What is marketing? What is advertising? Are these two activities the same? Why all the recent fuss about marketing? Isn’t a great product or service the only and best thing to have? Surely great products and services sell themselves?
Let us go back to the basics shall we and talk about marketing and advertising and its impact to your business, particularly in these increasingly competitive times.
To some businesses – – small businesses, in particular, – – marketing and advertising seems like a lot of senseless hocus pocus. Worse still, to some business people it is academic mambo jumbo that is peddled to justify the existence of advertising industries all over the world. In reality, however, there is nothing at all magical about either one. Both marketing and advertising are, in fact, based on a very logical premises:
Before a consumer can buy a product or service – – no matter how well designed or efficiently produced it is – – he or she must first know that it exists. That, in a nut shell, is the purpose of marketing. Advertising, on the other hand, is simply one of several different methods used to “get the message out.”
Many businesses also consider marketing and advertising a waste of money, and an activity that is undertaken by big multi- million dollar companies. And sadly even in many big businesses, when push comes to shove and things are hard, one of the first departments whose budget is cut is , you guessed it, the marketing department.
CEOs of Fortune 500 companies all have at least one thing in common. They agree that marketing is one of the most important functions in any business. For that reason, for many of them, nearly 50 cents of every consumer dollar made goes toward marketing and advertising. On the flip side, surveys of failing businesses reveal that little, and in some instances no, marketing and advertising ever took place.
Notice any interesting correlations?
The truth of the matter is this. Businesses that operate without using good marketing principals in conjunction with solid advertising standards, had better find a reliable crystal ball, a Genie’s lamp, or a very powerful magic wand or good witch doctor . Without the use of marketing and advertising – – or a great deal of magic – – the business is doomed to fail!
Marketing VS Selling
Contrary to popular belief, marketing is NOT a glorified name for selling. In fact, selling is just one of the components of marketing. For this reason, successful business owners think “marketing,” not “selling.” They understand that it is infinitely more important to know the wants, needs, and preferences of their customers than it is to focus on how to sell their product or service. After all, it is the customer who has ultimate control over the life of any product or service.
Sales people who pride themselves on being able to sell anything to anyone, even ice to Eskimos, are fooling themselves. The biggest markets, and the best profits, come from discovering and supplying customer wants and needs. If done correctly, marketing actually makes selling almost incidental. When customer’s needs are answered, and the product or service properly exposed, then what is being offered will sell.
Why Marketing is Critical to your business?
Marketing is critical to the life of any business; but that is particularly true of small business. To be successful, small businesses must focus on identifying their customer’s wants and needs and then meet them while still making a profit. But to do that, business must begin with a basic analysis of what it has to offer potential consumers. Whatever the product or service, there must be something unique about it; something that will make the customer willing to pay the asking price.
Is your product worth buying ?
To determine the uniqueness of your product or service, several questions need to be explored:
- Is it offered by anyone else?
- Does it satisfy an unfulfilled need?
- Will it create a trend?
- Is it environmentally sensitive?
- Does it play to the customers’ sense of value?
- Does it occupy a special niche?
- Is a moral issue involved?
- Is it patentable?
- Is the marketing technique different?
- Is customer service different?
- Does it use my special talents?
For tailor made marketing training, contact Chipo at firstname.lastname@example.org