Many businesses often confuse Marketing with the Sales side of business because of their close relationship. Marketing by definition of its primary purpose takes a far longer term view and focuses on driving consumer demand though public relations, packaging, advertising and promotional programmes which include Sales as an entity. Marketing operates at a much higher level in an organisation. Sales on the other hand takes a much shorter term view and focuses on satisfying the demand created by marketing campaigns. Sales forms part of the Promotions element of Marketing and takes place at a much lower level than marketing which overarches this discipline
In its simplest form the Marketing Mix consists of the 4 P’S viz: -Product- Price – Place and Promotion. All of these depend on the business’s ability to identify its Target Market accurately and to sell and deliver their goods through the correct distribution channels (Place), which in turn serve the consumers you are targeting.
With the level of competition today it is almost impossible to gain market share without first finding the growth segments within a specific product category. Market segmentation is a complex exercise but is an absolute essential part of creating a successful business. Take restaurants as an example there are approximately 65 Food retail outlets in the Ballito catchment area, most of whom struggle because they lack critical mass and do not have a clearly defined position in the market place and attempt to be “a jack of all trade and master of none”.
A start up business needs to focus on its core deliverables i.e. what it does best! It has to have a unique quality whether it is a product or service that can set it apart from competitors and which is attractive to its target market. Many failures are “me-two” products just offering the same fare offered by existing well established competitors. Businesses that dominate their chosen market are profitable while those at the end of the food chain battle to survive.
Building a product difference into your consumer proposition can take many forms. These vary from unique formulae to great packaging, inspirational branding and creative but purposeful advertising. Marketers have a wide range of differentiating tools at their disposal but it usually depends on the uniqueness of the product idea or concept and the resources available to compete effectively in a chosen market niche or segment
Distribution/location or “Place “as it’s referred to in the marketing mix creates problems for many entrepreneurs. An example being:-A retailer located in a high traffic area does not normally have to commit large sums of money to advertising as the passing traffic generates sufficient trade to offset the comparatively high rental costs. Low foot traffic sites on the other hand usually offer much cheaper accommodation with little exposure and therefore need expensive advertising to attract customers. The closer you can get to an anchor tenant’s entrance the higher the rental but your prime location almost guarantees exposure and thereby offsets the need for adverting investment.
Very few truly unique products are available to start a business and many failed attempts are due to an over traded market or lack of a strong consumer proposition or differentiator and a lack of marketing skills. Do not try to develop your own product corporate identity rather bite the bullet and engage a professional with the expertise to package and present a public face which enhances your product’s chances of success. Everyone has a computer and can make up a business card letterhead or possibly a web-site but do they know how or what drives consumer behaviour? A good creative marketing professional does!
Visual identity includes the design of specific elements that support your brand’s positioning and story. These include the primary logo, the colour palette, and secondary applications such as custom font-shapes-patterns-icons. Visual identity also extends to the layout/design styling for your in-store and online brand (commonly the packaging/merchandising, and website). Creating a unique viz Visual identity includes the design of specific elements that support your brand’s positioning and story. These include the primary logo, the colour palette, and secondary applications such as custom font-shapes-patterns-icons. Visual identity also extends to the layout/design styling for your in-store and online brand (commonly the packaging/merchandising, and website). Creating a unique visual identity, then developing a consistent style across media, will result in a strong brand image.
Written by Micky Duncan, ICCIT Business Mentor. For further guidelines and template worksheet from Micky Duncan's presenation CLICK HERE