What is Marketing?
Marketing refers to the broad range of activities that a company or organization undergoes to promote the buying and selling of a product or service. The Marketing Mix is a term used to define the key factors affecting how a product or service will be marketed. The most basic include the Four Ps of Marketing namely product, price, place, and promotion. The marketing mix is used by companies to make key decisions on what consumers want, how they want it packaged, at what price, and from which locations it will be available.
Refers to the good or service being offered by a company. The inherent value to the customer will dictate the type of audience for the product and the subsequent demand for the product/service. Obviously, the product needs to have demand for it to be supplied and an understanding of the value proposition must be present for it to be sold effectively. The product affects ‘the place’ through its impact on distribution e.g. perishable products need refrigerated trucks, whilst non-perishable products can be sold anywhere. High-end clothes appealing to a more affluent demographic may need to be sold from a physical location near the residential areas of affluent people.
This refers to the amount of money customers are willing to pay and the value of the product to the customers. Different price points appeal to diverse groups of consumers even if the quality remains the same. The pricing strategy is a combination of an understanding of different consumer demographics and their ability to pay, the profit margins per product/service, input costs, the need for discounts or sales, and guarantees on the product. The price will have a bearing on distribution as the distribution costs can be a significant aspect of the business.
This referes to how and where a company’s product will be placed for it to reach the intended customer and generate maximum value for its sellers. This additionally the dis affects the ditribution strategy where the mode of distrbution is decided by a company in relation to consumer needs or habits.
These are the varied items that a business can use to share messaging and information about the product or service-offering, to current and potential customers. The products can be digital or physical. These products help a business remain top of mind for a consumer when there is need to access that product or service. For a small business, not all the marketing materials will be feasible at the early stage of a business because they may cost too much or they may not be useful at all.
Logo is a unique identifying symbol (letter, word, mark, inscription) adopted by a company to identify its products or intellectual property. Good logos should be simple, easy to remember, timeless, relevant to the product or service, and versatile. This is because they are the first point of contact of your products with consumers. Logos are important for creating brand awareness and visibility. The value of your brand will improve with the growing awareness of your brand with logos being a key part of the awareness needed.
Social Media refers to any digital tool or application made accessible through the internet and designed to allow people to receive and share content quickly and in real time. These applications come in many forms and have different capabilities allowing one to share opinions, research information and new products. As a small business owner you can decide which application(s) allow you to reach your target audience most efficiently. Some application like Twitter allow you to share short text and links whilst others like Instagram , Tick Tok and Youtube allow you to share videos. Some of the most commonly used applications in Zimbabwe are WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. You can research which you think you can effectively and consistently use to build a following, keep your customers updated or find new customers for your products. The key with social media is regular and consistent use of the chosen platform.
This is the part of the marketing mix which refers to the activities you undertake to advertise your product and create consumer awareness of the product. This requires innovative ways to create awareness and communicate the value of your band/ product / service. Effective promotions contain clear messages to target a certain audience using appropriate channels. Promotions catch the attention of potential consumers convincing them to buy the product. Effective promotions create loyalty and repeat business from customers
Advertising: This is a form of sales promotion which can use radio, television, print (newspapers,letters, coupons, physical flyers, brochures and magazines), elctronic media (website and social media,) and word of mouth to sell a product.
Public Relations: Focuses on giving the brand a favourable image through community enagagement or other forms of public interactions.
Personal selling: is done by individuals or agents of the company who then promote the products by word of mouth.
Sales and promotions include free samples, sales, competitions, prizes, loyalty programs, and cash back incentives. Such promotions are audience specific, designed to appeal to unique aspirations of targetted consumers.
Is a physical or electronic card identifying a person in connection with his or her business. They are generally given out to a client or potential client or given out for networking purposes.
These are digital locations built and identified through codes. Each website is unique and is used to display text, images or videos that speak about your company, products or your services. Websites are an easy way to make yourself visible to a large audience because the internet is internationally accessible. You can link your social media and email accounts to your website to create a central method of intergrating product leads. You can design the website your self using a templates available online (eg Wix.com, Bluehost) or you can engage a developer to assist you in the development. However the second option will cost much more, which may be a deterrent for small entreprises.
Promotional fliers and leaflets are normally used to promote simple services such as handy man services, transport services and many others which may be in high public demand.
An electronic brochure will suffice for a startup although traditionally hardcopies were common. In todays digital world with growing movement retsrictions you have to have something that will list in detail all the products you have with their prices and specifications . Having this as a link on your social media will make it easy for customers to choose products online and purchase from you. Product brochures can be intergrated in Whatsapp for business or Facebook stores.
These are materials you can use to create a display of your products and or services at an event or in a public place. These could be free-standing or pull-up banners, flags, signage, and posters.
These are materials used to generate public interest on your product or business. They can use digital media such the internet using blog articles or creating a social media presence through posts, tweets, product images and banners,. Advertising can also be done through traditional mass media such as radio and TV jingles, print (newspapers, magazines) or billboards in public places.
These are products that highlight your products or services using a combination of audio, visual effects, or imagery such as lighting, movies and videos, slides, podcasts.
Can be created through continued engagement with interested parties on your blog or through your business with indivuduals voluntarily leaving their details for future communications. An up to date mailing list will ensure that you regularly keep interested parties informed about new products or services from your company.