You have a brilliant idea for a business and have considered the ins and outs of your product/service. You are excited and motivated to make it a success. Except you’re missing one thing: marketing!
However, marketing isn’t simply creating a Facebook page and handing out a few flyers at the traffic light. It’s about understanding your audience and knowing who they are, where you’ll find them and what they do and don’t like. If there’s one word you need to know right now, it’s strategy.
Article by Kamo Rakharebe, Project Manager
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There is no way you should skimp on your marketing strategy. You need to put together a comprehensive plan that outlines all avenues you can pursue in order to reach your desired audience. This is where the marketing mix comes into play. Also known as the 5 P’s of marketing, the marketing mix can be used to grow your business and market your product/service effectively.
In order to be successful you need to have the perfect combination of supplying a desirable product, sold at an attractive price, in the right location, using attention-grabbing promotional tactics. That is, the 5 P’s: Product, Price, Place, People and Promotion.
This is quite literally what you are selling, whether it’s bespoke furniture or a cleaning service. You need to establish your product and know it well. Define its purpose and what role it fulfils within your target market. Ask questions like “what furniture pieces are popular at the moment and who will buy them?” or “How many people don’t have time to clean their homes and which areas are they living in?”
Once you’ve established your product/service you need to understand its benefits and what makes it different from your competitors. Don’t forget to consider the overall function of your product as well as its name, branding, appearance and packaging. This will help you when putting together your marketing strategy.
When pricing your products, there are a few considerations to make. Look at things like the cost of production and transport, as well as your position in the market and your competitor’s prices. The price element also includes any promotional offers you might run, discounts and free samples. Ensure that your profit margins are adequate and cover any additional expenses you may have, like advertising and delivery costs.
Where are your customers going to find your product? Online, or at a storefront? Or will you supply your products to a distributor like a supermarket to display the product for you? It’s important to consider your audience to ensure that you are showcasing your product/service in a place where they can find you. Since this is the means by which your product will get to your audience you need to make sure the channels of distribution are easily accessible.
People are the key to a thriving business, whether it’s your staff or the customers buying your product. Richard Branson said: “Customers do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” This is not to say you should ignore your customers entirely. Rather, hire staff that you know will be capable of taking care of your customers to keep them happy. Your staff are your ambassadors that present an appearance and attitude to the customer, so ensure they are willing to lift up your brand. It’s also important to know your customers in order to deliver quality customer service.
This is probably the most important P of them all: your marketing and sales. Once you have outlined the previous 4 P‘s, you need to let people know about your product/service. Define your promotional strategy and decide what PR activities you’ll take part in, what type of advertising will work and if you’ll commit to any sponsorships. Don’t forget to consider the costs and work them into your mark-up price.
Marketing strategy is so important, yet so many new businesses overlook it entirely. The 5 P’s of marketing are an important concept for businesses to use in order to clearly identify their core structure and positioning in the market. A business that fails to outline these elements cannot hope to perform at an optimum level and achieve success.
Here are a few statistics to get you thinking about the importance of the 5 P’s of marketing: