As leaders in business we often know where we are going (i.e. company vision) and we have a good handle on our numbers (i.e. profit/loss statement, balance sheet, cashflow) however it seems many of us are deficient in marketing.
The vision may be, for example, the annual dollar turnover of our business in five years. Good financial management can be akin to interpreting and acting upon the information from the gauges in the dashboard of our car. Good marketing management can be likened to keeping our eyes on the road at all times and acting accordingly.
Can you imagine knowing where we are going and knowing how fast we are travelling but not really placing importance on keeping our eyes on the road? It is inevitable that at sometime (sooner rather than later) we will end up in the ditch!!
How do we get better at marketing? Firstly we need to ask “…What is marketing?”. It is the four P’s: Product (or service), Place, Promotion and Price.
Product or service is what we supply our target audience (customers and clients). Before we develop a product or service we have to know who our customers and clients are. We then have to know the specific needs and/or wants of our clients and customers. We find out needs and/or wants by conducting thorough market research.
Place is the physical location of our target customers/clients. We have to work out the most cost and time efficient way of delivering/distributing our product or service to our customers.
Promotion is how we communicate the availability, features and related benefits to our customers. A good promotion campaign (advertising, selling) will encourage our prospective and/or existing customers to take purchasing action.
Price is the amount that our customers will be willing to pay for our product or service. We have to carefully calculate a price that represents good value for money in the hearts of our our customers. The price must also cover all of our costs and provide for a reasonable profit.
Each of our four P’s should be clearly described and documented. Each P should be continually monitored, measured, evaluated and improved upon.
A well managed marketing system will strengthen our ongoing marketplace competitiveness. Good marketing will improve profitability and maximise the likelihood of reaching and attaining our long term vision.
“Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds” Proverbs 27:23