Marketing is one of the major arms of every business on the planet. There is little in the world of business that can really be achieved with the help of marketing. But marketing efforts vary in both their style and effectiveness. There is, to be sure, a lot of marketing out there which does not quite do the job it is meant to do. Still, businesses can always learn from trying to improve their marketing, and if you feel that your business might be in such a position, then what better time to start changing things than now?
As it turns out, there is actually much more to marketing than meets the eye. The common perception of marketing being all about advertising and promotions is misleading at best, although it goes without saying that promotion is a hugely important aspect of it. However, there is much more to it, and it is definitely worth learning what those other factors might be. Let’s see what a more holistic approach to marketing might look like, so that we can better understand how it actually works.
Marketing begins long before the promotion stage, with another hugely relevant practice: product development. The quality of a product plays a huge role in terms of the public perception of a business and its brand. The product, after all, is the finished thing – that which actually sits in your customer’s hands. It is this above all that people base their opinion on, so it is highly important for your business that you get it right.
This is the first stage of marketing; namely, what product are we to produce? It might be that your business ends up producing many more products than just the one, but you need to start with one which is going to be indicative of the brand as a whole. Deciding on your first products is therefore an important decision, and much rests on it. Think carefully about what problem you actually want to try and fix; answering this question will lead you in the right direction in terms of what product you should actually go about producing.
Once you have a clear idea of what you are going to make, you need to start blueprinting it and figuring out how it will look and feel for real. There is no use in everything just remaining as an idea – at some point, those ideas have to become real, concrete objects which people interact with. How will you make those objects, how will you ensure their quality, and what can you hope to gain from the process? As ever, the more detailed you go here, the better off you will be, and the better of your customers will be as well.
The development of a product always needs to be as closely followed as possible. Any glaring errors early on should be dealt with as fast as possible; early mistakes very often lead to much more serious concerns later on, with the actual product. Regardless, one thing is for certain: any strong marketing campaign can only be truly effective if it works on the back of a really successfully made and accomplished product.
Choosing Price Ranges
Another aspect of marketing which is frequently either overlooked or taken to be another part of business altogether is the pricing. This is one of the major areas of marketing, and if we think about it its ongoing effects are actually quite important. The price of a product is something that makes a real noticeable difference to a number of factors. One of the main things that it affects is who is actually likely to buy the product.
The moment you decide on a particular price range, you are making a big decision about the kind of people you expect to buy your product. An exception to this rule is when you produce budget goods which anyone can afford. Even then, you are making the implicit assumption that those on lower salaries are more your target audience than those with higher salaries.
It is useful and important to know this information, and, in reality, you have to know it all to make the decision. No aspect of marketing can exist in a vacuum, and that is certainly true of pricing. Choose a price; choose the customer.
You also choose where the product is likely to be sold at this point, something which we will be looking at in the next section. Certain retailers will go for certain price ranges, the same as consumers, so you need to take that into consideration when you are trying to decide.
Another important issue here is the profit margin. At the end of the day, you are hoping to create a profit for your business, and you need to make sure that the price allows you to do exactly that. If it doesn’t, then you might want to re-consider before you put the product on sale and all but bankrupt your company.
As we can see, there are many ways in which the pricing of a product affects other parts of the marketing process. And the same, as it turns out, is likely to be true of the placement of that product too.
The placement of a product (not to be confused with product placement) is actually one of the harder elements in the whole of marketing. It is also hugely relevant to every other part of the process. Where you are going to sell your products makes a huge difference to how you are going to promote it, what packaging you should use, what price range you should go for, and so on.
The number of possible combinations of all these is staggering, and that’s why for much of this you need to work in a top-down, larger-view manner. But when it comes to choosing where to sell your product, there are some basic things to bear in mind.
First of all, it is worth remembering that you are looking for high volume sales above all. This means that you probably don’t want to limit yourself to only a few retailers. You should try to go for as wide a range of outlets as possible, as this way your sales are likely to dramatically increase beyond your expectations.
Moreover, it pays to think about this early on, as that way you can be sure that you are marketing your product in a way which suits every retailer you are using. This might be harder than you think, but you will probably find the process a lot easier with a little help – more on that shortly.
Ultimately, the location of a product being sold makes a big difference to how you are going to promote it, so you need to be clear on this as early as possible. Speaking of promotion, that is next up on our marketing journey – how can you make sure it is as effective as possible?
So you have ideated and designed a product, chosen a price range for it and thought about who is likely to sell it on. At this stage, you have done most of the hard work, and you also have more than enough information to be going on in order to successfully promote your product.
Don’t make the mistake, however, of waiting until this point to begin drafting ideas for your promotion. You can start thinking about how to promote a product the very moment you know even vaguely what that product is. This is the best way to do it, in fact, because you have more time to come up with just the right solution for each product that your business sells.
When it comes to designing a promotion which is going to do the job, how do you go about doing it? One of the easiest ways might sound too simple to be true, but the fact is that many businesses around the world swear by it. We are talking, of course, about hiring a firm to do it for you.
By using a decent promotions company, you can be sure that your product is getting exactly the kind of promotion that it really deserves. All you need to do is provide them with a brief, and then work in collaboration with them to ensure that they deliver exactly what you want. We spoke earlier about how promotion is not the most important part of marketing – but it is definitely up there.
Once your product has been on sale for a while, you can start testing how it fares with the general public. Some businesses are guilty of missing this stage, but that is a serious error. You can, with the right approach towards reviewing, ensure that your products continue to get better and better – and when that is an option, it makes little sense not to make the most of it.