4 Important Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Marketing
Marketing is a continuous topic in business. It is one of the most important factors of a successful business, especially for new entrepreneurs. Strategically placing products or services on the market opens many opportunities to reach your target market. It is important to understand the basic elements of marketing and how it will affect the growth of your business if not executed properly.
The four P’s in marketing are product, price, position, and promotion. Understanding the importance of each will help you thoroughly plan your marketing strategies.
Understanding Your Product
Understanding what you sell is important to your business and your customers. Your product (or service, depending on your business) should fulfill a need or needs of your customers. Your product should be customizable in order to help the customer. For example, your product, if physical, should offer the various sizes and colors your customers demand. It should be durable and offer longevity. If you offer a service, it should fulfill a purpose for your client. What are the products or service benefits and features your business offers to your target market?
Think>> flexibility, washable, non-sticky, non-staining, versatility, 98% stretch, adds protein, adds moisture, etc.
Understanding Your Price
Understanding the price of your product helps with your positioning and promotion (the last two P’s). Your price can reflect many different factors including your expertise, the quality of the materials, the experience in the service you give, the time it takes for an outsource company to create your product, or the time it takes you to complete or create the product if you are the creator. Research is needed for the standard in industry pricing for every element that creates the content you offer.
For example, consider the amount you’ll have to pay to get the materials to make the creation for sell. Calculate the time it takes to complete a job or to make your product. Consider what it costs you to ship the product to customers. Once you have your totals you can double or triple the amount for retail.
It is also helpful to research the pricing of other companies, locally and outside your area, who offers the same thing you do. This research will help you understand what your target market is willing to pay. Familiarize the features and benefits that your competitors offer in their pricing and compare it to what you have to offer. Most importantly, price your products or services based off of the value you offer to the customers..
Pricing for different markets is essential. Consider the market you are servicing. It could be business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C).
If you create products that are sold to other businesses, you might offer wholesale pricing or pricing at a lower amount than you would to a consumer. The size of the business you are selling to affects how you price your products. For example, a large retailer such as Wal-Mart may purchase 250 items while a smaller “mom and pop” store may only purchase 50 items. Pricing flexibility is important for B2B transactions and relationships. It shows that your business is prepared to take on larger markets and that you support smaller businesses as well.
Business to consumer (B2C) works the opposite way. Selling to an individual consumer raises your selling price because the demand is much smaller than a business. Be sure to consider all factors when participating in these kinds of business transactions.
Pricing psychology is important because consumers perceive pricing structures similarly. Pricing psychology can be defined as a marketing strategy that incorporates how a consumer perceives value of an item or service accordingly to the price presented. Some companies may choose to give the buyer options and some may use flat rates that it feels will appeal the best.
Many businesses practice 3-tier pricing. 3-tier pricing gives buyers three options: The first option is usually a minimal option, the second option is usually not the cheapest but not the most expensive, and the third option is the most expensive is usually presented in 3-tier pricing. Businesses want the buyer to think, “The most logical option is the middle option because it’s not the least expensive with fewer benefits, and it’s not the most expensive option.” The 3-tier pricing strategy can be used with any niche. Business can bundle or package their products and services the way the consumer needs it. Consider your market and the needs of your customers before structuring any 3-tier pricing strategies.
Strategically positioning your product or service in the same places that your target market shops is the goal. Think about the places on- and offline where your target market would go to purchase your product. If you are not sure, you have more research to do! Your product or service should be at the places that your target market goes to find them.
You can reach your target market by distinctly positioning your products, services, or business in its entirety in front of your target market. There are several different types of marketing that you can create to reach your audience. Here are 10 popular types of marketing that you could consider:
- Content Marketing - Educating potential customers about your products or services.
- Call to Action Marketing - Encouraging the reader to take action in purchasing, subscribing, clicking on a link, retweeting a post, etc.
- Cross Media Marketing - Strategically placed ads on websites.
- Direct Marketing - Postcards in the mail.
- Event Marketing - Host events, seminars, workshops, annual meetings, etc.
- Promotion Marketing - Sales and discounts for limited time.
- Referral Programs - Offer current customer a discount for new business referrals.
- Sampling Marketing - Try before you buy option.
- Social Media Marketing - Marketing on social platforms and apps.
- Word-of-mouth Marketing - Marketing through the word of your current customers.. Make sure their experience is epic!
Positioning Your Business for Social Media Marketing
The social media population is growing each day. Social media accounts are free which means free marketing! Every business should take advantage of free resources to grow their business. There is a science to social media marketing. The equation is quite simple. Learn what your target market likes to read, engage in, be inspired, and educated by. Present the kind of content your audience needs and likes. Measure the performance of when you post and what you post. When you understand the feedback from the content you post, you learn what to post more of and when to post it. Create a plan. Measure the perform. Make the necessary adjustments. Keep going!
Promotion of what you offer will be the catalyst of what takes your business off the ground! It is how you will reach your target market through communication. Promote how you are helping solve a problem. Promote what your brand stands for. Promote and connect to build relationships with people and communities.
The first 3 P’s contribute to how and where promotions take place. The quality of promotion affects the type of customers you’ll attract. Remember: you must market to your target market first. You must choose platforms that your target market is on, choose places that your target market goes, and place your products or services in their laps!
Among many important factors, high quality photos are very important in marketing. Photos that are visually appealing to your target market are more likely to attain more attention than those with poor lighting, angles, or focus. You can purchase stock photos from websites like Shutterstock and Fotolia. You can also find free stock photos like Designerpics.com or Splitshire.com. You can also use your own photos from a professional photoshoot. In the positioning section, 10 popular marketing tactics were provided. Any one of these types of marketing strategies can be executed with promotional marketing. Decide which approach is best for your business and implement a great promotional marketing plan.
Now that you have the foundation of what every business owner should know about marketing their business, you can create more strategic marketing plans to promote and grow your business!