If you are planning on setting up a small business, you may be unclear as to what exactly marketing is, and how essential it is towards the overall success of your business.
Marketing refers to how your business accomplishes in three areas:
1) Identifying what your customer wants
2) Anticipating demand for your product or service
3) Satisfying your customers demand
If you manage to successfully carry out these three things, it will ensure your business is seen and heard about, and will also give you the flexibility to adapt to your customers demands and also allow you to move with the change in your business environment.
The Importance of a Market Plan
If your business is going to succeed and profit, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Through a marketing plan, you can focus this vision and not let it carry you away.
Your marketing plan can also help you establish what sort of customer base you expect to find interested in your product. It can also help you work out how much you can charge for a product you intend to sell, compare it to competition prices and even the position of your company in the market place, as well as indentifying future opportunities for promoting yourself.
Marketing is an Art, not a Science
There are some guidelines you can follow when it comes to marketing, but it’s a difficult skill to develop, and therefore more of an art than a science, but it is an art that is well worth developing. Not only will this improve the effectiveness of your business, but it could also increase returns and profitability of your business, and help you understand realistically, what your business development opportunities are like.
One of the biggest marketing problems you are likely to face when starting up your own small business, is quantifying in advance the expected result for a given spend.
Make sure you don’t confuse yourself on the difference between sales and marketing. It’s a very common mistake that small businesses tend to make to put sales and marketing in the same category. It’s not surprising, when the two concepts often overlap, but they are not the same.
Sales refers to the idea of increasing your company’s turnover through things like discounts, special offers and margin reductions etc.
Marketing means identifying the market your product or service appeals to and building your company to promote that product or service.
If your company’s marketing embraces both these areas, it is going to get complicated, expensive and resource intensive. At the end of the day, it is probably going to be easier to have a team solely dedicated to marketing.
What do you think?
What does your company do to improve marketing? Is there an easy way to make a distinction between marketing and sales? Is there anything you think I’ve missed out here that’s also important about marketing? Comment here.
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