These days it’s absolutely essential to get the right product or service, to the right people at the right time.
Marketing can seem like a struggle at times, especially for those of us who own small businesses. Time and money are precious and we certainly don’t want to be wasting our efforts. It’s useful to remember the essential elements when creating a marketing plan for our business.
Devising a marketing plan is not all about advertising and promotion. 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.
You need to create a “marketing mix” specific for your business. There are 7 different elements, commonly referred to as “The 7P’s of Marketing”, which need to be outlined and evaluated continuously.
This simply means identifying the goods or services that your business offers.
Referring to how your customers access your goods or services; it should be above all, convenient and pleasant for your customer, whether face to face or online.
Where will you position yourself on the pricing scale? This is a key part of the marketing mix as it says a lot about the type of consumer you’re trying to target.
You must consider which channels will be best for you to use in order to reach your target market. This will be your first point of communication so you need to target the right people in the right way, at the right time.
Anyone who comes in to contact with your customers. Anyone involved in your business is an ambassador for it, and can have a direct effect on your customers. The correct training must be given in order to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction are being maintained.
Your day-to-day business operations, research and development. You want your customers to feel looked after and not frustrated by the lack of communication or haste with which you respond to enquiries for example.
Providing your customers with a reference of your good work before they commit to purchasing your services. This could mean a free trial of a product, or a testimonial on your promotional material.
The purpose of this mix is to help you better understand your business and its key benefits and features; essentially what sets you apart from your competitors.
The primary thing to remember when considering this mix is your customer. Marketing is all about developing a deeper understanding of your target market and utilising the correct channels in order to reach them and get them to use your product or services.
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