With a little bit of know-how you can make marketing part of your day to day business activities and build a successful marketing driven business. Here’s a wee bit of guidance to help you …
Marketing can be defined as a process of determining the needs and wants of consumers and being able to deliver the products and services that satisfy those needs and wants, at a profit to the business.
So, what does this mean to your awesome business?
Marketing is the bridge between your business and your customer and great marketing makes the connection between what your target market wants or needs and your products or services … at a profit to your business.
Let’s break this down:
Target market: First of all we need to establish who our target markets are and where they are.
Wants / needs: Once we have identified our target markets, we need to get to know them to understand what they want and need, how they behave & how they are influenced. Understanding this is key to getting the product / service offering right and developing the right marketing mix to persuade our target markets to buy our products / services.
Product / service: If we already have a product or service, we need to ensure that it meets the wants and needs of our target market(s). The product / service should be developed to cater for these needs. If we are developing a new product or service then market needs should be a fundamental consideration in product / service development. Anticipating or even creating future needs is the ultimate goal in product marketing. Apple is a great example.
Profit: Getting the numbers right is a key deliverable to ensure that your business is sustainable and can continue to deliver great things.
The Marketing Mix
When we have identified the target market, understand their wants and needs, and have developed a product or service that can meet the wants and needs, and do this at a profit, we use a set of tools called the ‘Marketing Mix’ to persuade our target markets to buy our products or services.
The marketing mix is made up up:
Product: Focus on the features & benefits of your offering, how it differs from the competition, and how it satisfies your customers’ needs or makes a difference to their lives.
Price: Price affects how much is sold, who it is sold to, and ultimately how much profit you make. Key factors for consideration include cost, demand, competition and image.
Place: The markets and channels through which you make your product / service available.
Promotion: Your marketing communications – all means through which a business communicates the benefits & values of its product / service and persuades targeted customers to buy them. Examples of marketing communication tools include website, social media, email marketing, advertising, PR, direct mail, content marketing, newsletters etc etc. Understanding who your customers are, where they are, how you can influence them and what messages you want to communicate will help you make the right decisions regarding promotion of your products or services.
People: All people involved in the delivery and consumption of a product or service are important and can be a great marketing tool. From employees in your business, contacts in your business network who endorse or promote you to your customers who consume your product / service and can influence future sales. We all know how powerful word of mouth can be when building our businesses.
Process: From receiving the order from the customer to delivering the product / service your businesses will have processes in place, and each of these processes should add value at every stage of the customer’s experience. Processes are a way of delivering your service, and for many businesses their service is their competitive advantage. Even invoicing is an important process.
When working out your marketing mix, it is important to consider and plan for online and offline channels. Always keep a sharp eye on your competitors too and review what they are doing. Aim to keep ahead of your competitors and maintain competitive advantage.
Putting marketing into practice
The important part of great marketing is keeping the customer at the centre of everything you do, and the following points will ensure that you stay on top of your game and ahead of your competition with a marketing driven business:
This blog was also published by Sage. It can be viewed here.