Marketing is determining which orders you would like to win. Selling is getting out there and winning orders once you have decided which orders you would like to win. Marketing is a continuous process of creativity, research, testing, analysis, development and implementation. We must stay close to our customers. We must satisfy our customers’ needs and anticipate their wants. We love our customers and we always do that little bit extra for which we do not get paid.
Specialize and be excited in what you do
There is a strong relationship between high self-esteem and peak performance. The more you love doing something, the greater will be your success. All successful businesses specialize in their areas of excellence. Many unsuccessful people drift into areas where they do not have the excitement, enthusiasm, energy, knowledge, etc., to establish competitive advantage and find their market segment.
A few questions for you to answer at this point are:
Which product or service would you like to produce and sell?
In which area of human activity would you like to improve the lives of other people?
To which area of human improvement can you bring excitement and enthusiasm?
What is your area of excellence?
What is your core business?
For which product or service are you prepared to be a product champion? What would you love to do to improve the lives of others for 16 hours each day, even if you received no financial reward?
What is it that makes you feel valuable and worthwhile?
Differentiate for a competitive advantage
Perhaps the biggest question in any business is: why should anybody buy this product or service … from me? This is in fact two questions. The first question is: why should anybody buy this product or service?
What is the benefit?
What is the improvement in the life of the customer?
How is the customer’s life enriched by acquisition of the product or service?
If you cannot answer this question, then you do not know why a customer should buy your product or service. Remember the law of cause and effect. There is a reason for everything. There has to be a reason why your customer buys the product or service.
Segmentation or the creation of a market niche
If people buy from you because you are such a lovely person, then your market niche may well be your circle of friends and friends of your friends. If you own the village grocery store, then your customers are probably restricted to those living within a five-minute walk or two-minute drive, i.e. the local community. If yours is the best or cheapest product on the market, then this opens up huge opportunities. Who is your customer? Who buys this product or service? Identify your market segment. Describe your customer – age, sex, income, occupation, education, other interests, area where he or she lives, type of family, other products he or she buys, etc. Where exactly is your customer? Identify the geographical concentration, understanding that 80 per cent of your customers will be within 20 per cent of your catchment area. How is your product normally distributed? How would you expect your customer to buy your product or service? To which customers does your competitive advantage make a big difference? Is there a small segment of the market which you could dominate?
Answer these question when considering your market niche:
Who are your customers?
Where are your customers?
Who cares that you are the best?
Who cares that you are the cheapest?
Who cares that you are the local dealer?
Who cares that you are such a nice person?
The answers to these questions establish your market segmentation, or your market niche, i.e. a small segment of the market which you can dominate.
Concentrating your efforts
With a view to succeeding in business, we have to concentrate all our resources, hitting our market segment with our competitive advantage in our area of excellence. We have to concentrate our creativity, our marketing, our sales skills, leadership skills, finance, time, energy, excitement, enthusiasm, advertising and promotional efforts, production facilities, etc., all of these resources being concentrated in enriching the lives of our customers – at a profit.
Is the benefit we offer worth more to the customer than the price the customer is expected to pay?
Can we provide the benefit at a cost which is lower than the customer is willing and able to pay?
Can we provide the benefit at a profit?
These are four of the most important steps to consider as a business owner.