We succeed in any business to the extent that we are prepared to market our solutions to the right market. Research has it that more money is wasted on marketing than on any other human activity (outside government). Yet, the number one business challenge is in the market, or rather marketing.
The subject of marketing is one that you can’t do without no matter the stage of your business cycle. We must understand what works in today’s marketplace, and how best to tap into it.
Marketing, indeed, is a broad discipline, and its environment is so dynamic that each day provides us with what works, and what does not work.
By a simple definition, marketing is everything you do to attract and keep customers in your business. And it is a combination of sense, logic and intuition, and synchronizing them with the emotion of your target market or audience.
So, marketing is a blend of art and science. We’ll examine that in this article as we explore practical ways that you can market your solutions for superior results.
Understand your market
The market always precedes marketing. The market you take your solution to is so important, and always determines your marketplace success or failure. The number one reason people fail in business is that they spend so much time creating perfect solutions without knowing if there’s a market for them, or if they are in the right market.
A very critical qualifier to effective marketing is market acceptance, and the market can only accept what has an answer to their bugging questions.
There are vital questions you need to ask yourself to better understand your market. Who is your primary target market? What are the need-gaps that they want an enterprise like yours to fill for them? Are there those attempting to fill the needs already? How can you be better or different? We can go on and on.
The better you can define your market, the more poised you will be to fix their frictions. In other words, when you understand who your customer is and what they want, it’s easy to offer it to them.
Go where your market is
When you have defined and identified your primary target market and their needs, the next thing is to take your solutions to them. But you must be clear about where they hang out or congregate. Is it online, offline, or both?
Knowing where your target market are changes everything – your product and service offering, your marketing plan and strategy, value proposition, pricing, mode and channels of communication and promotions, and the like.
Remember that your target market is the people who really care about what you do, and place a high value on the results you can bring them. Moreso, they are willing and able to buy your solution in the right quantity and price that you expected.
If you must remain in business, you must be in control of what goes on in your market, whether you feel like it or not. (We’ll continue this discussion in part 2 of this article. See you then).
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, where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.