Creating an innovative product, service offering, or business model is not all there is to a business. This alone does not assure you of viable sales; neither does it guarantee you of consumer demand. Without the positive influence of effective marketing strategies, even a potentially revolutionary product could very well fail from inception.
Having a wonderful product or offering is only half the battle if your target market remains ignorant of the benefits, pricing, availability and other salient features thereof. Before we can establish the importance of effective marketing as a means of expanding your business, let us briefly consider the concept of “effective marketing”. The sole purpose of marketing as we know it is to create awareness among potential customers and encourage conversion of prospects to actual sales. Effective marketing involves the optimal use of human and capital resources to develop a loyal customer base, and in turn, grow the business while increasing profits. The fundamental implication here is that the cost involved in capturing new customers should be much lower than the revenue generated through sales.
Bearing the above-mentioned considerations, the following four principles can be applied to help grow your business through effective marketing:
1. Focus on a smaller target market and don’t try to be “all things to all people”
Conduct a thorough feasibility analysis and properly define your target market. Time is money. The time saved by streamlining the broad market base and focusing on the customers that you need to reach can be used to develop other dimensions of your marketing campaign. Focus on your niche to maximise your marketing efforts and minimise your costs.
2. Create win-win relationships
Win-win relationships in business are situations where both parties feel they have received what they were looking for. For your customers, you can ensure you keep them well informed and make the purchasing process easy for them. If they do have a complaint, ensure your customer service staff are qualified to give them the right advice or be able to guide them where to get the right advice. For your suppliers, this would be sticking to the agreed contract. You can learn more about win-win negotiations here. By creating win-win relationships, you will be able to develop long-lasting relationships.
3. Perfect your elevator pitch
Simply put, you should be able to describe your business in three concise sentences, or less. Precise language builds credibility, and credibility creates an atmosphere that stimulates further communication and willingness to learn more about your company’s product or service offering. Perfecting your pitch enables you to develop new leads virtually anywhere, and at any time.
4. Build strategic alliances
Joint ventures are a type of competitive collaboration which reduces marketing and other overhead costs and usually enables the partner to gain technological or other advancements at relatively low costs. However, these “synergy partnerships” need to be weighed very carefully to ensure that the subsequent benefits are always mutually rewarding. You should develop relationships founded on integrity, and make sure that your core competencies and that of your alliance partner are holistically complementary. A successful partnership will ideally enable you to enter new markets or capture a new market share that neither party would normally be able to secure individually. It is, however, vitally important that the terms of the joint venture partnership be spelled out clearly in a contract drafted by a professional, such as an attorney specialising in contract law.
Analyzing and implementing these steps effectively can serve as useful guidelines for your enterprise. If used correctly, they could certainly be your first steps on the road to establishing the sustainable growth you’ve been aiming for.
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