Each year Canadian companies shell out millions of dollars in salary and bonus perks to hire the most well trained and experienced marketing experts in the field. Why? Because no home based business or major manufacturer could survive without customers. Customers are what makes the business world go round, and it's the marketing department's job to find the customers who will believe they need what the company is selling. There are dozens of different approaches, some tailored to the type of industry the company belongs to, but the thread of these proven effective marketing methods unites them all.
Have a Functional Product
Some marketing experts pride themselves on being able to peddle useless junk to the consumer, but such perspectives are short sighted. You may be able to get a Toronto event caterer hired once, but unless her performance is up to the client's standards there will be no repeat business. Therefore it's in your marketing department's best interests to coordinate with the production department to ensure the product is both useful and functional. Conduct your own tests of the product and don't be afraid to take it back to the production department with a list of alterations that need to be made.
Research is the foundation upon which the entire profession of marketing rests. Market research conducted by the marketing department and independent organizations helps engineers design the sheet metal shears that customers want. It also helps marketing departments find a home for products that have already been produced. Look at demographic information, conduct your own surveys, and test your products out on ordinary people to gather as much data as you can. Share this data with other departments (i.e. sales and production).
Nail Your Demographic
Marketing a firm that specializes in a local service is a waste of time and money to market for another city far away. In order to sell a product effectively, you need to find the customers who are in need of it. Your research should help you determine who they are. Look for geographic factors (i.e. where the customer lives), psychographic traits (i.e. facets of a customer's personality that might influence them to buy), demographic aspects (i.e. age, gender, race, income), and behavioral factors (i.e. sales statistics).
And finally, all strategies designed to market the same product to consumers should be coordinated with one another so no efforts overlap or undermine one another. For instance, if you have several teams working on marketing a Mississauga real estate agent, one doing an internet campaign, another television, another radio, and another print, make sure the message they're pitching is the same, that the ads compliment one another, and that they roll out at around the same time.