Tips for a small business
Developing a proper strategy for marketing in business allows you capture and reach the right audience for your product/service.
If you are an entrepreneur trying to market your products/service on a shoe string budget; developing a good marketing strategy is good place to start , that way you are able to manage the resources you have allocated to marketing efficiently and get the most of it.
|photo credit : www.business2community.com|
Here are overall steps to developing a good marketing strategy for your business.
1) Analyse your marketing environment; the external marketing environment include the micro and macro environment
*The micro environment – These are forces in the external marketing environment that are distinct and individual to a particular business; such as suppliers, distributors, customers, competition and the general public
*The macro environment – These are forces in the external marketing environment that affect businesses in general such as demographics , natural factors, technology, political factors, legal factors,social factors,cultural factors
2) Identify your competitive advantage
* Analyze competition; what are your competitors doing ; what have they done successfully, what have they failed at
* Analyze the internal resources of your company to determine what can be used to create an advantage
* Identify and build up your competitive advantage.
3)Segment your market -This involves breaking down broad markets into smaller homogeneous groups of customers. Broad markets are broken down based on certain traits. This makes it easier to understand ,focus and connect with potential customers who are likely to buy your product/service; thus making marketing efforts more efficient. Market segmentation can be done based on different factors such as demographics,lifestyle, geographical locations e.t.c. It is however important that markets are segmented based on factors that are relevant to individuals within each of the groups.
4)Select your target market
* From the market segments you have been able to create, you can test and decide on your main target audience, select and focus on customers your company can best satisfy.
5)Identify core benefits your company can offer to its customers (your target market).
*Its important to understand what value means to your customers .
6) Position your business
* Write a positioning statement to consciously position your brand in the minds of your customers/clients; a positioning statement should determine how you present your business to customers/clients, it should show what you are known for. Elements of a strong positioning statement include your core value proposition, the unique value you offer customers/clients in relation to your top competitors, target audience and finally benefits your products/services offer the target audience.
* There are various formats for writing positioning statements, here are 2 practical ones i found –
a) (Your core value proposition) for (your target audience) who are in need of the (benefits your business offers as well as its unique value)
b) For (target market description) who (target market need), (how your business offering meets the need), unlike (key competition, its (most distinguishing feature).
7) The marketing mix ( the 4Ps)
* Product – What product will be sold and what differentiates this products from that of the competition ? Are the products on offer relevant to the (target) customers? Are there related products that can be marketed with the initial products?
* Price – This refers to how much a customer is willing to pay for a product /service. 3 factors to be considered when determining the price of a product include ; the cost price of the product, what the competitors are selling for and value added.
* Place – Where your product is sold matters. How accessible are your products to potential customers? Consider the type of product to determine where to sell or distribute your products.
* Promotion – This involves the way you tell customers about your products / services. Activities involved include adverts, personal selling, PR efforts and sales promotion.
Overall here are tips that can make your marketing strategy better
– Marketing strategies should be flexible
– Define the right marketing message to determine the right marketing method.
– Think of your brand in terms of your customers’ needs and how you intend to satisfy them.
– Selling is not marketing and marketing is not selling
– Don’t always use pricing as a basis for competing; especially when you don’t know the depth of the pockets of your competitors so you don’t end up pricing yourself out of the market.
I hope this helps you market your products services better….