Dear M & M: Marketing, advertising, selling, promotion I am confused. What should I be doing? – Whitney
Dear Whitney: The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” Sounds complicated, but in order to be a successful marketer and businessperson, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps: Define a target market, discover what products customers in your target market want to buy, set a price for these product, advertise your product to your customers, and make your product available to your customers. Source: SBA. Keep in mind marketing is only a process to get consumers interested in what you are selling. Generally, you are trying to alert customers to a product or service that fills their wants and needs. If done correctly you will generate enough profits allowing you to continue business to meet future needs. Remember, one can only stay in business if you are selling something consumers need or want. Consumers must be ready, willing and able to make a purchase. To be successful you must focus on what the consumer needs. Not what you think they need. Remember it starts with finding and defining who you are selling to in a specific geographical area. Your target market could be Cochise County or planet earth. One can see how a different strategy must be implemented when selling world-wide verses selling locally. Both can be successful if implemented correctly. Remember they call it a marketing mix. The marketing mix refers to four areas in marketing one has to make decisions on to best reach one’s target market. It starts with the product. Do they want what you are selling? Are you selling it at a price they will pay? Are you promoting marketing messages that stimulate your audience or group of consumers to want to make a purchase “from you”? Are you communicating your marketing messages in a place your audience or customers are listening? In the end, are you generating enough profits to meet future needs in your defined marketplace? Is there any money left to repeat the selling cycle over again?