Why should entrepreneurs learn to market their products? Many of us have great ideas in the shower. For many of us, those ideas are washed away into the the drains of our dreams, never to taste the dry air outside our bathrooms. Some do get to see the light of day only to fall flat on the passageways of genuine attempt and some at the door step of sponsors and even of customers.
To market or not to market
I learnt that VHS (the old magnetic tape video recording brand) was not the best invention on recording video. Betamax was far better and that is the reason most media houses use Betamax for mastering recordings rather than VHS. The reason VHS became popular was because it was owned by great marketers. Betamax was owned by brilliant inventors.
The big difference between the success of the two was merely knowledge and application of top marketing skills. This is the art of identifying the needs of you market, addressing them with a product that answers the need. Thereafter marketing involves making certain that the product is well known by the consumers, is accessible and affordable for the consumer. This does not mean it is cheap, it just means it is priced appropriately for the consumer who needs it. VHS was produced at low cost and sold at an affordable price to the household market. It therefore became so popular such that people started called all magnet tape for video VHS. The brand name became synonymous with the function of the product.
Planning and Timing
Even when one has the knowledge of marketing, timing is key. There is no point in marketing a product when your delivery system is not ready. Clever marketers will send teasers to the market without revealing the product as they work on the delivery or other preparatory work. Getting the market ready for the launch. Once everything is in place, then they release the product.
So it is important to know your market and their need, when they need the product and when to present them with the product. If you plan you marketing efforts you will be able to maximise the return from your marketing activities.
There is the question of costs associated with the marketing exercise before the product starts bringing in the sales. So you need to budget for that cost. How much are you going to spend promoting the product. Online marketing requires a different set of costs to traditional marketing. There is some element of savings as a lot of the services can be automated, or enabled by systems rather than human resource, which tends to cost more than the systems. The systems are usually more scalable and reach broader audiences than traditional marketing, given a potential of greater returns by comparison.
The key factors of tradition costs in market are commonly known as the 3 Ps
Product – how much it costs to design and produce your products.
Place – how much it costs to distribute your products.
Promotion – how much it costs to promote your products.
Your cost strategy
There are four main cost strategies one can pursue with their products in marketing. This is usually done as an matrix of cost vs quality.
Low Quality Low Cost
This is usually your budget type items which do not cost you much and the quality is not necessarily a key criteria. Here you would find things like your low end outlet in low income areas. You may be selling some cheap quality products that are still useable. VHS was one such product as highlighted above.
This strategy usually makes money due to the volume of sales they achieve because of attractive price.
Low Quality High Cost
This category is mostly accidental or early life products. It is usually when someone targets high end customers and charges high end prices and yet they cannot achieve the required level quality as yet. With time they can improve to that
High Quality High Cost
There are the top end niche market players with established exclusive brands like your Lamborghini and Guchi brands. BetaMax can fit in this category as well as it is used by advertising agents to preserve master copies and it is quite pricey as well.
High Quality Low Cost
This category is achieved when you have superior systems and processes that are streamlined to keep the costs down and yet you produce high quality products.
One thing you need to keep in mind is focus. Do not try to win every customer. Identify your ideal customer and then focus on learning as much about them, their needs, their tendencies, their boundaries and make your marketing around that.
The more you know about one type of customer the better you can serve that segment. You can have time to listen to the actual customer and compare and contrast the difference nuisance within that same type of customer segment. That way you can become an expert for the customer which will become your biggest selling point to that client.
If you spread yourself too thin by trying to please everyone you will reduce the chances of satisfying your clients needs as you will be superficial. eventually you will not get any repeat business or referral because you do not impress your client.
Focusing creates an identity, a brand with consistency. So focus, and focus and focus.
Learning the skills
So it is key to learn the right marketing skills and techniques for your clientelle and target market. Here you will learn the skills of an online entrepreneur. So get started now