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Entrepreneurs Marketing

Marketing is probably the most important activity of your venture. Unfortunately most of us are not well equipped in this area. It is worth spending your time to explore and learn marketing well before embarking in your venture.

Marketing Plan must integrate various marketing components to create customer value. In order to have a marketing plan you do not need to be a large company. A plan will help you to maintain or gain market share, show your innovation and improve the company position.

Marketing is a series of activities carried out to finding out what your customers need or want. (both existing and prospective). You should apply all your efforts in the business towards making sure your customers get what they need or want. By doing this you will be able to meet their expectations or exceeded.

Trends are always changing. So you need to keep your eyes on your customers to see what is changing. This can be done as simple as watching television. It is absolutely important that you keep doing research. You can only stop doing research if your business will growth on momentum, with no improvement, you know all about your competitors, you cannot lose customers, your products would not go obsolete, no trend changes, you are the only one with ideas, you can tell the future, you know tomorrow’s requirement yesterday, you have billions worth of contract.

Research can be done in two ways. One primary and the other secondary research. The first you collect data which no one has and the second you use data available to conduct your research. The cost of primary research is much higher. So we might need to use secondary research to reduce cost when you start out. The good news is that with the internet the secondary research virtually comes free or with minimal cost. So you have no excuse not to do research.

A good research can help you in the following ways:-

  • Show ways to increase the off-peak or off-season business.
  • Show ways to increase the customers’ spending patterns.
  • Show ways to ensure that the customers keep coming back.

Marketing Strategies

Can you list at least 10 things your potential customer needs or wants? Have you taken any personal action to market yourself and your venture? To help answer these you can apply the famous 4Ps of marketing known as marketing mix.

The 4Ps are product, price, placement and promotion. Now look at these Ps to promote yourself and venture. Sometime these 4Ps and 3 more Ps are known as 7Ps. These 3Ps are people, process and physical evidence. With technology these 4Ps can be looked at a different angle penetration, permission, personalization, and profitability. Once you have done these you are ready to write your marketing plan.

Now the you are familiar with all the Ps you need to identify and each of this what is your value proportion for each of the Ps. Once you have done that you can work on how to go about getting the marketing activities.

Marketing Plan

Every marketing plan must have four elements personality, budget, business and time. 

A typical marketing plan’s contents can be captured from from wikepedia I feel it is very well captured and to rewritte or attempt to write is a waste of time.

Now use methods which you are comfortable in applying, look for methods which are easiest and cost effective to access specific people you want to reach and do not depend on only one method at a time. Apply activities that compliment one another and check your methods against your competitors methods and find out what is working well for them. You must track the outcome of your marketing efforts.

Please note you can  increase your business only in these three ways one by increasing number of clients, two increasing size of the sale per client and three increasing the number of times clients return and buy. With these in mind now ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the number of clients you have?
  • How much these clients spent on an average on each transaction?
  • How often do these clients buy from you?

Now let us look at an example

Let us say you have 100 clients. Each buy for Rs100 each time and buys twice a year. Your revenue is 100 * Rs100 * 2 which equals to Rs20000. Now you want to increase your revenue by 20 % that is Rs24000. So you need to have more clients, bigger sales from your existing clients for each sale or increase the frequency of buying. Once you have this worked out your sales can easily increase.

How do we increase these?  By creating a desire for the client to use our services and product. Here we can apply Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to our product and services. Maslow says that there are five levels of needs. These are physiological needs which include basic need like food, clothing, sex, shelter, etc, safety needs so you do not feel threatened, social needs to have a belonging, esteem needs to have self esteem and recognition and self-actualization needs which include self-development, creativity and psychological health.

Multi-level marketing (MLM) and Franchising

These are the two biggest marketing activities discovered in the last century. Both have tremendous potential for accelerated growth.

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as Network Marketing. In this model individuals or companies are allowed by a parent company to market its products directly to consumers by means of direct selling and referrals

Usually individuals act as unsalaried salespeople of multi-level marketing, referred to as distributors and represent the company and are given a commission based on the volume of products sold by them.

Each distributor develop their own organizations either by building an active customer base to whom they sell direct from the parent company or by recruiting a downline of distributors who in turn build a customer base, thereby expanding the overall organization. To top their income, distributors can also earn a profit by retailing products they purchased from the parent company at wholesale price.

Distributors earn commission for the overall organizations they build based on sales of individuals and group based on the compensation plan design by the parent company.

Franchising refers to the methods of practicing and using someone else idea to do business. The franchisor, the owner, gives the rights to an independent operator or franchisee the right to distribute its products, techniques, and use its trademarks for a percentage on gross monthly sales and / or royalty fee for an agreed period of time.

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