DEFINITIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS
Now, how do you start marketing your business?
Here are a few tips and HOW-TOs in making that first sale.
You have to know exactly who your prospective customers are. If you want to sell cupcakes, you might want to get into partnership or agreement with event coordinators who specialize in children’s parties. Now, if you have a more competitive product like software, or services that deals with computers and technology, your target market would have to be companies and offices. Knowing who your consumers will be makes starting a business more promising.
Profiling is very important so you could plan your course of action when it comes to communicating with them. Setting your marketing strategy towards your specific target market will only be effective if you have profiled them properly. Identifying the group of people or companies that are currently buying patronizing products and services in the trade you wish to enter will give you leverage in competing with the existing businesses same as yours.
One classic example of profiling is by determining the age bracket of your target market. If you are operating in meeting the needs of industrial businesses, you should know how long a specific business in your target market have been operating and how young is the trade you are getting into as fresh-booming trades yield faster ROI (return of investment). Knowing that certain businesses included in your target market has proven operating experience based on how long they have been in the business will tell you if they have constant need for your products and services. This will encourage you to move forward into starting your business.
After you identify your specific target market, you have to profile them based on their individual characteristics. This way of profiling is also known as segmenting.
Segmenting your target market will enable you to distinguish your client’s specific needs based on their common characteristics. You can group them according to their individual preferences. You base your grouping or segmentation by certain standards, such as – but not limited to;
a) Capacity or Demographic Criteria: industry, company size and location
b) Habit or Purchasing Approaches: leasing, contracts, system purchases, sealed bidding, etc.
c) Preference or Operating Variables: technology, user/non-user status, customer capabilities, etc.
d) Need or Situation-al Factors: urgency, specific application or specialty, size of order or need, etc.
e) Personality or Personal Characteristics: buyer-seller similarity, attitude towards risk, loyalty, etc.
Profiling and Segmenting works to achieve a specific purpose of helping you prioritize the most “qualified” group in your list of prospective clients. It will also give you an upper hand in dealing with the less promising group as you are already equipped with the necessary information about their client profile.
The most important question is, “what is marketing mix?” Marketing has different variables that a certain business could control and mix to the most precise amount to meet the requirements of each client, as well as for different situations and purposes. Marketing mix is the interaction and integration between each variables. Each variable or element does not stand alone and will not make any significant effect if considered by itself. It is necessary to keep in mind that each variable is a part of a particular marketing mix.
Mc Carthy, in 1975, introduced the four Ps; product, place, promotion and price. Today, Mc Carthy’s four Ps are translated to:
*Product or services that are rated and qualified by prospective clients by its quality;
*Place, is for one, your specific location; also known as the factor to how your product reaches your customers. It is commonly referred to as distribution;
*Promotion is classified from the most visible to the less obvious manner as to how your marketing is implemented. It is how you communicate your products and services to your target market;
*Price is self explanatory but will usually include discounts credits and the likes.
Respectively speaking, being coherent, consistent and leveraged is the ideal mix you need to match with your competitors so you can differentiate your brand and set your company’s strengths and weaknesses against those that are already in the market.
One example of marketing mix is by making your products and services affordable by including discounts on bulk purchases and considering on giving loyalty rewards and referral programs to your clients – who, may or may not require immediate receipt of their purchase, which you can send by delivery or rush pick-up.
Another example is by distributing your products to different locations by means of franchising or sub-contracting your services where your target market could avail at the same price as if they bought it straight from you.
Both examples covered the four Ps – product, price, promotion and place.
Product portfolio is the most important of all the marketing steps. Your product has its attributes and you want to have these attributes described and explained in the most effective way. A product portfolio will certainly provide the best possible description of your products and services. Most portfolios are in a form of brochure.
Now, here is the best part of marketing – branding. What is branding?
There is no better way to explain branding more precisely than comparing Windows to Macintosh.