Marketing and Entrepreneurs
Part 1 of a series: Marketing Excellence for Entrepreneurs
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are experts at what they do, which could be anything – from bricklaying, to landscaping, photography to baking.
While some industries lend themselves well to providing marketing imagery (baking is so easy to market… Right?!!), others may not find it so easy.
Now, there’s no doubt that an entrepreneur is often adept at the many skills required to run the business. But some might find themselves stumbling if a concerted effort towards marketing isn’t made. Many – having ‘fallen’ into business, or otherwise occupied with working IN the business to service their customers, have no time nor inclination towards marketing strategies. Many do not have a marketing plan, or even a business plan.
This can be sufficient – some businesses can sustain themselves indefinitely by simply providing an excellent service or product and gaining word of mouth referrals. But others may find that in the increasingly competitive market, may require a bit more of a planned strategy to ensure they remain operational.
So, what’s the first step?
Wait… You’ve got a business plan already… right?
Next step? … Building a marketing plan which is aligned with the goals set in your business plan.
Before we get to that, it’s important to ensure that there’s an understanding of what marketing is. It’s a common misconception to think marketing is advertising or selling. It’s not. It involves much more, and in an ideal world it should be planned long before any advertising campaigns are implemented, or sales calls made.
Marketing, as a process, involves the creation, distribution, promotion and pricing of goods and services, all leading towards a profitable exchange between customer and company (Pride & Ferrell, 2006).
As part of these processes, one main focus is on the customer, basically being that we need to know who our ideal customer is, what they are looking for, what will it take to satisfy them? Who are they, what do they like, where do they live, how old are they… basically we need to know the target market. Clarifying these essential details about the customer requires some research.
Another part is determining the products that can meet the customer’s needs, how it will be promoted so they customer becomes aware of its availability, how will be distributed so that its available at the right place and time for the customer to purchase, and finally, what price is viable and competitive, and the is customer willing to pay?. This part forms what is referred to as the marketing mix and will need to be considered within the context of internal and external influences revealed after SWOT and PESTLE analyses have been conducted as part of your research.
Follow on social media for more updates on this journey towards marketing excellence for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2006). Marketing: Concepts and Strategies (G. Hoffman Ed.). Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.