Marketing is one of those things that can seem really daunting and overwhelming – a bit like some kind of dark art to many people.
I find many business owners start a business without really thinking about their marketing. They often jump in, getting a logo designed and a Facebook page set up and start hoping for lots of sales or customers. When it doesn’t work right away, they then start wondering why it’s not working, or feeling like marketing is too hard.
Don’t worry, so many people are guilty of this, so I wanted to walk you through some marketing basics to really get the foundations of your business right. If you’re already up and running, these things are good to go over if there is something that’s not working for you right now.
There is a practice in marketing called “the 4P’s”. Product Price, Place and Promotion. These 4 key areas are often referred to as the marketing mix and are the key elements involved in marketing goods or services. If you don’t get one of these things quite right, it can have a knock on effect to your whole business.
By looking at the 4 P’s you can plan a new business venture, develop new products, evaluate your existing offer or try to increase sales.
Product – what you sell. Either physical products or services. Within in this section you need to understand what you are selling, what makes it unique, different to other products/services. How does it stand out? It is also really important to get feedback about your product or service. Before you start producing it, do people want it, is there a need for it. You may think it’s a great idea, but in reality, if your product isn’t selling you may have to ask yourself the hard question, whether other people think it’s great.
Do your research first. Ask people. Get feedback. This way you can ensure you have a great product that people have a need for.
Price –This may appear to be the simple part – how much you charge for those products. But this is often really hard to get right. It can affect the number of sales you have, but also your profit.
An interesting question to ask yourself here as well is how do you want to be perceived?
By not charging enough for your product you may appear cheap or giving poor value. There is a lot of psychology with pricing as well. Check out https://www.profitwell.com/recur/all/tag/pricing where you can find loads of articles about pricing.
- Think about how much money you want or need to make (to make some profit)
- What do your competitors charge?
- How sensitive are your customers to price?
Place – Or in other words, location. Where do you sell or promote your product or service? Think of where your customers are? How can you reach them, how can you get in front of them? Where do they hang out, where do they buy products or services like yours?
This applies online too. For example, I spend most of my time promoting my business in Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as that’s where my ideal client hangs out. I’m not going to start jumping around dancing on TikTok because the business owners I want to target don’t hang out there.
So think about
- Where is your customer online and offline?
- Where can you sell your product or service that will get in front of your target customer?
- Where do your competitors sell their products or services?
Promotion – Finally, the most interesting part is the promotion – the bit I love doing the most! How do your customers find out about you, what marketing strategies do you use and are they effective?
Once you are clear on your product and why it is unique, how much you are going to charge for it and where you are going to sell it, you can start thinking about how you can promote it to your audience.
Here are some things to think about
- Google search/business listings
- Social media – which are the right channels for you?
- Content marketing – blogs, articles, podcasts, your content on social media
- Public Relations – getting stories in the local paper
- Digital and offline advertising
- Word of mouth recommendations/testimonials/reviews
So, you may never have thought of this element of marketing before, but it’s a really great way to evaluate your business and the marketing you do before you jump in, or if you feel that something isn’t working quite right. By doing this foundation work and making sure it’s right it’ll be so much easier when you come do think about how you market your business or understand why certain elements aren’t working for you. So, go back to basics, think about your 4Ps, make sure you have those right. Think about how you differentiate your business from your competitors and develop your marketing plans based on this