good business plan, put together a quality product, and then market it to potential buyers. That last step may seem like an afterthought to some people or not necessary for the workflow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are considering skimping on your marketing plan, just know that it has a tremendous impact on your business growth.

Marketing is all about getting your product and your brands out there for potential buyers. Without bringing in customers and growing from the insights your data provides, you won’t reach your bottom line or turn a profit, let alone grow your business. If you’re looking to thrive and be a household name, you need to first present yourself in effective ways. A marketing plan is your best practice for retaining customers, finding new ones, and increasing your sales. This is perhaps the most impactful element for growing your business. Let’s look at a few specific reasons why this is true.

Understand your target market better.

The world of retail is vast. With so many niches and functions filling different customer needs, you will have to find the target market to attract your business. As much as you may want to, you won’t be able to reach every single person, so it helps to focus on your specific potential clients. By trying different marketing strategies and asset tracking, you are getting to know that market better. This will help you gear your products and to increase customer loyalty in the future.

Retain and gain new customers.

Marketing is all about giving people what they want. This is how you retain customers, and it’s the first step towards getting new business. That being said, you can’t give the people what they want without first getting customer feedback. Many strategies involve surveys and capturing customer satisfaction. You can do this with the voice of the customer program (or VOC program). By fully understanding the customer experience through the voice of the customer, you can set metrics that are customer-centric. A successful VOC program involves promoters of your products that relate directly to customers.

Make your brand more visible.

Above all else, you want your brand and products to be visible to future customers. While word of mouth may have worked in the past, you need something a little more powerful today. Marketing can let people know you exist and get them excited about your products. You can even share your products with potential customers for a short time to promote interest. With equipment asset management software you can keep on top of where your products are when through mobile apps or other work orders. By using asset management software you can track the customer journey and asset performance while never losing track of your important products.

Be one step ahead of your competitor.

While you can pretend business is a collaborative environment, you really are competing for customer business. A strong marketing strategy can help you stay one step ahead of your competitors while maintaining integrity. Utilize new, creative strategies. Partner with promoters on social media, change perceptions of your brand, be cool and hip and make people want to use your company. By standing out, you’re putting yourself ahead of the curve.

Increase your sales.

Perhaps the main reason why marketing helps grow your business is that it increases your sales. If you market your business, more people know about your company, and they start to buy your products. It’s as simple as that. Putting money into marketing plans will come back around to you as a profit. The right question to ask isn’t if marketing is effective, but rather, “what kind of marketing will be best for me?”