I was at a social event recently, which was previewing some up coming new films; chatting afterwards, the conversation inevitably led to ‘what do you do’? My normal response is ‘Marketing’ which usually leads to the question ‘What sort of marketing’?
This is always a difficult question to answer, as most people quite often confuse Marketing with Advertising. Whilst the two go hand in hand, and are necessary to the success of your business, Marketing is about getting the right product or service, to the right people at the right time. It’s about identifying and understanding your customer and giving them what they want, it’s not just about advertising and promoting your business.
Effective marketing requires you to examine every aspect of your business and how it affects your customer’s experience; covering everything you need to do to deliver your products and services to your target customer. Planning is essential and you’ll need to look at each of the following areas in order to create a comprehensive framework to develop an effective marketing plan:
The Marketing Mix (or the 7 P’s of Marketing)
Simply, what your business offers: this covers the combination of goods and services that your business offers. A good product provides client value i.e. satisfaction of use outweighing the perceived sacrifice of amount paid.
This refers to how your customer accesses your produce or service; it should be convenient for the client at all times. How your customer accesses your product or service. This could be your business premises, shop or online presence.
What approach will you take to pricing your product? Price communicates a lot about a brand. It is a key factor in the marketing mix – too low may put off the target market, too high will carry a high client service expectation which may be tough to fulfil.
Refers to how you communicate with your customers. The objective of the promotional mix is to communicate what the company does and what it offers, to the right people at the right time, in order to acquire and retain customers.
All people who come into contact with a potential customer are part of your marketing; they can have a profound effect on customer satisfaction. Your staff or collaborative partners are ambassadors for your business.
The processes you use in the day-to-day operation of your business ensuring that enquiries and orders are effectively managed. Issues such as waiting times and helpfulness of staff, quality control, planning and feedback channels should be considered here.
This is the evidence you can provide to show you can do what you claim you can do. Asking for feedback from satisfied customers to underpin your expertise and publishing it for potential customers to refer to.
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.
But remember, quoting the wise words of Darren Rowse from Problogger “There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy and determination you can get there”.
If you’d like some help on planning your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!