Continuation (See part 1)
Understanding your market
By understanding your market, I mean your customers and prospective customers. One of the cardinal rules of marketing is to know who your market is. You short-change yourself if you don’t know who you are marketing to. It’s usually difficult to relate to a person you barely know or understand in any way.
Poor understanding of who your customer is will kill your business. A good understanding of who is buying your product or service would help you to build the right platform to achieve your marketing objective without much effort or struggle.
That may be the reason why Peter F. Drucker once said, ‘Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view.’
Defining your target market is one of the hardest parts of starting and running a thriving business. Once you do it, everything else will quickly fall into place.
You can’t sell to a market that doesn’t exist. To do that is to struggle in all your business life. Marc Andreessen, an American entrepreneur, and investor likes to say: ‘Markets that don’t exist don’t care how smart you are.’
The better the customer is understood, the better you can fulfill the customers’ needs, and also win his or her approval. So, when you understand your market and what they want, and not something you assumed it would want. Always have it in mind that you are in the business to determine the primary target market’s wants and needs better than your competition, and deliver it to them.
Because many of marketing’s greatest battles are not waged in the market per se, but in the minds of prospects. So, when you understand how people think will help you understand how to market and sell to them. Businesses are nothing but what people perceive it to be in their eyes. Here, every appearance is reality. After all, your business is not there for you except for the people you serve – the market.
If you don’t know what is the market starving for, you will never see the market as fun. So, find out what the market wants from you, and sell it to them. Period!
The market doesn’t pay you to have the best products or services. It rewards you for solving their problems. Your focus should be on intimately understanding your market and your prospects’ deepest desires, pains, fears, hopes, and dreams.
This is the point where everything starts becoming interesting as you will start harnessing the power of loyal customers who will tell their friends and family about your business. Mind you, your brand is no longer what you put out there— it’s what other people are saying about you in the marketplace.
Here is one important thing you must know about marketing in the new economy as summarized by Seth Godin, ‘The future belongs to marketers who establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.’
To be continued…
About the Author:
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.