Marketing has evolved over the years from a product and sales centric environment to one more concerned with keeping customers for life. This requires a strategic marketing plan designed to enable your business to hold onto these customers and attract new customers at the same time. The strategy is based on objectives, a competitor and market review and set against timescales. For a business to be successful you need a marketing strategy which segments the market, targets and positions your product or service at a specific customer, at the right price and at the right time.
The marketing mix
Your firm’s marketing mix is a plan to focus your business, set standards and target specific markets. In developing an appropriate marketing mix for your firm you should consider:
¨ Product - What product or service do you sell? Who do you sell it to?
¨ Price - How much does it cost? Are there any discounts? Is your pricing strategy low cost, no frills or is it high cost, high value? Do you want to be Ryanair or Rolls Royce?
¨ Promotion - How do you communicate and sell your product / service and educate people of the benefits of using your product or service?
¨ Place - How does your product / service get to market? What channels do you sell through?
¨ Physical evidence – The tangible aspects of your product / service. Are buildings, leaflets or packaging important?
¨ People - Who is involved in the process? Consider your sales staff, frontline support staff and also the customer. Consider who makes the buying decision – is it the end user or perhaps a buying department makes the purchase decision but does not actually use the product or service.
¨ Process - What happens during the manufacture / buying / supply process?