Marketing. Some say it is about having a great product, competitively priced, well promoted and well distributed (classic 4 Ps). Some say it is about turning a profit. Some say it is about being unique and offering something no one else can. Others say it is about satisfying customer needs.
Truth is, marketing is all of these things and more.
But it starts with customers and their needs. For 99% of companies, innovating brand new products and creating a whole new need (like Apple did with iPod and iTunes) just isn’t a viable business strategy.
What is viable is identifying an unmet need in a group of customers you probably already know something about; segmenting that group to understand how different clusters of customers perceive value (e.g speed of delivery, high specification – quality, trust, reliability – good price, availability, support) and consequently tailoring an offer to meet their differing needs at a price they are prepared to pay.
Ask youself, are you promoting an emotion driven, direct to consumer offer, or a more complicated sell into a multi-audience business customer?
Do you understand their motivations, the process they go through, how they like to receive information and communication, and the behaviours and decisions they make as they work through awareness to interest to decision to action (AIDA)?
If not, you’re wasting your time, resources and money marketing to them because you’re not respecting them and you’re not showing how you understand their needs and motivations.
This is the first in a series of bitesize blogs looking at the marketing planning process – check back to the Principles section for more.