Marketing

What is marketing?

There are many definitions of marketing but one of the simplest suggests that:

"Marketing is getting the right product or service in the right quantity, to the right place, at the right time and making a profit in the process".

Marketing is about identifying and understanding your customer and giving them what they want. It's not just about advertising and promoting your business.

Effective marketing is a result of examining every aspect of your business and how it affects the consumer's end experience. It covers everything you'll need to do in order to deliver your products and services to the consumer including research, planning, pricing, packaging, promotion, selling and distribution.

The six “Ps”

The following six areas provide a comprehensive framework for developing an effective marketing plan. These areas are often referred to as the “6Ps” or the ‘marketing mix’:

Product

This covers the combination of goods and services that your business offers. It could include the following characteristics of your good or service: quality, variety, design, features, services, warranty, sizes, packaging, brand name and returns. For more information, read the Product Strategy Business Guide

Place

How does the consumer access your product or service? Things to think about in this area include: distribution channels, coverage, inventory, transportation, logistics and retail outlet location. For more information, read the Place (Distribution) Strategy Business Guide

Price

What approach will you take to pricing your product? Will you offer discounts or extended payment periods? What credit terms will you set? For more information, download the Price Strategy Business Guide

Promotion

Refers to how you communicate with your customers. Most businesses use a mix of advertising, personal selling, referrals, sales promotion and public relations. For more information, read the Promotion Strategy Business Guide

People

Your staff are ambassadors for your business. Think the following in relation to your staff: knowledge, experience, skills, communication, teamwork and attitude. For more information, read the People Strategy Business Guide

Process

The processes that you use in the day to day operation of your business have a flow-on effect on the customer's experience, even if it's simply ensuring that orders are effectively managed. Think about the following aspects of business operation: systems, quality control, planning, review, continuous improvement, documentation and feedback channels. For more information, read the Process Strategy Business Guide

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What is market research?

Market research is a key part of developing your marketing strategy.

It's about collecting information to give you an insight into your customer's mind so that you understand what they want, how they gather information and where they come from. You can also do market research to get a better idea of market trends and what is happening in your industry sector. Read more...

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Why do I need a marketing plan?

A successful business operator understands what they are offering the customer and how it differs from their competitors. What are you offering your customers? The process of developing a marketing plan will help you understand the key benefits and features of your product or service, and how to go about attracting and retaining the right type of customer. The marketing plan is usually a component of your business plan.

A significant component of your marketing plan involves in depth industry analysis which will help you to segment your target market and appropriately position your business.

A good marketing plan will also provide you with clear objectives so that you can benchmark your achievements and measure the success of your marketing endeavours. Read more...

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What's next...

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