We often talk about specific elements of marketing, but today, for the first time in a very long time, a prospective client actually asked me ‘what actually is marketing?’. So I thought it would be useful to get my views down in writing and share with others.
Generally speaking, marketing is about building a successful business through winning and keeping customers (and selling your products or services for a profit!). But you could also argue that marketing is being able to see your business – and its offering – through the eyes of your customer (or as many of our clients say ‘putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’).
So in summary, this is what marketing is:
- Discovering the needs of your customers – and just as important – identify who those customers are – do they have a need for your offering? Do they have the budget? Do you want lots of customers who make one-off (small) transactions, or fewer customers with repeat business / large spend? In the early days of Purple Chilli, we were delighted to win any new customer, but over the last decade, we’ve learnt which customer is right for our business, which sometimes requires being brave enough to walk away from an opportunity.
- Having the right product (or service) – if it’s a saturated market, what will make your business stand out? Do customers actually want or need your product? Have you got the right product? Is it fit for purpose? Have you asked potential customers if the product you have developed (or are thinking about selling) is what they actually want? It’s worth doing some market research before leaping head first into launching a business which may fail.
- Selling it at the right price. So you’ve done your market research – you know there’s a growing appetite for your product. But what price should it be sold at? Too high and you risk everyone going to your cheaper competition. Too low and you risk not making enough money to be able to stay in business, or cheapening your offering so that it becomes undesirable to the market place.
- Making sure your product / service is available when and where the customer wishes to buy it. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find, and buy, your offering.
- Ensuring that you can deliver your offering efficiently. Unless you’re selling a competitive product to the Maybach, the latest designer handbag or the newest Rolex, then customers shouldn’t need to join a long waiting list to be able to buy your everyday product. If it’s a service, deliver it to the highest standard and in an efficient manner. If it’s a product, make it easy for your customers to order it and receive it in a timely fashion.
- Making sure that your customers know why your offering is so good – what it does, what that means to them, what are its benefits and therefore why they should buy it – and why from you.
- Employ great people. Your staff are often your greatest assets. Good, motivated staff show outstanding customers service and can enhance your product offering.
Need help with your marketing? We’d love to talk, 01482 672642.