How do you get the right message, to the right customers, in the right way, at the right time, so you can bring more sales and higher profits to your business? “How do we make sales and marketing work” is the BIG BIG question every business owner /manager has to ask every day … the challenge never goes away.
The purpose of marketing is to make selling unnecessary. The classic marketing mix – product, price, place, promotion – is a systems thinking results oriented framework to help you control these four controllables of marketing. There are other elements in marketing you have no control over, so get good with the 4Ps. Ask yourself these questions about each of the 4Ps:
Product: Who is your ideal customer and what do they truly value about your product and service? Always define your product in terms of the value it brings to your customer, not what you are selling
Price: This is the one that causes most heartache because most small and medium enterprises do not have a pricing strategy. Price is the only ‘P’ that gets money coming into your business, so you need to good at pricing, then get better, then be the best.
Place: Where are your products targeted? How do you get your ‘goods out of the woods’ is of primary importance. Physical location is obviously more important in retail then business to business. More and more web site presence and place are important for customer contact points.
Promotion: Creating a brand that differentiates YOU and your business from all others in your industry is a challenge that most fail. As the business owner/manager, your personal profile is probably more impactful than product brands.
The 4Ps of marketing are perfectly applicable to SMEs. You may need to adjust the model to the uniqueness and nature of your business. Get help with how you position your product … 80% of products are positioned wrongly.
Pricing is both art and science. It must not be a guestimate between the lowest in the market and the highest. Value determines price, not price determines value. Just this paradigm can transform your margins and margins are the keys to the kingdom.
Finally consider what two great experts have said on marketing:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, and the problem is I do not know which half” — Lord Leverhulme
“Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master” — Philip Kotler