By David Malherbe – Published in Drakenstein Gazette – Friday 25 October 2013
When you start your business, nobody except your family and maybe a couple of friends know about it. Therefore you need to get the message out there with the right people who would have a need for your products or services.
First of all it is important to ensure that what you have to offer will fulfill a need that at least some people have. If that is not the case, you can create a need for your product or service by clever marketing. But without a need there is no market to sell to.
The next thing you need to know is who will be the people that will most likely be interested in what you have to offer? We call it the target market. Like aiming an arrow at a target, you aim your marketing at a specific group. Perhaps it is toddlers, perhaps elderly people, perhaps women or whatever specific group. A one-product-serves-all approach seldom works, especially for small businesses, depending on the product / service offered.
Once you have determined the target market, you need to determine how you will reach the specific group. If it is school children you can perhaps advertise in a school newsletter, or if you serve the business community you can perhaps put flyers in Post Office boxes or you can advertise in a newspaper or magazine that reach your targeted community. Sometimes you need to do personal selling or appoint marketers to sell your produce.
The next important aspect is the content of the message you want to get across to your targeted audience. This message usually consists of four important ingredients called the marketing mix. It is known as the four P’s. You can emphasize the quality or features of the product, or the competitive price, or the places where it will be available, or the way you are going to promote it. It is like a recipe with four ingredients that can be used in different combinations to suit the specific product or service you want to sell.
The success of your business depends largely on a good marketing plan.
David Malherbe and Dewald Scholtz will discuss this topic in more detail Monday evening from 19:00 till 20:00 on Radio KC 107.7 FM in the program “You the Entrepreneur”
(David Malherbe is a business- and career consultant and lives in Wellington. He can be contacted via his web page www.jedidiah.org.za or T/F 021-873 0262 or on Facebook at “Jy die Entrepreneur.”)