Marketing is simply the process of exposing your products and services to the reach of your potential clients, leads deals etc. to enable them know how to have access to your products and services. It is also a process that involves researching, promoting, selling and distributing your products or services.
Forevery business owner, marketing is key because without the properexposure that your business deserves, your desired customers will notbe fully aware of your business and what they offer.
Marketingyour business to the reach of your customers takes your business toit’s dream destination by generating more sales to you and helpingyou expand beyond expectations.
For you to obtain the optimum result you desire during your marketing, there are certain steps you need to follow and they include but not limited to the following 8 basic steps below:
- First of all conduct a market research
- Profile your target markets to enable you understand them
- By Identifying your unique selling proposition
- Work on Developing your Business Brand
- Choose your marketing avenues wisely
- Set your goals and budgets right
- Try to Nurture your loyal customers
- Monitor and review your Business
Nowlet us discuss them one after the other below:
1.Conducting a Market Research
Firstof all when we talk about conducting a market research, It is simplyall about collecting and gathering every information that provides aninsight into your customers thinking, buying patterns, and location.
Itcan also assist you to undertake an initial sales forecast, monitormarket trends and keep an eye on what your competition is doing.
Thisis the reason why market research is regarded as one of the major keyparts when developing your marketing strategy.
2.Profile your Target Markets
If you are trying topromote your products or services to everyone in general, it is goingto be very costly and at the end of the day becomes ineffective. Thatis why grouping or segmenting your potential customers based oncertain characteristics will help you to focus your marketing effortstowards your main audience alone.
Generally segmentationis based on certain factors such as:
- Geography – Location
- Demographics – Age, Gender, Education Level, Income, Occupation
- Behavior – Loyalty, Attitude, Readiness to buy, Usage rates
- Lifestyle – Social Class, Personality, Personal Values.
Beforesetting up your target markets, ensure that they those group ofpeople that have a need for your product or service and be willing topay for your offer.
3.Try to Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP is thatunique reason why your customers buy from you and not yourcompetitors. In a simpler way, it is what makes your business standout from the crowd.
Therefore, It is veryimportant that you define what you do or can do differently and beable to convey that to potential customers. Commonly, this usuallyreflects your special knowledge or skills.
Your USP may be havinga new or unique way or method of offering or providing exceptionalservice.
You can startdeveloping your USP by answering the following questions:
- What do you love most about your products and services?
- What special skills or knowledge do you have?
- What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitors?
- How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services?
- Which aspects do you generally highlight when you describe your business to strangers?
4.Developing your Business Brand
There is a serious need for you to develop your business brand because every business regardless of size, is likely to need a brand. A brand is more than a logo, color or tagline. A well-articulated brand emotionally connects with your target customers and conveys who you are, what you stand for and what you can deliver.
5.Choose your Marketing Avenues Wisely
Thou there are manymarketing avenues available, you have to first and foremost consideryour target audience and the best place to located them when you aredetermining which of the avenues to use.
Meanwhileyour options include a business website, social media, blogging,brochure and flyers, networking events, print advertising, word ofmouth, cold calling and letter drops etc. but you are encouraged tochoose wisely as it will help determine the result you will obtainfrom your marketing.
6.Set your Marketing Goals and Budgets Right
There is no doubt thatsetting your marketing goals will help you to define what you want toachieve through your marketing activities. Ensure that your goals are“SMART= Specific,Measurable,Attainable,Relevantand Time-based”.
You are also requiredto allocate a budget to your marketing activities and it shouldinclude basic elements such as:
- Website development and maintenance
- Search engine optimization strategy
- Design of branding
- Printing of promotional material (business cards, brochures, signage, etc)
- Donations and sponsorships
- Employing staff to undertake marketing activities.
TIP:As a general rule of thumb you should spend between threeand five percent of your actual or expected annual turnover onmarketing. If your business is new you may need to allocate morefunds initially to build your business profile.
7. Nurture your Loyal Customers for a Better Result
The success of yourbusiness largely depends on your customers, therefore your customerrelationship is the key to your business success and this makes itvery important to look after them and encourage loyalty.
Providing exceptionalcustomer service will without a doubt keep people coming back to youand set you apart from your competitors.
Below are some basic strategies to build loyalty in customers:
- Communicating regularly with customers through social media, blogs or e-news
- Providing after-sale follow up
- Delivering on your promises
- Going the ‘extra mile’ and providing benefits that exceed initial expectations
- Using feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve services
- Listening to customers
- Training staff in customer service and basic sales processes.
8. Monitor and Review your Business
It is very importantto regularly monitor and review your marketing activities todetermine whether they are achieving the desired outcome or not.
Some of the activities to monitor or review include but not limited to the following: increased sales, marketing plans, customer feedback’s, customer relationship, human resources as relate to sales, reviewing your sales figures on a regular basis (monthly) or monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign. Etc. You can also access and review free analytic tools to determine the effectiveness of your social media or website campaigns.
Initiallyyou should review your marketing plan at least a minimum of everythree months to ensure your activities are supporting your strategyand once your business becomes more established you are encouraged toreview your plan when you introduce a new product or service, if anew competitor enters the market or if an issue arises that affectsyour industry.
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