Slideshow

Marketing, what's it all about?

by Claire Walmsley-Moss on 5th Dec 2019

At the Corsham group in November I did my 10-minute member slot presentation, in it I briefly reminded the group of what marketing is. The reason I did this is I’ve been doing a lot of networking over the last few years and when I stand up and say I’m a marketing manager, people automatically think of social media, but marketing is so much more than.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a massively powerful communications tool and a great way of reaching and engaging with your audience, but the whole message behind your posts and the value you offer to your audience is the key.

Many small businesses or individual entrepreneurs are naturally marketing themselves and their products or services really well without realising it!

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a really good time to reflect on what we have achieved – I bet the list is longer than we may give ourselves credit for. It is also a good time to formulate plans for the year ahead.

So, marketing, what is it all about?

The CIM definition is:

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
Chartered Institute of Marketing

In a nutshell, remind yourself:

  • who are your clients?
  • who are your targets?
  • what do they really want from you?
  • how can you give them what they need and add real value and benefit?
  • can you do all this and still make a profit? If not, how can you adapt so you do?

Marketing is a process, a bit of a science and a pinch of art. These are the 7 P’s that make up the Marketing Mix:

Product – ensure it provides value and benefit to the client/customer and solves a problem or a desire, preferably with a strong USP

Price – like a house, a product or service is only worth what someone will pay for it. Price says a lot about a product. Expectations of your product or service are related to the price

Place – be in the right place at the right time. If you have a product this is your shop or online store, if a service question how do you get in front of your clients - is it through networking, trade events, 1-2-1 meetings, print media, digital marketing?

Promotion – what are the benefits to your clients? Always ask ‘so what! of your communications. Think also about your reputation. Promote where your audience are – where do they hang out! Online, offline, face-to-face?

People – if you have a team, they are your greatest asset and they represent your brand, give them the support and training they need, ensure they buy-in to what you are trying to achieve. Think also about your Customer Relationship Management process and what you give

Process – think about the whole buying process or buyer journey. The client will invest in an experience so it needs to be seamless , consistent and customer focused. Make it easy for them, not easy you

Physical evidence – this is where the proof comes in on what you say you deliver, this can be anything from reception/office appearance, website/shop window, testimonials and case studies, even word-of-mouth. Ensure your messages are consistent and have a set tone and feel.

 

My top tips for December:

If you are lucky enough to have some downtime over the festive break, set yourself this little project to review each of these 7 P’ for your business, either over 7 days in one week or 1 day a week for 7 weeks. Then when you identify what you need to do to satisfy your clients profitably:

  • Plan it – draw up a 12-month plan as a starting point, this doesn’t need to be wordy, a table or bullet points as focus points
  • Throw ideas at the wall and see which stick – looking at what has worked for you or your competitors, think of ways to build on that and add some zest – life can be so dull otherwise!
  • Be the authentic real you – show your true passion and your professional expertise in your communications
  • Give a little – added-value – make the value you provide to your clients tangible and measurable and of real benefit to them
  • Make a stance – don’t be afraid to give your considered and professional opinion on key trends and hot topics of discussion online, it’s indirect marketing and shows off your knowledge

Above all, have fun, be kind, care about what you are doing and how it effects your local community and the wider world.

Happy 2020 planning! Feel free to give me a call if you’d like a steer in the right direction.