Marketing is the soul of business, so we often hear. It has the ability to make a business succeed if done the right way and it can be the only impediment in the wheel of business process when handled with levity.
So, what is marketing and why is it so important to the success of any business? Before now, I’ve heard so many definitions of marketing.
Some definitions are so ambiguous that they over-exaggerate the true essence of marketing while some under estimated the secret power it hold on business success.
I would like to define marketing as the process of identifying the need and desire of a customer and making concerted effort to satisfy them in a unique way at profit.
Marketing core values
From the above definition, there are four values of a good marketing process
1, Identify customer need. 2, Satisfy the need. 3, Unique customer experience. 4, Profit.
Identify Customer Need– The first step in business especially start-ups is the initial challenge of identifying customer needs par time and the stress of changing business process to meet those needs as the case may be.
It can be more difficult in this era where buyer is the king in an array of competitors coupled with the ever changing market trend. True as this may be, it is important to always identify these needs. That is when we can continue to be in business.
I wonder why entrepreneur would not do thorough feasibility study and write a comprehensive business plan before embarking on a business venture. The money spent and time taken on research trying to understand the business pattern or terrain and market availability would surely worth it at the long run.
Only a short sighted online marketer for instance, would not engage in an in-depth keyword research before a niche is endorsed. All these point to the reason why we should identify customer’s need and desires and then tailored our products or services to answer those needs satisfactorily.
Satisfy customer– After identifying their needs, it’s time to develop a product or service that will meet those needs satisfactorily. The focus must be on satisfying the customer and not the product par say, because while the customer is the point of fulcrum, you are invariably improving on the effectiveness and quality of the product.
Products should be branded around customer specific needs. When customer are satisfied with your product, you will not only be making much profit, your business will be sure footed.
So, don’t focus on the money/profit when developing a product rather, let attention be centered on the customer. Educate them continually about the benefits of using your product or service and respond to feedback promptly.
Create a website/blog through which your business can interact with clients, connect with prospective customers, educate audience and generates insightful feedback that would mold the shape of future decisions for better product improvement and development.
Unique customer experience– If your business transaction is done like any other, you’ll soon be out of business or be forced to reduce your price in order to have minimal edge.
What makes a business grow faster than the other is the uniqueness in the delivery of quality service. Business owners must develop a ‘unique selling proposition’ peculiar to their operation.
Your competitors can copy and master your customer support tactics, price regime and quality product or service process, but they cannot understand the chemistry behind your USP.
Even if they eventually do, they would be seen as mere copy cats, because you have gained the reputation for your USP within your niche or industry. It is your competitive advantage blend into specific service format.
Profit– When all the above values are embedded into business operation, the end product is profit. It is a guarantee. Genuine and passionate service that is most needed by people will ultimately bring riches.
Understanding customer behavioral pattern in terms of what they need can be very challenging and time consuming let alone the cost of implementing research. But, that is the first step to take in marketing.
Always ask your customer (one on one basis) how they would want you to serve them. Establish relationship. We must continually understand the need of our customer to stay in business profitably.
Most businesses tend to focus on improving their product hoping good product and the best customer support service would be enough to keep customer. The sad news is, your competitors can also be doing the same hence, nothing separates you from others at least from the customer stand point.
Even the cheapest price doesn’t answer why they should patronize your business. Customer careless in the process involve in getting your business done.
What they care about is how your product or service meet their needs or solve their problem par time. Let your marketing creativity wear human face. We are in people’s business. Marketing is all about common sense.
Treat your customers the way you would have loved been treated given the same circumstance. Uniqueness in service delivery, one on one relationship with customer, value and the right price will make customer jump to buy your product.