I’ve had the privilege of serving on the British Chamber of Commerce, championing British business. The most frequently asked question I get is from small businesses on how best to promote their products and services. Here are my Marketing Basics: The 101 Guide to Everything You Need to Know.
Every business that hopes to generate returns from the sale of its products and services needs to engage in a marketing campaign that attracts new clients and builds lasting relationships with existing ones. An effective campaign creates awareness within the target audience that helps the company increase its sales and establish an advantage over its competitors.
Marketing is explained as the process of spurring customers to take a profitable action in an organisation’s favour. It considers all of the strategies and tactics employed to ensure clients are aware of a businesses’ products and services and are motivated to purchase them. The marketing process is crucial to the entire product lifecycle; therefore, it is important that efforts to understand the audience and craft a message that appeals to them are made early in the process.
The most important elements a business needs to consider when thinking about marketing are the product, price, place and promotion. Strategies and tactics, which can change to suit an audience or a season, often revolve around these four principles. Some marketing models consider seven P’s, but at its core, these four P’s are sufficient for defining the marketing concept.
Product refers to what a business is selling and includes all the benefits and features that customers can enjoy from purchasing and using the product or service. From a marketing perspective, a few things must be considered:
- Variations – A business must consider how many variations of a product to manufacture. For example, a car manufacturer may want to focus on pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles.
- Packaging – How the product is presented or packaged is essential (for example, the use of boxes versus bags).
- Extra Services – Here, a business may consider whether to offer after-sales service or provide warranties on purchases, among other options.
The marketing process helps the business assess how much the target clients are willing to pay for the product or service; how much mark-up is needed to cater for costs; and whether the company can offer discounts or apply seasonal pricing to boost sales.
With the launch of a product or service, promotion must occur so that the market knows it exists. Marketing helps to figure out the appropriate marketing channels to employ, the message that needs to go out, and the type of medium (offline, online) that can be used to spread the word.
The product or service must be in the right place where customers can easily access and purchase it. Marketing ensures that aspects such as location and visual techniques are well-handled to ensure maximum visibility of the product.
A business’s approach to marketing will impact many other business aspects. As marketing experts such as Chief Creative Officer Ajab Samrai know all too well, communication and collaboration between marketing teams and the entire business are vital to ensure continued success.