Your target market
Your target market is the people you want to "reach" and who you want to respond to your marketing.
The Big Picture
Don't expect a flood of new customers through the doors overnight. Only a very small number of people that your marketing reaches actually want or even need your product or service, and only a small percentage of these are interested in switching from their regular product or service to yours. This is one of the reasons why it is even more important to ensure that you know who your target market is.
The marketing mix
One of the major failings of business owners is their preoccupation with the specific product or service they have to offer. This is usually at the expense of other marketing elements that they have failed to consider.
Marketing is complex, therefore all decisions and plans must be based on the evaluation of all of the components affecting the product or service, including pricing, distribution and promotion.
The objective of the marketing mix is:
- to place the right product (PRODUCT)
- at the right price (PRICE)
- in the right location (PLACE or distribution), and
- to make the right consumer aware that this product is available to satisfy their needs (PROMOTION).
The marketing mix is also known as the "4 Ps''.
This marketing process requires strategies and decisions on each of these elements. The interaction and interrelationship of all of these four elements must be considered, each factor cannot be treated in isolation.
The product components to consider include research, development and testing, the number of items to be included in the product line, packaging, branding, and the issues of product launch.
Pricing decisions will include assessment of the market conditions and competition, desired target returns on investment, product positioning, and image through price/quality relationships.
This is often referred to as the "place decision" and refers to the method or location for distribution. Decisions must be made as to whether you retail or wholesale, how many participants there will be in the distribution process, and in which physical locations each of the types of the product will be made available.
Without question, promotion is one of the most complex elements in a marketing effort. Many business owners think of promotion as advertising.
This is wrong. Every product or service should have a promotional mix - that is a range of promotional options based on the needs of the marketplace and the characteristics of the product. It includes direct advertising, personal selling by sales representatives, sales promotion and premiums, unpaid direct promotion, public relations, and publicity. These elements form the promotion mix.
The promotion mix
The aim of promotion is to communicate and create awareness that the business has a product or service that will satisfy an individual's needs. Unless the market is made aware that the product exists, then all the costs and decisions made in creating the product will have been for nothing.
Promotion is not only complex, but represents a significant proportion of the total operating expenses of any business.