There is simply no room for ambiguity in the marketing process. Everything has to be spelt out in plain terms for maximum effectiveness. Though marketing has been described as ‘one process too many’ due to the fact that it involves a great deal of resources, which include finances, time and energy. If you really understand that you are in business to make profit, then marketing, for you, becomes a vital means of generating increased sales which, in turn, translates into profits.

Below are some marketing tips which you will find very useful.

Planning/Budgeting: Too often, people are intimidated by the prospect, or the very thought of having to draw up a budget, and planning seems like something they absolutely forbid too. If you are in business, planning and budgeting should be things you welcome with open arms as they will time and time again save your business from crashing. When you fail to plan, you inadvertently plan your own failure.

Develop a workable marketing plan: A marketing plan is a serious document consisting of virtually everything you need to do to make that business a success. It is not a book of fairy tale stories; it gives a detailed analysis of where you want your business to be and how you plan to get there. Planning places focus on priorities. It clears your vision, helping you to see the actions that really matter and those that will simply take you away from your purpose. Your marketing plan should portray clarity; be easy to understand, implement and use as a tool to measure progress.

Create a selling brand: We understand that marketing helps us relate with the customers better, truly understand their needs and then create products to satisfy those needs or solve their problems.In the process of product development, we must also develop a unique and distinct brand that will immediately make the product sought after. Let your brand be in line with what the market want, see, hear, think or feel about your business. When you create a strong brand name, you have jumped part of the hurdle to business success. Remember, creativity and innovation are at the heart of building a selling brand.

Understand the Principles of Marketing: When it comes to the root of understanding business success, know that well-orchestrated marketing is your best leverage out there. However, it is a leverage you can use only when you can grasp the principles of marketing. You need to understand what marketing means, what processes are involved, where to start and finish, where and when to showcase your product. Marketing offers no shortcuts. You do it right and you reap the rewards, you don’t, and most likely you have to start all over again, assuming you don’t lose your business first.

Make your customer a priority: Know your customer (KYC). This is probably something most of us associate with the banking industry alone. However, it has gradually spread across all sectors and industries taking on different forms and meanings while adjusting to meet the current realities per sector and industry. Many of us have heard this said before. Knowing your customers helps you to anticipate their needs, which in turn leads to the creation of hard-to-put-down products. Understand their needs, and build a connection with them. A happy, satisfied and loyal customer is the best form of advertisement you can ever hope to have.

Understand your market: Once you identify the industry you want to focus on, you will need to do an assessment from the customer’s point of view and need. What products will the customer be willing to buy? What will set your brand apart and induce repeat buy and customer loyalty? How will you create an unforgettable customer experience? How much will the customer be willing to spend on your product? Who are your potential customers?

Identify key players in the industry: Identifying your competitionis mandatory if you are going to make any headway in your bid to achieve success. Know what your competitors are doing, and know what they are not doing right so that you can leverage on them. Brands performing similar functions have been known to be substituted for one another by customers.

Set achievable goals: Goals should never be called goals if they are nearly impossible to achieve. A serious businessperson, although often a dreamer, is also realistic. Set goals that are achievable. Set SMART goals. Your goals often help to refine your focus and your values. When your goals are clearly stated, you tend to save cost as you only do things which are necessary as opposed to just going with the flow and spending whenever you like, without a definite purpose.

Build influential network: An influential network brings balance and harmony to your business. You need people around you who buy into the vision and mission you have spelt out for your business. This is more than merely gathering people around you; this is about having people who will add value to your business. Get their attention, sell your ideas and watch as your business soars.

Take your business to the web: Not enough can be said about the advantages of taking your business online. The benefits are too numerous to count, but only when you apply the right tools. Having a website helps generate online traffic towards your business. It provides online real-time information every single minute of the day. Unlike the physical office which closes for the day, your online presence is always ‘open for businesses.

Make your business attractive and appealing: Appeal sells any business. You’ve got to create an appealing business so you can enjoy repeat purchasing from customers. This is more than just creating the right ambience; people love discounts, promos and freebies. Pay attention to what interests your customers and use the information to increase sales. Sponsoring events, shows and projects is one way to impress yourself in the minds of customers as one business they love. ­­Marketing is effective when organised with the right message. Bear in mind that your message should be woven around your target audience; if not, it will be a futile effort.

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