What is Marketing and how it works?
The CIM defines marketing: “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”.
Your business should be aiming to get the right product or service to the right customer at the right time and right place. e.g. the customer should be at the heart of what your business does. If they are not interested or not buying, then you have no business.
As a small business owner, you will carrying out marketing and probably more than you think. You may be networking, having a website, talking to friends and family about what you do and so on. This is all marketing! To market your business in the most efficient way, a Marketing Plan is highly recommended.
Learn the basics of marketing using our online marketing toolkit for small businesses.
When marketing your business and product/service, marketing professionals like to refer to the 7 P’s. This used to be the 4 P’s but this has expanded over recent times.
So, what are the 7 P’s?
So what? What do these P’s mean?
Product – there must be a need or demand for that you are selling. It must add value to the customer in some way.
Price – if your product or service is too cheap or too expensive, customers won’t buy it. The saying goes “a product is only worth what the customer is prepared to pay for it”. The price needs to be competitive and it must make you a profit.
Place – this refers to the place where your customers buy from. The product must be available in this right place, at the right time and in the right quantities. This could be in store, on line and so on.
Promotion – this is how your business communicates with its customers and potential customers. The tone and messaging used can be impactful to creating a sale. Using the right media (e.g. the right tool) is also imperative. The promotional messaging must communicate the features and benefits. E.g. the kettle boils the water quickly. The benefit is this means you can make your tea or coffee more quickly and use less electricity therefore saving time and money.
Marketing is wrongly narrowed down as advertising or selling. This couldn’t be further from the truth
There are 6 main forms that marketing professionals will quote for promotion:
– Personal Selling
– Direct Mail/Email marketing
– Online marketing
– Sales promotion
People – this is you, your staff, your alliances, your fellow networkers. Anyone who comes into contact with your customers will make an impression, good or bad. Your brand and reputation will depend on these people.
Process – this refers to the process the customer goes through from making enquiry to buying to receiving the goods. How smooth this goes determines their level of customer satisfaction.
Physical evidence – a service cannot be experienced before it is received. The physical aspect can be the product itself or a case study/testimonial if you are selling a service. The tangible aspect.
Take home messages:
- One of the strengths of marketing is the way it constantly adapts and responds to changing situations.
- Marketing is about the customer.
- Marketing needs planning and tailoring to your business, your market and your customers. Any activity must be trackable and measurable.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Sources: CIM – marketing resources, Marketing and the 7 P’s http://www.pinpointmarketingconsultancy.co.uk/faq.html