All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.
Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume.
Determine the needs of their customers through market research
Analyze their competitive advantages to develop a market strategy
Select specific markets to serve by target marketing
Determine how to satisfy customer needs by identifying a market mix
Conducting Market Research
Successful marketing requires timely and relevant market information. An inexpensive research program, based on questionnaires given to current or prospective customers, can often uncover dissatisfaction or possible new products or services.
Market research will also identify trends that affect sales and profitability. Population shifts, legal developments, and the local economic situation should be monitored to quickly identify problems and opportunities. It is also important to keep up with competitors' market strategies.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy identifies customer groups which a particular business can better serve than its target competitors, and tailors product offerings, prices, distribution, promotional efforts and services toward those segments. Ideally, the strategy should address unmet customer needs that offer adequate potential profitability. A good strategy helps a business focus on the target markets it can serve best.
Most small businesses don’t have unlimited resources to devote to marketing; however, the SBA wants you to know that you can still see excellent returns while sticking to your budget if you focus on target marketing. By concentrating your efforts on one or a few key market segments, you’ll reap the most from small investments. There are two methods used to segment a market:
Geographical segmentation: Specializing in serving the needs of customers in a particular geographical area.
Customer segmentation: Identifying those people most likely to buy the product or service and targeting those groups.
Every marketing program contains four key components:
Products and Services: Product strategies include
concentrating on a narrow product line, developing a highly specialized
product or service or providing a product-service package containing
unusually high-quality service.
Promotion: Promotion strategies focus on advertising
and direct customer interaction. Good salesmanship is essential for
small businesses because of their limited advertising budgets. Online
marketing is a cheap, quick, and easy way to ensure that your business
and product receive high visibility.
Price: When it comes to maximizing total revenue,
the right price is crucial. Generally, higher prices mean lower volume
and vice-versa; however, small businesses can often command higher
prices because of their personalized service.
Distribution: The manufacturer and wholesaler must
decide how to distribute their products. Working through established
distributors or manufacturers' agents is generally easiest for small
manufacturers. Small retailers should consider cost and traffic flow in
site selection, especially since advertising and rent can be reciprocal:
a low-cost, low-traffic location means spending more on advertising to
The nature of the product or service is also important in citing decisions. If purchases are based largely on impulse, then high-traffic and visibility are critical. On the other hand, location is less of a concern for products or services that customers are willing to go out of their way to find. The Internet makes it easy for people to obtain goods from anywhere in the world, so if you’re worried about reaching a certain market, selling your product online may do wonders for your business.