Monday, January 7, 2013

Another way to look at Marketing

I am in no way a marketing guru - I do however have access to some very talented and knowledgeable experts in the field, that I pump for information at any possible opportunity!


I recently attended a workshop on marketing and thought I would share some of the points that were discussed.
It was a bit of an idiots guide to marketing, some great points came up that might just set you thinking along a line that could give you an idea or two – hopefully.

What is the market?
"A market is any place where the sellers of a particular good or service can meet with the buyers of that goods and service where there is a potential for a transaction to take place. The buyers must have something they can offer in exchange for there to be a potential transaction."

Market segmentation:
The process of splitting customers, or potential customers, in a market into different groups, or segments, within which customers share a similar level of interest in the same or comparable set of needs

This was an interesting one, that once you start breaking it down, shows it can be further and further broken down.

Say you were selling language skills (an area I know), who wants that? Well of course once again it isn’t everyone, or maybe it is, but it can be broken down.
People who want to pass an exam
People who want to go to university
People who want promotion in their job
People who want to travel.

You can see once you break it into segments, how you reach each group is suddenly very different.  The person who wants it for Uni is probably in the late teens early 20’s cool hip dude, the person who wants it for promotion in their job, may well be late 30’s / 40’s.

Which leads us to the 4 Ps


  • What  customer needs does it satisfy?
  • What features does it have to meet these needs?
  • How is it positioned in the market?
  • How and where will the customer use it?
  • What does it look like? How will customers experience it?
  • What size(s), color(s), and so on, should it be?
  • What is it to be called?
  • How is it branded?
  • How is it differentiated against competitors?
  • What is the value of the product or service to the buyer?
  • Are there established prices for products or services in this market?
  • Is the customer price sensitive? Will a small decrease in price gain you extra market share? Or will a small increase be indiscernible, and so gain you extra profit margin?
  • What discounts should be offered to specific segments of your market?
  • How will product price compare with competitors?
  • Where and when can the marketing messages reach the target market?
  • Will press advertising, TV, or radio, or billboards be used to reach the target market? Or will it be direct marketing, PR or the Internet?
  • When is the best time to promote? Is the market seasonal? Are there any wider environmental issues that suggest or dictate the timing of a market launch, or the timing of subsequent promotions?
  • How do competitors do their promotions? And how does that influence the choice of promotional activity?
  • Where do buyers look for the product or service?
  • If they look in a shop, what kind? A specialist boutique or in a supermarket, or both? Or online? Or direct, via a catalogue?
  • How can the right distribution channels be accessed?
  • Is a sales force needed? Exhibit at trade fairs? Or make online submissions? Or send samples to catalogue companies?
  • What do you competitors do, and how can the product be differentiated?

The main point here is this:
Imagine a drill – what is it? How would you sell it?
Imagine a mirror – what is it? How would you sell it?

No one buys a drill or a mirror they buy the benefits a drill and a mirror give them, the ability to make a hole in the wall, or the aid to help them look their best in the morning.

So when you are advertising your mirror – yes it is 18 inches by 12 inches, yes it is made of glass, and yes it does have a very nice catch on the back to hang it on the wall, but that isn't really what anyone is buying, they are buying the opportunity of being able to look at the wall and make sure their hair is just right, that they don’t leave the house with their skirt in their knickers, or their belt all caught up at the back.  The more someone's appearance matters to them, the more they need a mirror!


Moving on to the different types of marketing – which are vast:

Different types of marketing:

Today we have traditional and modern modes of marketing:
The traditional ones cover things like newsletters, brochures, direct mail, (email) branded gifts and events.

The modern ones are more like blogging, SEO, social media, podcasts and videos.

What is the most noticeable thing in those lists? Yup – the modern methods can often be done for free or at a low cost, whereas the traditional ones were probably the ones where you needed a huge budget.  Good news for those of us in the small fish large pond category.
Blogging? Great way to get people to connect with you, if you can find them.  Personally I don’t have the time to do it, and you need to keep the content fresh and up to date.  Relevant to all online stuff is that it needs to be kept fresh to generate interest (and views).
SEO? Sounds horrendous, but once you get the idea, it starts making sense.  Essentially, if you want to be found, firstly try and find yourself online.  Ask a friend to do the same and see what keywords you used.  Those are the keywords that need to be used.  Not too general, not too specialised.  
Imagine hiding one of your pieces in a shop of very similar pieces.  Then you have to get the shop assistant to retrieve it for you, purely by describing it.  Save the words you used, they are the ones that describe your piece, and they are the words you need in your titles and tags.

Social media?    DON'T SELL - BE SOCIAL!
Well here again is blogging, plus the likes of facebook and twitter.  At the risk of repeating myself, it isn’t a great idea to ‘sell’ on these things.  They are supposed to be ‘social’!  You know what it’s like when you go to a party and someone is trying to sell you their pyramid cleaning products or someone comes to the door hard selling something? We all turn off.  The idea is to engage. To make contact with people through anecdotes, stories, shared successes a little plug once in a while – probably done quite subtly but hard sell on facebook and you’ll get yourself unliked / blocked / unfriended quicker than a rat up a drainpipe. (I regularly remove people from my FB feed who just keep posting me their etsy listings and nothing else).
Podcasts? Not sure on that one, though sure someone can come up with a great idea.
Video?  I have seen some fab videos.  With flip cameras and ipads making the taking of videos so much easier now, getting something like this on your website or blog, either to show off your range or to share a tip is a great way of connecting with people.  Who of us haven’t scoured the net to find a clip that shows us how to achieve something we’re trying to do? If you don’t mind sharing your tips, this seems like a great idea.
So, to sum up;
 We’ve covered market segmentation, the 4 P’s, selling the benefit not the product and some of the different types of marketing.  The key phrase that encompasses it all I think is:


Selling goods that don't come back, to customers that do.