Which came first – marketing or sales? You perform marketing to get your sales YET you must have sales to know how to properly market your business. What is a business to DO? Once you know the simple ins and outs of marketing, you will wonder why you waited so long to do it the RIGHT way!
Consider the age-old question – which came first, the chicken or the egg? It really doesn’t matter but when it comes to your business, you need to get a working handle on proper marketing else your business ends up in the frying pan like the egg. Fortunately marketing one’s business doesn’t require you to have a Master’s degree in anything – it just requires you to have some common sense, a head on your shoulders to process what you are seeing around you in your business, and the smarts to apply some simple yet powerful tools to make it all come together. Now, that sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?
What IS Marketing?
When one hears the word marketing, they imagine all kinds of things. A super educated business oriented individual; a smooth, fast-talking person who gives details about things in the business world that leave your head swimming; or a professional service that means you must be deep in the financial pockets to even have a chance of getting any marketing for YOUR company. Guess what? It can be all of that or NONE of that.
In simple terms, marketing is: what is your product, where is your place, what is your price, and how do you plan to promote it. This is commonly known as the 4 Ps of marketing. OK – now that you know WHAT marketing is, how is it done? You will be surprised to know that some of this has already be done if you are an established business.
Marketing P #1
If you are selling a product, you have performed some marketing. You have chosen a product or products to sell – that is step one of marketing. Now if your products are selling well, that’s great. Your first P has been a bit of success for you. Could it be better? Only you can answer that. If your product is NOT selling well, it could be the product choices OR maybe you need to proceed to the other Ps of marketing.
Marketing P #2
The second P is place. Where ARE you selling your products? In a physical location? Is your place online? Is it both? There are different methods to marketing your products depending on your selling place. If you are selling from a physical location, you have considerations of where your place is located, what your place looks like, how big is your place, is parking adequate, are you surrounded by similar competition? You get the idea – you must KNOW your place, and what appeals to and attracts customers.
Is your place online? Again, the presence of your business and products online is just as important as if you were selling from a physical location. In today’s market of massive online shopping, the place of your cyber business is super critical. Online you have thousands or millions of places just like yours but yours must stand out to be successful. You must be mindful of your online location, how your online presence looks, how big is your online store, is your site setup with all the options that customers prefer – such as payment options, social media aspects, contact info, purchasing/return policies – AND knowing your online competitors. Just like a physical location, your online location must be to your customer or potential customer’s liking. You need to look, see, and learn what it is that will make YOUR business stand out.
Marketing P #3
The third P is the price. If you are a newbie, have you even priced your products yet? If you are an established business, are your prices right? Remember the TV show ‘The Price Is Right’? If the prices are NOT right, you are never going to win. Pricing is not a simply slap a price tag on an item – pricing is knowing your competitors’ prices for the same or similar items; it is knowing what your customers are willing to PAY for your prices; it is knowing the economy of locale or world around you to know IF customers can pay the prices; and finally, it is knowing what YOUR business can afford with various pricing. If your wholesale costs are low, you can afford to have a lower price. If your wholesale costs are higher, you either raise your prices (if you can) OR find a cheaper wholesaler. As you can see, pricing is NOT just ‘this is what I want for my items’.
Marketing P #4
The fourth P is promoting your product. Promoting is a topic of its own and will be addressed in additional blogs. But the simple take on promoting is that you must make your customers aware of your products, place, and prices. You can have awesome stock, a knock em dead website or the ideal physical location, and killer prices but if no one knows you exist – well, guess what? You don’t.
Have You Done YOUR Marketing Lately?
As you can see, marketing does not require you to be super book smart educated, you don’t need to wear a suit and tie, or talk like you are a walking business dictionary. You simply must look, see, and act on the information that is right in front of your eyes. Take a hard look, from a customer’s point of view, but take a hard look regardless. You may have thought that you don’t want to carry girlie pink items in your mainly male product line. Guess what? You will be missing out on sales. Many females are interested in that same male product line BUT want it personalized in their favorite pink or purple. Think pink floor mats, spare tire cover, or pink camo clothing – you have seen them. You must do marketing to KNOW exactly what IS wanted by customers – all customers. If you don’t put in the effort to perform these 4 P’s, you might as well close up shop and go home. The choice is completely yours.
Are You Ready to Do Your Marketing the Right Way?
Comment your opinions below. You may find that you have forgotten one of the P’s, or that others may have insight that you hadn’t considered when you evaluated any of your four Ps. When business owners work together in thought, big things can often happen.
If you need help with any or all the 4 P’s, we can provide information and services to help you in your marketing process. For more information on services that we can provide, visit us at https://emergingentrepreneur.org/. Your business is ready to fly – are you?