Small Business Marketing
The core of your business success lies in good marketing. Most facets of your business depend on successful and consistent marketing. Depending upon your company, the overall marketing strategy should address advertising, public relations, promotions, content, and sales. If you understand that marketing is a method by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers but you are not doing it then you have set a course to go our of business. Let us take a fresh look at what we should learn and do about marketing.
Marketing done well is the solid foundation on which all companies grow, innovate, and fight off competition. Poorly executed marketing, however, is hard to distinguish from throwing money in a sewer. This section of the course is designed to provide you with the tools you need to both understand certain key aspects of marketing for your business and how to make sound marketing decisions.
So What is Marketing Exactly?
The concept of marketing is very often defined too narrowly. Many people, for example, treat marketing as if it were just advertising—something that’s attended too after all the other important decisions about a product has been decided. Others see marketing as the same as sales. Again, according to this point of view, all the important decisions are made first; then, marketing is brought in to push the offerings onto prospects. But marketing is much more encompassing than either advertising or sales. Marketing is the process of enabling exchanges that create value for customers, collaborators, and the company. And marketing creates this value by developing a clear understanding what customers want and sometimes need. Never forget people buy what they want many time whether they need it or not. In this program, we’ll explore the types of value that customers seek.
• The definition of marketing as the function of a business that creates value for customers and the company is not generally accepted.
Many people—business experts included—believe that value is only created by innovations; in other words, scientists, inventors, and engineers working in a lab produce the value in a product.
• This divergence is rooted in a difference of opinion over what establishes value from a business perspective. Some people view value as something essential to the offering. In this view, if a company adds features to an offering—gives it a more powerful processor or makes it more efficient—then the value of that product is increased. However, adding a new feature increases the value of a product only if customers decide that the improvement is valuable.
• In other words, an offering’s value should be determined only from the perspective of the customers who are willing to purchase it.
Therefore if we use this customer-focused definition of value, then we understand that innovations developed in a lab, without understanding what our potential customers want, are not intrinsically valuable. An innovation must be matched with a set of customers who will appreciate it; it must be explained to those customers in a way that they will comprehend; it must be priced in such a way that customers will be willing to buy it; and so on. Those are all tasks of marketing.
** Marketing is what transforms something with the potential for creating value into something that actually creates and provides value for the customer and the business that produces it.
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