If you want to stay one step ahead of your competition you are going to have to develop a solid marketing plan. Marketing will make your business grow and prosper and without it you cannot compete on solid ground with your competitors.
Marketing is not just a term that describes advertising and selling. It is a part of the overall management for any small business. It takes a look at the market and determines what customers really want and how to get the message that you have out to them.
Communications … Communications …. Marketing is just not advertising
Marketing steps – The 4 Ps – Price – Place – Product – Promotion
There are two main steps that need to be followed for marketing.
1. Market research
This part of the marketing process determines what your target market is and what they are looking for. You will determine your marketing plan based on the outcome of this research.
2. Marketing plan
A marketing plan is formulated based on your product, the cost of the product and all business costs combined, your customers and your competitors.
How to do effective market research
There are 2 different ways to get information for market research. The first one is by getting secondary data that has already been collected such as information provided by reliable websites, trade publications and magazines, library resources, government publications, etc.
The second method involves collecting information for primary data through surveys, questionnaires, internal research, interviews and field work.
Sorting the data
Once you have the information from your research you can then make your marketing plan. You will have built a solid platform for your business by determining exactly what is wanted and needed in the marketplace. By condensing the data you can then start planning effective marketing. Here are the things you should take into account when you start your planning.
1. The Price
You will know what your target market is willing to pay and what they expect in return. You can then determine what kind of profit margin you see for each product or service delivered.
2. Your location – place
You can find out in your initial research how easy your business is for your customers to find. Is it located in an area that is accessible? Is it easy to find and is the building recognizable? Is it in good shape? If any of these features are not positive you will need to get some work done to get your location handled.
3. Your Product
Your research will let you know what your customers exactly want in your product such as:
4. Your promotion
After your research you will be able to promote knowing who your target market is, what they want and expect, what price you are going to sell it at and the demographics of your market.
You can then start promoting using the following tactics:
- Sales promotion
Once you have your business up and running it doesn’t stop there. Even after you have promoted it there is still a lot of work to be done.
Along the way listen to what your customers are telling you because it is very important. Structure your business according to what they want to buy and then sell it to them.
Try to stay flexible for your customers and you will find that your business will take off on its own and be more powerful than you ever thought possible.