Every time you speak to someone about your business you are involved in marketing.
Any conversation about your firm is an opportunity to promote your business and increase sales.A marketing strategy will help you focus.It will identify the different ways you can talk to your customers, and concentrate on the ones that will create most sales.It tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it to in order to make more sales.Because timing is critical, it will tell you when to say it, too.
«Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department»
Your marketing objectives will focus on how you increase sales by getting and keeping customers.
To explain how to do this, experts talk about how best to package your products and services, how much to charge for them and how to take them to market.A marketing strategy will help you tailor your messages and put the right mix of marketing approaches in place so that you bring your sales and marketing activities together effectively in an effective marketing plan
Knowing your customers
A successful marketing strategy depends on understanding your customers, what they need and how you can persuade them to buy from you.
There’s no substitute for knowledge. Experience and regular two-way communication will tell you a lot about your customers. But targeted market research will build a more detailed picture of customer segments with similar needs. It will help you understand how to target these people so you’re not wasting time on people who aren’t interested in your offer.
But you’ll also need to understand how your market works – where do your customers find out about your offer, for example?
Your strategy should even tell you how you measure up against the competition and what new trends to expect in your market.
Making a marketing plan
marketing plan explains how to put your strategy into action. It will set marketing budgets and deadlines, but it will also tell you how you’re going to talk to your target customers – whether that’s through advertising, networking, going to trade shows, direct marketing, and so on.
Crucially, it will tell you when to talk to your customers. Timing your activities to fit their buying cycles will save money and maximize sales. Your marketing plan should look to the futureIt should outline how you follow up sales and what you’re doing to develop your offer.As with any plan, progress should be regularly measured and reviewed to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can set new targets as your market changes.
Marketing research can give your business a picture of what kinds of new products and services may bring a profit. For products and services already available, marketing research can tell companies whether they are meeting their customers’ needs and expectations.
By researching the answers to specific questions, business owners/Managers can learn whether they need to change their package design or tweak their delivery methods–and even whether they should consider offering additional services.
Failure to do market research before you begin a business venture or during its operation is like driving a car from Texas to New York without a map or street signs .
You have know which direction to travel and how fast to go.
A good market research plan indicates where and who your customers are.It will also tell you when they are most likely and willing to purchase your goods or use your services.
When you conduct marketing research, you can use the results either to create a business and marketing plan or to measure the success of your current plan.That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions, in the right way, of the right people.
Research, done poorly, can steer a business in the wrong direction.
Primary research is to gather data from analyzing current sales and the effectiveness of current practices. Primary research also takes competitors’ plans into account, giving you information about your competition.
Collecting primary research include:
Interviews (either by telephone or face-to-face)
Surveys (online or by mail)
Questionnaires (online or by mail)
Focus groups gathering a sampling of potential clients or customers and getting their direct feedback
No small business can succeed without understanding its customers, its products and services, and the market in general.
Competition is often fierce, and operating without conducting research may give your competitors an advantage over you.
Many new business owners often strapped for time and money, may take shortcuts that can later backfire.
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