After months of hard work and determination, you have developed a product. If you haven’t, then you can check out my blog on how to turn your idea into a real product/service.
For now, let’s assume that you have a product or service. You believe that it’s going to resolve any problems or fulfil the key need of your customers. However, your product (includes service too) is not going to sell itself. Your product requires an action plan and great efforts to be successful in a market.
What is marketing?
Marketing is a function of the business which creates and delivers value to the customers and maintains a positive relationship with them. The main objective of marketing should always be offering value and developing a relationship in a better way than competitors.
In marketing, competitors are very important. The organization should always be ready to outperform its competitors if it wants to be a leader or have more sales revenue and market share.
Why do you need marketing?
Let’s take an example of a product to explain why you need marketing for your product. One of the greatest companies in the world is apple. When Apple launched the iPod for the first time in a market, it advertised not as a device with a specified gigabyte of memory but as 1000 songs on your pocket. This simple advertising technique increased the sales and brand value of the company.
The above example is just a part of marketing. There are many components of the marketing where marketers can innovate many new and creative ideas, which will be discussed later in this blog. For now, let’s take a look at some benefits that marketing can provide to the company.
It increases sales revenue:
Without marketing, it is impossible to imagine the growth in sales. Marketing can be very helpful to reach new customers and influence them to purchase the product.
It provides value to consumers:
The main motive of marketing is to provide high value to the consumers. In marketing, various researches are conducted to understand the need of consumers and to improve the products. When the need of consumers is met, then the satisfaction and value can be higher.
It initiates change
Marketing can bring changes in the society or country. Marketing is not limited to business organizations. The non-government organizations or government can also take the benefit of principles and concepts of marketing. The reason for the application of marketing in such organizations is that it can ignite change.
Marketing aware market about the product
When your product is all ready, as it needs to reach to your ideal customers. For this, the organization needs to aware the consumers about the product and develop an efficient mechanism to distribute products to the consumers. This is only possible through marketing.
So these are key reasons for any organizations or individuals to start the marketing campaign. Now let’s learn how one can market the product. But before that let’s learn what marketing is.
There is a misconception that selling is marketing. This is only partly true because selling is part of marketing. Most of the organizations and marketer treat selling as marketing, which limits the scope of marketing.
How to market a product?
Many ways and methods can be found online about the process to market a product, however, they are not applicable and easy to use. Hence, I have developed a simple list of steps that you can use in order to market your product for better impact and benefits. Here are the steps:
1. Understand your product
The first thing to do before marketing is to thoroughly understand the product. It is necessary to understand the product from all directions because it can provide new insights to market the product. Moreover, creative ideas can be generated while exploring the product.
While understanding the product, it is essential to consider following factors:
- User Experience
- Design (Product and packaging)
The organization or individual can carry out a SWOT analysis in order to completely understand the product. SWOT-analysis helps to find the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the product. It is crucial to know how to conduct a SWOT analysis for any business organization.
2. Understand your competitors
After a thorough investigation of the product, marketers should understand their competitors. Researching competitors can be helpful to devise a marketing plan that can bring results. In a market, there might be many competitors, hence, it is best to choose only a handful of competitors. Through competitor research, the organization can learn about the SWOT of the competitors, which can be beneficial to beat the competitors.
3. Market research: Explore the unmet need
Market research is the scientific and systematic study of the market in order to gather valuable information about the characteristics of the market. Market research is a difficult and tedious task. If you want to learn the easy way to conduct market research, then check out this blog: how to conduct market research in just seven steps.
Market research is basically conducted in order to learn more about the market. Often, there might be needs of the consumer that are unfulfilled or unmet by businesses. Market research can help marketers to discover such needs.
Market research can also help marketers to understand the current scenario of the market. The current trends of the market can help marketers to tailor marketing messages. The current scenario also enables the marketer to predict the future of the market.
4. Create a plan
As you have all the information about the product, competitors and the market, it’s time to create a marketing plan. Information about a complete business plan is included in the blog: how to start a business from scratch.
While developing a marketing plan, it is essential to mention two things. They are:
According to a plan, goals are the most important part. Without goals, there is no planning. Every plan has some goals to be reached. Goals give direction to the plan. Also, marketing goals are the goals that are within the scope of marketing. For example: to reach 1000 customers within six months.
While setting goals, it is always a good practice to use the SMART framework. It can be applicable to any kind of goal: from personal to business. I have written a blog on SMART goals for smart people, which can provide valuable insights on how to set up a SMART goal. In general, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Once SMART goals are determined, ways to reach the goals should be developed. A strategy is the action plan that helps to reach the goals. In terms of marketing, there are four generic strategies that can be implemented. Four generic strategies include cost leadership, differentiation, focus cost leadership and focus differentiation.
Four generic strategies can be used to formulate the overall strategy of the organization, however, the marketer should formulate strategies for each Ps of marketing, which includes the product, price, place, and promotion.
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5. Gather a team
A Great team is required to execute the plan effectively and efficiently. Learn how to formulate a great team. For starter, the team is a collection of people who are assembled together in order to achieve certain objectives. Every member of the team has their own strengths and weaknesses. Strengths and weaknesses should be identified and appropriate tasks should be delegated to them.
6. Execute the plan
The Plan should be executed as per the description mentioned in the plan. While executing the plan, frequent communication is essential. Communication can be very fruitful as it allows the team to resolve the problems on the go. Supportive infrastructure for communication should be established in the organization.
A Marketing manager or directives should always allow open communication to all of the employees as it helps to find the existing issues while executing. Hence, the marketer should allow frequent communication during the execution phase.
7. Monitor and Evaluate the performance
Monitor and evaluate is part of the execution phase. Monitoring is the process of continuously overseeing the activities carried out in order to check whether the performance is as per the plan or not. Moreover, evaluation is a process of measuring the performance and examining the importance of each activity.
Monitoring helps to gather information about the performance, whereas the evaluation helps to figure out the importance of each activity taken place.
The role of monitoring and evaluation is to find the gap between plan and actual action. In addition, it also helps to find issues that hinder the marketer to reach the planned goals.
8. Update the plan
Your plan is never perfect. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make one. You should always pursue to refine your plans in order to be more successful. After the collection and analysis of data from monitoring and evaluation, the marketer can have an overall understanding of issues in the planning and execution. Thus, the marketer can update the plan for better results while marketing the product.
In conclusion, these are the 8 steps that any organization or marketer can take in order to market their product. These steps represent the cycle which must be repeated again and again for splendid results. The more an organization or individual applies the steps to market their products, the more they will be able to generate revenue.