I gave a presentation recently on Marketing and reminded my audience, of successful business owners, the definition of marketing. Many small businesses or solo entrepreneurs are naturally marketing [well] without realising it!
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a really good time to reflect on what we have achieved – I bet the list is longer than we may give ourselves credit for, if we stop and give it some real thought. It is also a good time to formulate plans for the year ahead.
So, here is a reminder of what Marketing is all about.
- who are your clients?
- who are your targets?
- what do they really want from you?
- how can you give them what they need and add real value and benefit?
- can you do all this and still make a profit? If not, how can you adapt so you do?
“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing is a process, a bit of a science and a pinch of art. These are the 7 P’s that make up the Marketing Mix:
Product – ensure it provides value and benefit to the client/customer and solves a problem or a desire, preferably with a strong USP
Price – like a house a product or service is only worth what someone will pay for it. Price says a lot about a product. Expectations of your product or service are related to the price
Place – be in the right place at the right time. If you have a product this is your shop or online store, if a service question how do you get in front your clients is it through networking, trade events, 1-2-1 meetings, print media, digital marketing?
Promotion – what are the benefits to your clients? Always ask ‘so what! of your communications. Think also about your reputation. Promote where your audience are – where do they hang out! Online, offline, face-to-face?
People – if you have a team, they are your greatest asset and they represent your brand, give them the support and training they need, ensure they buy-in to what you are trying to achieve. Think also about your Customer Relationship Management
Process – think about the whole buying process or buyer journey. The client will invest in an experience so it needs to be seamless , consistent and customer focused. Make it easy for them, not easy you
Physical evidence – this is where the proof comes in – what you say you deliver, this can be anything from reception/office appearance, website/shop window, testimonials and case studies, even word-of-mouth. Ensure your messages are consistent and have a set tone and feel.
Top Tips for December:
So, here’s your challenge, review each of these 7 P’ for your business, either over 7 days in one week or 1 day a week for 7 weeks. Then when you identify what you need to do to satisfy your clients profitably:
- Plan it – draw up a 12 month plan as a starting point, this doesn’t need to be wordy, a table or bullet points as focus points
- Tap into your creative juices – looking at what has worked for you or your competitors, think of ways to build on that and add some zest – life can be so dull otherwise!
- Be authentic – show your true passion and your expertise in your communications
- Give a little – make the value you provide to your clients tangible and measurable
- Make a stance – don’t be afraid to give your considered and professional opinion on key trends and hot topics of discussion online, it’s indirect marketing and shows off your knowledge
Above all, have fun, be kind, care about what you are doing and how it effects your local community and the wider world.
Happy 2020 planning! Feel free to give us a call if you’d like a steer in the right direction.