Marketing Your Business for Success – Workshop

Workshop Objectives

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:

* Determine the purpose of the marketing plan
– Identify strategies for conducting market research
– Identify advantages of market research

* Determine what the marketing plan contains
– Target market
– Competition
– Product/service
– Marketing budget
– Location
– Pricing strategy
– Promotional strategy

* List
– advantages of developing a marketing plan
– disadvantages of developing a marketing plan

* Prepare a marketing plan outline

* Develop an effective marketing strategy
– Advertising strategy
– Promotional strategy

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – THE MARKETING PLAN –
UNDERSTANDING THE MARKETPLACE

Marketing plays a vital role in successful business ventures. How
well the plan you develop markets your business, along with the
management and financial management plans, will ultimately
determine your degree of success or failure. The key elements of
a successful marketing plan are to 1) know your customers —
their likes, dislikes and expectations, and 2) to know your
competitors — their strengths and weaknesses. By identifying
these factors, you can develop a marketing strategy that will
allow you to arouse and fulfill customers needs, better
understand competitors and identify changes in the marketplace
that can affect your bottom line.

The purpose of the marketing plan is to define your market, i.e.,
identify your customers and competitors, to outline a strategy
for attracting and keeping customers and to identify and
anticipate change. Your business will not succeed simply because
you want it to succeed. It takes careful planning and a thorough
understanding of the marketplace to develop a strategy that will
ensure success.

Understanding the Marketplace

Generally, the first and most important step in understanding the
market is to study it through market research. In the case of a
franchise, the franchisor has developed a marketing program, so
you will need to review the program he or she has provided. Look
over the plan to determine what product/service you will offer
and write a description of it. Even though a franchisor has
described your product or service, it is a good idea to develop
and write your own description because this process helps you to
know your product or service–a key variable in any successful
marketing plan. When describing your product or service outline
what you feel are its unique aspects, and explain how or why
these aspects will appeal to customers. Emphasize the special
features that you feel are its selling points. These features are
what you will use to convince customers to purchase your product
or service.

Next go over sales projections, determining if there is a demand
for the product or service. In the case of a franchise, the
franchisor will have developed the projections. Study this data
to see how he or she arrived at these projections. This will help
you to better understand how the marketplace operates relative to
your product/service, and it can help you develop the skills
necessary to identify and anticipate changes in the marketplace.
Start your own file on marketplace trends. Periodically review
your data, looking for shifts in the market. If changes are
occurring, you should modify the marketing plan to coincide with
these changes. In franchise operations, it is customary for the
franchisor to update the marketing plan periodically to reflect
changes in the marketplace and to keep the marketing program
current.

A marketing plan should answer these questions:

* Is this product or service in constant demand?
* How many competitors provide the same product or service?
* Can you create a demand for your service or product?
* Can you effectively complete in price, quality and
delivery?
* If a franchise, will the franchisor price the product or
service to give you the projected profit?

Review your program to ensure that it answers these questions. If
your plan doesn’t answer the questions, it will need to be
modified, or you will need to devise a strategy that will provide
a means for answering them. When you are satisfied that you
understand the program, how the market operates and how to
identify market shifts and trends, start writing the marketing
section of your business plan.

Even if you adopt a marketing program that has been developed
elsewhere, it is your responsibility to promote your product or
service by cultivating the marketplace, i.e., attracting and
keeping customers. You can accomplish this aim by knowing your
market, your customers, your competitors and your product/
service. Don’t rely solely on the program provided by a
franchisor or others, gather and assess your own data using the
techniques outlined in your plan. By gathering and analyzing this
information, you will be better able to determine if your program
is in line with your competitors, if it is in line with industry
averages and what adjustments you can make to improve your
overall competitiveness.

A sample “Marketing Plan” is attached as part of Appendix I.
Study it carefully, then try to develop a similar program for
your business plan.

MARKET RESEARCH

Strategies for Researching the Market

Researching your market is perhaps the easiest way to assess it.
Market research does not have to be costly, nor does it have to
be a complex process. It can be as simple and as easy as
surveying a cross-section of your consumers (focus group) to get
their opinions about the product or service you will be offering,
or conducting a telephone or mail survey. The disadvantages of
using the telephone or mail survey method are the individuals you
contact may not be interested in responding to a survey. Other
market research techniques include analyzing demographic data,
such as population growth/decline rate; age range, sex,
income/educational level; brainstorming with family and friends,
focus group interviews. Whatever method you use, your focus
should be on gathering enough information to determine who your
potential customers are–their needs, wants and expectations; if
there is a demand for your product or service; who your
competitors are and how well they are doing.

Market research should answer questions such as:

* Who are your customers and potential customers?
* What kind of people are they?
* Where do they live?
* Can and will they buy the product or service you’re
offering?
* Are you offering the kinds of goods or services they want
— at the best place, the best time and best amounts?
* Are your prices consistent with what the buyers view as the
products’ values?
* Are you applying the promotional programs in a way that
will bring about success?
* What do customers think of your franchise?
* Who are your competitors?
* If a franchise, how does your operation compare with the
competition?

While there are some disadvantages to market research–it’s a
costly, time-consuming process, builds in biases that distort
information, ignores answers or lets arrogance or hostility cut
off communications at some point in the marketing process–the
advantages, however, outweigh the disadvantages. Don’t forego
this process or stop halfway because you are not getting the
desired results. This may be an indication that you are going
into the wrong business or that there isn’t a market for your
product or service. Don’t be discouraged. You simply may need to
modify your original plan.

A few of the benefits of market research are outlined below.

* Learning who your customers are and what they want.
* Learning how to reach your customer and how frequently you
should try to communicate with them.
* Learning which appeals are most effective and which ones
aren’t.
* Learning the relative successes of different marketing
strategies in relation to their return on investment.

While market research may appear to be a tedious, time-consuming
process, it is necessary if you want to be successful. Think of
market research as simply a method of finding out what catches
customers’ attention by observing their actions and drawing
conclusions from what you see and as an organized way of finding
objective answers to questions every business owner and manager
must answer in order to succeed. Market research focuses and
organizes marketing information, ensuring that it is timely and
that it provides what you need to:

* reduce business risks,
* spot problems and potential problems in your current
market,
* identify and profit from sales opportunities, and
* get basic facts about your markets to help you make better
decisions and set up plans of action.

If viewed from this stand point, market research is an invaluable
tool that can save you time, effort and money.
_________________________________________________________________

SELF-PACED ACTIVITY

During this activity you will answer the following questions:

* Do you have a marketing plan? Yes___ No___

* If yes, which elements described in pages 1-5 did you NOT
include?

* Have you conducted any marketing research?

* If yes, how and what methods did you use?

* If no, why?

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – WHAT DOES A MARKETING PLAN CONTAIN?

Many first-time business owners think that by simply placing an
ad in a local newspaper or a commercial on a radio or a
television station, customers will automatically flock to
purchase their product or service. This is true to a certain
extent. Some people are likely to learn about your product or
service and try it, just out of curiosity. But hundreds, even
thousands, of other potential customers may never learn of your
business. Just think of the money you’ll lose, simply because you
didn’t develop an adequate marketing program!

Marketing is an essential part of business operations. And, it
oftentimes determines how successful your business will be. What
you as a potential business owner must do is maintain a thorough
understanding of the marketing program, and use it to extract
advantages from the marketplace. Go over the strategies and
techniques until you understand how to apply them to get the
results you desire. Remember, your aim is not only to attract and
keep a steady group of loyal customers, but also to expand your
customer base by identifying and attracting, new customers and to
reduce risks by anticipating market shifts that can affect your
bottom line.

To help you accomplish this aim, your marketing plan should
include strategies typical of any marketing plan. The plan should
especially include what marketeers dub as the 4 P’s of Marketing
(PRODUCT/SERVICE, PRICE, PLACE AND PROMOTION). Review your plan.
Make certain it contains the strategies listed below, then
determine how these strategies are applied. Include a brief
explanation for each strategy.

* Describe the target market by
– age
– sex
– profession/career
– income level
– educational level
– residence

Identify and describe your customers (target market) by their
age, sex, income/educational levels, profession/career and
residence. Know your customers better than you know anyone–their
likes, dislikes, expectations. Since you will have limited
resources target only those customers who are more likely to
purchase your product or service. As your franchise grows and
your customer base expands, then, you may need to consider
modifying this section of the marketing plan to include other
customers.

* Identify Competition

– market research data
– demand for product or service
– nearest direct and indirect competitors
– strengths and weaknesses of competitors
– assessment of how competitors businesses are doing
– description of the unique features of your product or
service
– similarities and dissimilarities between your product
or service and competitor’s
– pricing strategy for and comparison of yours and the
competition’s

Identify the five nearest direct competitors and the indirect
competitors. Start a file on each identifying their weaknesses
and strengths. Keep files on their advertising and promotional
materials and their pricing strategies. Review these files
periodically determining when and how often they advertise,
sponsor promotions and offer sales.

* Describe Product/Service
– describe your product or service

Try to describe the benefits of your goods or services from your
customer’s perspective. Emphasize its special features–i.e., the
selling points. Successful business owners know or at least have
an idea of what their customers what or expect from them. This
type of anticipation can be helpful in building customer
satisfaction and loyalty.

* Develop Marketing Budget
– advertising and promotional plan
– costs allocated for advertising and promotions
– advertising and promotional materials
– list of advertising media to be used

Operating an effective marketing plan requires money, so you will
have to allocate funds from your operating budget to cover
advertising, promotional and all other costs associated with
marketing. Develop a marketing budget based on the cost for the
media you will use, and the cost for collecting research data and
monitoring shifts in the marketplace.

* Describe Location (Place)
– description of the location
– advantages and disadvantages of location

Again, try to describe the location of your business from your
customer’s perspective. Describe its assets — i.e., the
convenience, whether or not public transportation is accessible,
the safety aspects–street lighting, well lit parking lot or
facility, decor, etc. Your location should be built around your
customers, it should be accessible and should provide a sense of
security. An advantage of purchasing a franchise is the
franchisor oftentimes assist in site selection and decorating.

* Develop Pricing strategy
– pricing techniques and brief description of these
techniques
– retail costing and pricing
– competitive position
– pricing below competition
– pricing above competition
– price lining
– multiple pricing
– service costs and pricing (for service businesses
only)
– service components
– material costs
– labor costs
– overhead costs

Although your pricing strategy may be based on the strategy
devised by others, you should study this plan and the strategies
used by competitors. That way you will acquire a thorough
understanding of how to price your product or service, and you
can determine if your prices are in line with competitors, if
they are in line with industry averages and what adjustments you
can make to bring them in line.

The key to success is to have an well-planned strategy, to
establish your policies and to constantly monitor prices and
operating costs to ensure profits. Keep abreast of changes in the
marketplace because these changes can affect your bottom line.

* Develop an effective Promotional Strategy

– advertising media
– print media (newspaper, magazine, classified ads,
Yellow Pages advertising, brochure)
– radio
– television
– networking
– business cards
– tee shirts, hats, buttons, pens

Develop a promotional strategy that uses various media for
promoting your business. Monitor the different media identifying
those that most effectively promote your business. Concentrate on
developing material for these formats that clearly identifies
your goods or services, its location and price.

Since financial institutions weigh the soundness of your
marketing plan when deciding whether your business is a good risk
for their money, it is important that you prepare and present
credible market data that shows there is a need in the community
for your business and that demonstrates your ability to compete
successfully.
_________________________________________________________________

SELF-PACED ACTIVITY

During this activity you will:

* Make an outline of the information a marketing plan
should contain.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – THE MARKETING PLAN: ITS ADVANTAGES
AND DISADVANTAGES

A well-written, comprehensive marketing plan is the focal point
of all business ventures because it describes how you plan to
attract and retain customers–the most crucial aspect of a
business. And why are customers so important? The answer is
simple. They ultimately are the means by which you will generate
the income needed for daily operations, to repay debts and to
turn a profit. In essence, the customers are your life line and
the marketing plan is the pipeline that allows you access to them
— i.e., to fulfill their needs and expectations.

The marketing plan is essential to any successful business. It is
the heart of the business, the basis from which all other
operational and management plans are derived. Marketing offers
you a wealth of information that if applied correctly virtually
can ensure your success.

Therefore, it is important that you, as a first-time business
owner, develop a comprehensive, effective marketing plan. If you
need assistance in accomplishing this task, contact your local
SBA office. Consult the local telephone directory under “U.S.
Government” for the telephone number and address of the office
nearest you.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Developing a Marketing Plan

An effective marketing plan will certainly boost your sales and
increase your profit margins, which is the goal of every business
owner. It is a milepost down the road to success and, as such,
care and time should be put into its development. You must be
able to convince customers that you have the best product or
service for them at the best possible price. If you cannot
convince potential customers of this, then you are wasting your
time and money. This is where the marketing plan comes into play,
and this is why it is so important.

There are numerous advantages you can extract from the
marketplace if you know how. And the marketing plan is an
excellent tool for identifying and developing strategies for
extracting these advantages.

A few of the advantages are outlined below. The plan:

* identifies needs and wants of consumers
* determines demand for product or service
* aids in design of products/services that fulfill
consumers needs
* outlines measures for generating the cash for daily
operation, to repay debts and to turn a profit
* identifies competitors and analyzes your firm’s
competitive advantage
* identifies new product/service areas
* identifies new and/or potential customers
* allows for test to see if strategies are giving the
desired results.

Some of the disadvantages of the market plan are:

* identifies weaknesses in your business skills
* leads to faulty marketing decisions based on
improperly analyzed data
* creates unrealistic financial projections if
information is interpreted incorrectly
* identifies weaknesses in your overall business plan

The marketing plan offers numerous advantages; however, as you
can see, there can be drawbacks. Remember, however, the
advantages outweigh the drawbacks, so seek professional
assistance when you are developing the marketing section of your
business plan. It will be worth the investment.

__________________________________________________________________

SELF-PACED ACTIVITY

During this activity you will:

* Identify and list the advantages and disadvantages of
developing a marketing plan.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – OUTLINE FOR A MARKETING PLAN

Elements of a Marketing Plan

I. Description of the Target Market
– age
– sex
– profession
– income level
– educational level
– residence

II. Description of Competitors
– market research data
– demand for product or service
– nearest direct and indirect competitors
– strengths and weaknesses of competitors
– assessment of how competitors businesses are doing
– description of the unique features of your product
or service
– similarities and dissimilarities between your
product or service and competitors

III. Description of Product or Service
– describe your product or service
– emphasize special features, i.e., the selling points

IV. Marketing Budget
– advertising and promotional plan
– costs allocated for advertising and promotions
– advertising and promotional materials
– list of advertising media to be used and an estimate
of cost for each medium

V. Description of Location
– description of the location
– advantages and disadvantages of location

VI. Pricing Strategy
– pricing techniques and brief description of these
techniques
– retail costing and pricing
– competitive position
– pricing below competition
– pricing above the competition
– price lining
– multiple pricing (for service businesses only)
– service components
– material costs
– labor costs
– overhead costs

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE
MARKETING STRATEGY

An advantage of purchasing a franchise is that the marketing plan
is provided by the franchisor. While this saves you the time and
energy it takes putting together a marketing program, it doesn’t,
however, ensure that you will attract customers to your
franchise. How well your advertisements and promotions draw
customers will ultimately determine how effective your marketing
strategy is.

While a reputable franchisor will not sell you a franchise in a
territory where there is not a market, or where the market is
declining, it is your responsibility to cultivate your designated
market. Whether you are independent or a franchise, one of the
easiest ways to do this is through advertising and promotions.
Remember the aim of the advertising and promotional strategy is
to create awareness of your product or service, to arouse
customers’ needs and expectations to the point of consumption and
to create a loyal stream of satisfied customers who continue to
patronize your business.

Effective Advertising and Promotions Techniques

Perhaps, the first step in developing an effective advertising
and promotional strategy is to understand the difference between
the two concepts. Most people think that advertising and
promotions are one in the same; there is, however, a distinction
between the two. While both advertising and promotions use the
different media formats–print, radio and television–as a way of
conveying a message, promotion encompasses much more. It is the
method of advertising and can entail community involvement. This
could mean sponsoring a Boy or Girl Scout troop, allowing non-
profit organizations to use your facility, such as, letting the
high school drama club use your parking lot for a car wash fund
raiser, sending an underprivileged child to day camp or
involvement in any type of positive community activity that will
bring attention to your business.

While advertising is a way of keeping your business is the
public’s eye, promotions are a way of signaling that you are
concerned and committed to the welfare of the community and its
residents. This commitment may be one of the most effective
techniques for building customer loyalty. People tend to be more
supportive of businesses and organizations that give something to
the community rather than those that just take from the
community, never giving anything in return.

Now, let’s look at how to develop an effective advertising
program and promotional program for your business.

The Key to a Successful Advertising and Promotional Plan

Advertising

Advertising plays an important role in successful business
ventures. It entails identifying and selecting the media that
provide the greatest amount of exposure for your business and
developing effective, yet appropriate materials for each medium.
It is more than running an ad in a local newspaper, on a radio or
television station or just simply hanging a sign outside your
business and waiting for the customers to purchase your product
or service. It requires that you know your product or service —
that is, the selling points — and that you develop literature
that can arouse the customers’ consciousness levels to the point
that they are curious enough to investigate it, and then raises
their need or desire levels to the point that they are willing to
purchase it.

Advertising keeps your product or service in the public’s eye by
creating a sense of awareness. Yet this awareness alone will not
ensure the success of your business. Thus, advertising not only
has to be effective, it also has to be a continuous process.

When developing an effective advertising strategy for a
franchise, review the national advertising materials the
franchisor has developed and determine if they can be applied
regionally or locally. If they can, select the media that will
provide the greatest amount of exposure and the most effective
means for promoting your franchise. If the national materials are
inappropriate, you may need to modify or develop your own
materials. Remember, however, that you may have to get the
franchisor’s approval to use these materials. As a courtesy,
regardless of the advertising policies in the franchise
agreement, allow the franchisor to review these materials.

Once you are satisfied with the advertising materials, select the
media that will best market your business. Since advertising can
be costly, try to use a medium that is cost effective, yet will
effectively market your business. If this is not possible, then
be prepared to spend what is necessary to promote your business
effectively — the outcome will be worth the investment.

It may be a good idea to mix the different media formats that you
use. For example, design a brochure that describes your product
or service, emphasizing its selling points (special features).
Place copies of the brochure in strategic locations of your
business to use as customer handouts. Or, devise a customer
survey. The survey should focus on whether customers like the
product or service, the quality of the product/service, ways to
improve it, the quality of service provided by staff–their
friendliness and courtesy. Place the survey with a self-
addressed, stamped envelope near the check-out counter and ask
customers to mail in or return the survey when they come back.
Review their comments with staff and implement those suggestions
that are practical, cost efficient and can improve the overall
quality of service your business provides.

Other media formats to use are:

* newspaper, radio or television ads (newspaper
advertising is the least expensive and television
advertising is the most expensive of these formats).
You probably will need professional advice and
assistance when developing ads for these media
formats.

* business cards.

* classified ads in the local newspaper.

* direct marketing.

* telemarketing (this format can be expensive, also).

* Yellow Pages advertising.

* sampling – mailing or distributing free samples of
your product or a flyer about your service to the
public.

* advertising in community-based magazines or
newspapers.

Whatever media format you use, be willing to invest the money
needed to develop an effective ad campaign.

Promotions

As discussed earlier, promotion entails more than just selecting
the media format to market your business. It can, and oftentimes
does, encompass community involvement. This involvement can range
from sponsoring a Boy or Girl Scout troop to hosting a charity
ball for senior citizens or allowing non-profit organizations to
use your facilities.

Your approach to promoting your business should encompass more
than creating a sense of awareness about your business. It should
include a commitment to community involvement–the desire to give
something back to the community and its residents. An excellent
way to foster this type of involvement is to meet with community
leaders to find out how you can help, and what events are
forthcoming that could or will require your assistance. Keep in
mind that community leaders can be an excellent networking tool,
especially if they feel your involvement is genuine.

Examples of community programs you can sponsor or take part in
are:

* sponsor a Boy or Girl Scout troop for summer camp
* sponsor a underprivileged child in day camp
* host and sponsor a charity ball for senior citizens
* sponsor cooperative education for high school and/or
college students
* volunteer as a tutor for at-risk (those likely to drop
out or fail in school) students
* sponsor a fund raiser for the homeless, or day care
tuition assistance for children of single-parent
households
* offer summer employment to local high school, middle
school and college students
* become active in the local chapters of the Big Bothers
or Big Sisters organizations.
* volunteer in a local literacy program.

Other inexpensive ways of promoting your business that doesn’t
encompass community involvement are:

* employee tee shirts, hats, aprons or jackets with the
name of your business and logo.
* ball point pens with the name, telephone number and
logo of your business.
* balloons with the name, telephone number and logo of
your business
* free samples
* a door prize for the 100th or 1,000th customer to
enter your business.

While it is impossible for you to participate in every event or
program in the community, you should at least get involved in one
or two activities, even if it’s only on a part-time basis. People
tend to be more supportive of businesses, organizations or
individuals who give something to the community. And, this is the
image you especially want to project in your promotional
activities.

No plan that anyone provides will show you how to promote or
advertise your business. These are techniques that you, yourself,
will have to develop. Talk it over with your family and community
leaders, then decide which activities you can afford to sponsor
and have the time to commit to before becoming involved.
Involvement in the community doesn’t necessarily have a price tag
attached. Find a project that you can afford, that you have time
for and is of interest to you.

For ideas on how to develop an effective advertising and
promotional strategy, see “Marketing Tips, Tricks & Traps” in
Appendix I. A sample Marketing Plan also is included to assist
you in developing an effective marketing strategy for your
business, and Table 1. “Advertising/Promotional Strategic Mix,”
will help you outline a strategy for advertising and promoting
your business, while monitoring costs.
__________________________________________________________________

SELF-PACED ACTIVITY

During this activity you will:

* List the different advertising and promotional media
you can use.

* Cite examples of activities you can use to promote
your business.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – APPENDIX I – MARKETING

1. THE MARKETING PLAN
2. PRICE/QUALITY MATRIX
3. MARKETING TIPS, TRICKS & TRAPS
4. TABLE I – ADVERTISING/PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIC MIX

_________________________________________________________________

THE ENTREPRENEUR’S
MARKETING PLAN

This is the marketing plan of_____________________________________

I. MARKET ANALYSIS

A. Target Market – Who are the customers?

1. We will be selling primarily to (check all that
apply):

Total Percent
of Business

a. Private sector _______ ______

b. Wholesalers _______ ______

c. Retailers _______ ______

d. Government _______ ______

e. Other _______ ______

2. We will be targeting customers by:

a. Product line/services.
We will target specific lines _________________

b. Geographic area? Which areas? _________________

c. Sales? We will target sales of _________________

d. Industry? Our target industry is _________________

e. Other? _________________

3. How much will our selected market spend on our type of
product or service this coming year? $_______________

B. Competition

1. Who are our competitors?

NAME _____________________________________

ADDRESS _____________________________________

_____________________________________

Years in business ___________________

Market share ___________________

Price/Strategy ___________________

Product/Service
Features ___________________

NAME ______________________________________

ADDRESS ______________________________________

______________________________________

Years in business ___________________

Market share ___________________

Price/Strategy ___________________

Product/Service
Features ___________________

2. How competitive is the market?

High ____________________

Medium ____________________

Low ____________________

3. List below your strengths and weaknesses compared to
your competition (consider such areas as location, size
of resources, reputation, services, personnel, etc.):

Strengths Weaknesses

1.________________________ 1._______________________

2.________________________ 2._______________________

3.________________________ 3._______________________

4.________________________ 4._______________________

C. Environment

1. The following are some important economic factors that
will affect our product or service (such as country
growth, industry health, economic trends, taxes,
rising energy prices, etc.):

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

2. The following are some important legal factors that
will affect our market:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

3. The following are some important government factors:

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

4. The following are other environmental factors that
will affect our market, but over which we have no
control:

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

II. PRODUCT OR SERVICE ANALYSIS

A. Description

1. Describe here what the product/service is and what it
does:

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

B. Comparison

1. What advantages does our product/service have over
those of the competition (consider such things as
unique features, patents, expertise, special training,
etc.)?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

2. What disadvantages does it have?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

C. Some Considerations

1. Where will you get your materials and supplies?

______________________________________________________

2. List other considerations:

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

III. MARKETING STRATEGIES – MARKET MIX

A. Image

1. First, what kind of image do we want to have (such as
cheap but good, or exclusiveness, or customer-
oriented, or highest quality, or convenience, or
speed, or …)?

______________________________________________________

B. Features

1. List the features we will emphasize:

a.___________________________________________________

b.___________________________________________________

c.___________________________________________________

C. Pricing

1. We will be using the following pricing strategy:

a. Markup on cost ____ What % markup? ______

b. Suggested price ____

c. Competitive ____

d. Below competition ____

e. Premium price ____

f. Other ____

2. Are our prices in line with our image?

YES___ NO___

3. Do our prices cover costs and leave a margin of
profit?

YES___ NO___

D. Customer Services

1. List the customer services we provide:

a. ____________________________________________

b. ____________________________________________

c. ____________________________________________

2. These are our sales/credit terms:

a. _____________________________________________

b. _____________________________________________

c. _____________________________________________

3. The competition offers the following services:

a. ______________________________________________

b. ______________________________________________

c. ______________________________________________

E. Advertising/Promotion

1. These are the things we wish to say about the
business:

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

2. We will use the following advertising/promotion
sources:

1. Television ________
2. Radio ________
3. Direct mail ________
4. Personal contacts ________
5. Trade associations ________
6. Newspaper ________
7. Magazines ________
8. Yellow Pages ________
9. Billboard ________
10. Other___________ ________

3. The following are the reasons why we consider the media
we have chosen to be the most effective:

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – APPENDIX I – PRICE / QUALITY MATRIX
SALES APPEALS

PRICE/QUALITY HIGH MEDIUM LOW

HIGH “Rolls Royce” “We Try Harder” “Best Buy”
Strategy Strategy Strategy

MEDIUM “Out Performs” “Piece of the Rock” “Smart Shopper”
Strategy Strategy Strategy

LOW “Feature Packed” “Keeps on Ticking” “Bargain
Strategy Strategy Hunter”
Strategy

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR SUCCESS – APPENDIX I – MARKETING TIPS,
TRICKS & TRAPS

1. Marketing Steps
* Classifying Your Customers’ Needs
* Targeting Your Customer(s)
* Examining Your “Niche”
* Identifying Your Competitors
* Assessing and Managing Your Available Resources

– Financial
– Human
– Material
– Production

_________________________________________________________________

NOTES AND STRATEGIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

_________________________________________________________________

MARKETING TIPS, TRICKS & TRAPS

2. Marketing Positioning

* Follower versus Leader
* Quality versus Price
* Innovator versus Adaptor
* Customer versus Product
* International versus Domestic
* Private Sector versus Government

________________________________________________________________

NOTES AND STRATEGIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

_________________________________________________________________

MARKETING TIPS, TRICKS & TRAPS

3. Sales Strategy

* Use Customer-Oriented Selling Approach – By Constructing
Agreement

* Phase One: Establish Rapport with Customer – by
agreeing to discuss what the customer
wants to achieve.

* Phase Two: Determine Customer Objective and
Situational Factors – by agreeing on
what the customer wants to achieve
and those factors in the environment
that will influence these results.

* Phase Three: Recommend a Customer Action Plan – by
agreeing that using your product/
service will indeed achieve what
customer wants.

* Phase Four: Obtaining Customer Commitment – By
agreeing that the customer will
acquire your product/service.

* Emphasize Customer Advantage

Must be Read: When a competitive advantage can not
be demonstrated, it will not
translate into a benefit.

Must be Important
to the Customer: When the perception of competitive
advantage varies between supplier and
customer, the customer wins.

Must be Specific: When a competitive advantage lacks
specificity, it translates into mere
puffery and is ignored.

Must be Promotable: When a competitive advantage is
proven, it is essential that your
customer know it, lest it not exist
at all.

_________________________________________________________________

NOTES AND STRATEGIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

_________________________________________________________________

MARKETING TIPS, TRICKS & TRAPS

4. Benefits vs. Features

* The six “O’s” of organizing Customer Buying Behavior

ORIGINS of purchase: Who buys it?
OBJECTIVES of purchase: What do they need/buy?
OCCASIONS of purchase: When do they buy it?
OUTLETS of purchase: Where do they buy it?
OBJECTIVES of purchase: Why do they buy it?
OPERATIONS of purchase: How do they buy it?

* Convert features to benefits using the “…Which Means…”
Transition

* Sales Maxim: “Unless the proposition appeals to their
INTEREST, unless it satisfies their
DESIRES, and unless it shows them a
GAIN–then they will not buy!”

* Quality Customer Leads:
Level of need Ability to pay
Authority to pay Accessibility
Sympathetic attitude Business history
One-source buyer Reputation (price or
quality buyer)

_________________________________________________________________

NOTES AND STRATEGIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS

_________________________________________________________________

CONVERT FEATURES INTO BENEFITS–
THE “…WHICH MEANS…” TRANSITION

FEATURES “WHICH MEANS” BENEFITS

Performance Time Saved
Reputation Reduced Cost
Components Prestige
Colors Bigger Savings
Sizes Greater Profits
Exclusive Greater
Convenience
Uses Uniform Production
Applications Uniform Accuracy
Ruggedness Continuous Output
Delivery Leadership
Service Increased Sales
Price Economy of Use
Design Ease of Use
Availability Reduced Inventory
Installation Low Operating Cost
Promotion Simplicity
Lab Tests Reduced Upkeep
Terms Reduced Waste
Workmanship Long Life

BUYING MOTIVES
RATIONAL EMOTIONAL

Economy of Purchase Pride of
Appearance
Economy of Use Pride of Ownership
Efficient Profits Desire of Prestige
Increased Profits Desire for
Recognition
Durability Desire to Imitate
Accurate Performance Desire for Variety
Labor-Saving Safety
Time-Saving Fear
Simple Construction Desire to Create
Simple Operation Desire for
Security
Ease of Repair Convenience
Ease of Installation Desire to Be
Unique
Space-Saving Curiosity
Increased Production
Availability
Complete Servicing
Good Workmanship
Low Maintenance
Thorough Research
Desire to be Unique
Curiosity

About author

SMB Reviews
SMB Reviews 473 posts

SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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