This week, Peter Daley, Director of The Alternative Board answers one of the hardest questions about one of the most difficult parts of starting a business;
'How do I get my brand seen?'
For many small businesses, highly effective marketing is a make-or-break necessity. Each year thousands of businesses fail—not because they lack effective management or a superior product, but because they lack good marketing and sales techniques. After all, it is these essential elements which bring in revenue and produce profits. “I don’t know what to do,” or “I don’t have the money,” is the common cry of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The good news is you don’t need a degree in marketing to sell your products or services effectively; nor do you need a million-pound budget. In fact, the low-cost methods many business owners and entrepreneurs use to reach their target markets are the most effective. Practising the fundamentals doesn’t require as much cash as it requires focus, wit, persistence and a little creativity. The bottom line – you have to spend money on your marketing, but you don’t have to break the bank to achieve great results.
The Perception of Marketing
Marketing continues to be a mystery –. Many people, including top executives and management, use it as synonymous with sales and selling. Today, it’s easy to become confused about the terms marketing, sales, advertising, promotion, public relations and publicity, because they are often used interchangeably. Although similar in many ways, each term incorporates very different activities.
Description of Marketing:
The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and fulfilling customer requirements profitably. Marketing is the complete range of actions, activities and programs involved in making sure you are continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return. These activities include market research to find out who your best prospects are, where they’re located, what their needs are and how you should target them. Marketing also includes analysing the competition, positioning your product and/or service, pricing your product and/or service and promoting your business through advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.
All too often, the idea of marketing makes even the most experienced business owner a bit uncomfortable. Business people know the ability to meet the changing needs and demands of customers has become increasingly important in recent years. New technologies, growing international trade, improved communications and more sophisticated and demanding buyers have all served to increase the pressure on businesses to make continuous improvements in their products and services. Given a choice, customers will always do business with those who most completely meet their needs – needs that are constantly changing. Thus, companies must continuously assess their markets and develop strategies to best reach their target audience(s).
If one concept sums it all up, marketing is about building and maintaining successful relationships