There are many definitions of marketing. We define it as gaining an understanding of your customers, so you are able to deliver value to them and thereby generate a strong return for your business.

 

Wikipedia's definition of marketing is:

"the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large".[4] The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market with goods for sale. From a sales process engineering perspective, marketing is "a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions of a business aimed at achieving customer interest and satisfaction".[5]"

 

Accordingly, the role of your marketing is to achieve these objectives by focusing on the following key areas:

  • Customers & value proposition

  • Market positioning & pricing

  • Product & packaging

  • Channel strategy

These areas need to be documented in a marketing plan and a high-level summary included in your business plan.

Let's explore these areas in more detail below. 

Marketing - Guide

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Developing your marketing plan
  1. Customers & value proposition

  2. Market positioning & SWOT analysis

  3. Product & packaging

  4. Channels & marketing assets

  5. Goals & objectives

  6. Budget

Customers & value proposition

To clearly define your ideal customer or avatar and identify what perfect customers' needs are, will place you in a better position to satisfy them and generate more income for your business.

So who is that perfect customer (avatar) - the demographic:

  • Are they an individual or a business?

  • What gender are they?

  • What is their location/where do they live?

  • What type of job do they have?

  • How much do they earn?

  • What do you think their problems are that your business wants to address:

    • Can you assist your customer to obtain more money, create more time or improve their quality of life?

The research will help you understand your demographics and refine your business offerings.  You can do your customer research by conducting some surveys, doing limited product or services testing, find research that already exists on this demographic.

Whilst the above demographic talks more about individuals, you can come up with a similar set of questions to understand the ideal company that you want to offer your products and services to. Just remember - a company is made up of people, so you need to work out who the buyer is within the company you want to sell to and determine their needs. Then, you can address a value proposition and ensure that you can sell your products/services at an attractive price.

So what should your ideal client really be buying from you?

Marketing Position

 

If you want to sell your products or services at a premium price, you will really need to make your offerings very specific. Clients will pay more if they believe they are obtaining something special or unique or of a much higher quality than what other businesses are offering. If you compete on price from the outset, it will be much more difficult to raise your prices later.

So think about how you will differentiate your products and services from your competitors to increase the value of your offerings. Make sure you define your pricing strategy from the beginning. It will take longer for your business to grow when you sell at premium prices but once your customers see the value they are getting, you will get repeat business and your brand will grow.

The analysis will help you understand things better. This is called a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Draw yourself a box and make four quadrants and in each corner write down:

  • How you will more effectively play on your strengths

  • How you will take advantage of opportunities

  • What you will do to overcome weaknesses

  • Identify what threats are out there and how you will minimise them

Product and Packaging

 

The packaging is extremely important when presenting your products to the market.  Collateral and brochures are extremely important when presenting your services.

Remember when creating your offer to the market, your main aim is to present it to solve a problem and your packaging should help the customer understand that.

 

Marketing is a broad topic, and reaching out for help from a business and marketing expert on how to present your products and services will greatly increase your chances of success.

Channel and Marketing Assets

 

Understanding your channels to market will help customers find out about your products and services, so you need to devise your channel strategy from the outset.

Think about the following:

  • Which media or channels do they like to use to find products and services?

  • How do they purchase their goods?

  • Will it be best to sell your goods online, in a retail store, or over the phone, etc.?

  • How much will it cost your business to use these channels and has that been planned for?

  • Social media is an important promotional strategy to market your products/services. Which ones will be the appropriate channels to reach your demographic? Pick one or two of the best, based on your research. Something to think about:

    • You would use Linkedin and Facebook for Content Marketing if you are selling to businesses.

    • You would use Facebook and Instagram to create direct offers to individuals and businesses. Each of those platforms has a different demographic,  Facebook used by more mature users and Instagram for younger users.​

    • Twitter should be considered if you want to create a conversation with your customers.

    • YouTube could be used to do video content marketing.

Identify what marketing assets are needed to promote your goods/services. They are a mix of:

  • Social media platforms (as described above, and more)

  • Brochures and flyers

  • Banners and posters

  • Business cards

  • Promo items (giveaways)

  • Sponsors

Goals and Objectives

Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)

 

You need to identify for every dollar invested in marketing:

  • How much average profit margin will you achieve?

  • How many new customers will you attract?

  • What increase in revenue will you achieve?

Don't spend any money on marketing until you understand what it will achieve.

Budget

Set your budget according to your goals and objectives and break the budget down into how much will be spent for each medium, so you can evaluate the success of each channel against the amount spent. Then, adjust your channel strategy accordingly.

Reach out to a Bayside BEC Business and Marketing advisor to help you identify how to effectively offer your products and services to market to increase your chances of business success.

Related Resources

 
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