Marketing is the process of getting your business noticed by the people who need or want your products or services. Many small businesses come up with a fabulous business idea but then fail to market it successfully.
You need to get out there and spread the word about your products or services to the right people to build your customer base. Advertising and selling are part of the process but there is much more involved.
The six ‘Ps’ of marketing
There are generally six key aspects that you need to focus on when marketing your products or services. These aspects are sometimes referred to as the six ‘Ps’:
Product refers to the goods or services you are offering. You might consider a range of factors such as packaging, labelling, branding and quality when developing your product.
Setting a suitable price for your products or services will help you to be profitable and stay competitive. Start by including all the costs associated with producing and delivering your products and services, then research your target market to determine how much they would be willing to pay. If there is a gap you have more work to do – perhaps reducing your costs or focussing on a different market.
Promotion refers to the methods you will use to advertise and sell your products and services. Promotional methods may include:
- social media
- brochures and flyers
- TV, radio or print advertising
- word of mouth
- loyalty and reward programs
- cold calling
- mail-outs and letter drops
- PR activities such as media releases and events
This aspect of marketing refers to how your customers will be able to purchase your products or services. Distribution channels may include:
- retailing direct to the public through a store or outlet
- selling goods via wholesalers
- retailing online
- using distributors, consultants or agents to sell your products
When deciding which channel to use, consider your target market and the logistics involved in getting your products and services to them.
You will most likely have to engage with suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, stakeholders and employees to get your product or services to market. These groups all form part of your team. You need to ensure they understand the importance of providing quality products and customer service.
The right customer service and business processes are essential to support your marketing goals. They may include procedures for ordering new stock, ensuring products or services are delivered in a timely manner, providing opportunities for customers to give feedback and regularly reviewing sales and financial reports.