Marketing is at the heart of any business success, whether big or small. Without it, potential customers won’t buy from you not because they don’t need your products/ services, but because they’re unaware of their existence. While marketing and advertising are sometimes confused, the two are entirely different.
Advertising is all about telling and selling but marketing is the identification of your customer needs and meeting those needs intelligently and generating a profit in the process. Marketing is in plain language an umbrella term for which advertising is a part. Marketing is not advertising, but advertising is marketing.
Marketing importance cannot be overlooked. However, there are some stages which successful marketing needs to undergo. They include identification of opportunities, market survey, choosing the target market, designing marketing strategies, implementation of strategies, and monitoring and control.
In the first stage, you identify a service or a product with an ample potential for commercial exploitation. It involves the analysis of the environment you operate to identify opportunities to fulfill customers needs. In the market survey stage, you find whether your perception of your product or service matches to your clients.
The market study in simple terms is the identification of prospective customers and their dispersion in the market. The third phase concerns itself with choosing the target market. You select the market you are going to serve. You may decide to target a particular social class, geographical area, or certain age and gender.
After choosing the target market, you design a strategy to use to enter the market. Examples of strategies include product positioning, promotion strategies, and pricing strategies. Marketing strategy answers questions such as the channel to use for advertising, the most appropriate time to market your products, and how much to charge for your goods /services.
You now have a strategy. You need to implement it. You implement by making time for specific activities and implementing them in the order of sequence or significance.
After all is done, you need to keep on monitoring the environment to adjust your marketing mix to accommodate the dynamic environment. You may opt to change your product design, advertising, distribution channel, e.t.c.