It is believed that Marketing is a misunderstood concept to many people in the world today. The word Marketing has been interchanged with "Advertising" or "Sales" especially with the advent of modern Technologies like the Internet, Video Camera and so on. It is not uncommon to hear people saying "please...I don’t want a Marketing job or business" because of the negative connotations associated with it.
The relative awareness of Marketing in recent times has been due to the activities of the Marketing Communication/Advertising agencies such as Insight, DDB and others. These agencies developed award-winning and dollar-busting campaigns for their customers such as NOKIA, Coca Cola and others. They seek their attention and entertain them with scintillating adverts but do all these translate to increased sales relative to the expenditure?
These are the BRANDS that we have all come to know and in some cases developed a love or hate relationship with. Our Televisions, Radios, Billboards, Mobile Phones Computers are bombarded with messages from BRANDS trying to win our hearts and our hard-earned cash. It is no wonder then that Marketing has become synonymous with advertising. BIG Brands spend hundreds of millions in dollar to have a voice in the already crowded marketplace. It is said that an average person is exposed to between 100-500 messages a day. Are customers really paying attention?
What is marketing really about? Small Business Owners usually balk at the mention of Marketing because they feel they can never afford to do the sort of Marketing (Advertising) that the BIG BRANDS do. From the discussions with some entrepreneurs and Small and Medium business owners, it discovered that Small and Medium businesses are looking for effectiveness and what will deliver results. This is probably due to the limited finances they have therefore every penny has to count.
This brings us back to the basic definition of Marketing. In simple terms, Marketing involves identifying and addressing customer needs profitably. Notice the emphasis on profitability. It is important that while businesses should focus on serving customers excellently, this should not be done at the expense of running the business in a profitable way.
As a business owner, MARKETING is too important to leave to the Consultants. Marketing is the engine drives your business, brings your customers to you and keeps them coming back. Most people forget that their business is not about the product or the service but about the customers they are trying to serve. Marketing is a process that starts even before the business is born by identifying the NEED and GAP in the market. This process does not stop here but continues throughout the life-cycle of a business as customers needs and wants do not remain static but constantly changing.
If you want your business to grow into a successful and profitable brand, you need to master the art of recognizing people’s needs and desires and finding ways to satisfy them. Try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, what sort of solution would you expect and how would you want it delivered. Very few of people understand Marketing because business owners fail to see it as a PEOPLE matter.
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