Popular Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses
Marketing is defined as the process of allowing your business to get noticed by individuals who may need or want your products or services.
Unfortunately, a lot of small business have a great business idea yet fail in marketing it well. Thus, in order to increase market share and stay top-of-mind of your customers, think about the popular marketing techniques for your company.
Each marketing technique allows you to communicate the advantages and features of your product to your target audience. This is important in creating good will or establishing brand equity with your customers. Case in point, Apple invested much money in making billboards, television commercials, and magazines that display their products in a manner that makes their consumers feel connected towards their products.
At the end of it all, it does not matter if you are a small business or a multimillion-dollar corporation. You would not be able to run a successful business if you remove the important marketing techniques from your investment.
However, prior to starting your marketing techniques, think of the ideal customer you would like to reach. As soon as you have your ideal customer, you would have many marketing techniques to choose from. You can use various techniques for varying stages of your business life or you could use them once your business opens.
In this article, we will look at six of these important techniques in some detail. These techniques are often called the marketing mix. These are a set of techniques, tactics, or actions used to promote a company’s brand or product for its market, namely, product, price, promotion, place, people, and processes.
POPULAR MARKETING TECHNIQUES
As previously mentioned, here are the six popular marketing techniques you have to concentrate on when you market your product or service. These are sometimes called the six “Ps.”
Product is an item that is created or built in order to satisfy the needs or wants of a target market. This product could be tangible or intangible. Hence, if we talk about the product, this could be a good or a service.
First and foremost, you have to guarantee that you have the appropriate product to offer your market. Thus, as you develop your product, perform the necessary extensive research for your product’s life cycle. This means that you focus on your product from its growth phase, to its maturity phase, down to its sales decline phase.
This is significant for you to take note of because you may want to reinvent your products in order to increase its demand once they get to the critical sales decline phase. In focusing on the product, you also should consider the following in your marketing techniques: (1) labeling, (2) branding, and (3) quality.
To help you come up with the right techniques for your small business, focus on the product and ask yourself the following questions:
- What do the customers want from the product or service?
- How will the customers use the product or service?
- Where will the customers use the product or service?
- What characteristics must the product or service have to meet the needs of the customers?
- Are there any required characteristics that you missed out on?
- Did you create characteristics that are not necessary for the customer?
- What is the name of the product or service?
- Is the name catchy?
- What are the colors or sizes available (if it is a product)?
- How is this product or service distinct from your competitors’?
- How does the product look?
A product should deliver a level of performance at the minimum. If you work on other aspects of the marketing mix yet are unable to deliver on the product, then you would be unsuccessful and ineffective in your business.
Establishing an appropriate price for your product or service will aid you in becoming competitive and profitable. Begin with incorporating your costs when you produce and deliver your product or service. Then, research your target customers and peg how much they would want to pay for your product or service.
If a gap exists between how much you are spending and with how much your target customers are willing to pay, you have to consider a couple of things. Either you have to decrease your costs or concentrate on another market. Just remember that when you adjust the price, this would have a large effect on your full marketing strategy and your product’s or service’s sales and demand.
There are a few things to remember, however, when you establish your marketing techniques.
- if you are a new business and do not have a name for yourself yet, it is highly unlikely that your target customers would want to pay a steep price for your product or service. Even though they may want to pay higher prices for your product or service in the future, it is usually difficult to get them to do so as you begin your business.
- pricing shapes how your customers view you. Keep in mind that if you have low pricing, it may mean that you have an inferior product or service as customers compare your product or service with your competitors’. On the flipside, if your price is too high, the costs might exceed the benefits of your product from the viewpoint of the customers.
Learn how to price your product for maximum profit by watching this video.
As you set your price you must think of your product’s or service’s perceived value. There are three main pricing techniques you can use:
- Market penetration pricing is a technique wherein you price your product or service initially at a low level so you can quickly reach a big fraction of the target market and start word-of-mouth. This technique works upon the belief that consumers can switch to your new brand because of your lower pricing.
- Market skimming pricing is a technique wherein you price the highest price initially so that customers are willing to pay. Once the demand of the first group of customers has been satisfied, your company can decrease the price that can attract another segment that is more sensitive to the price.
- Market neutral pricing is when prices are set by the market, with your prices set at the prices of your competitors’. The main advantage of the market neutral pricing technique is that it can work through any period of your business cycle. The main disadvantage is that your business may not be maximizing your profits since you only base it on the market.
Moreover, here are a few questions you must ask yourself as you develop your marketing technique in terms of pricing:
- What are the costs that you incur in producing the product or service?
- What is the customers’ perceived value of your product or service?
- Do you think that a little price decline could sufficiently improve your share of the market?
- Could the present price of your product or service keep it on par with the price of the competitors’ products?
Promotion covers the methods you would use to sell and advertise your products or services. It can increase your sales, not to mention your brand recognition. Methods of promotion could take the form of social media, websites, e-newsletters, blogs, flyers and brochures, networking, word of mouth, advertising, cold calls, reward and loyalty programs, sponsorships, letter drops and mail-outs, and public relations activities like events and press releases.
Promotion could be comprised of different variables like advertising, public relations, sales organization, and sales promotion. Advertising refers to the ways of communication that are being paid for, such as radio commercials, television ads, internet advertisements, and print media. More recently, there has been a movement from offline to online promotions. On the other hand, public relations focus on the ways of communication that is unpaid. This consists of exhibitions, press releases, seminars, sponsorship deals, events, and conferences.
So you can start creating an effectual product/service promotion technique, you must go through the following questions first:
- How would you be able to send your marketing message to your probable customers?
- When do you think is the best time to promote your product or service?
- Would you be able to reach your probable customers through television advertisements?
- Should you use social media to promote your product or service?
- What are your competitors’ promotion techniques?
Definitely, the mix of your promotional techniques and how you go about them rely on your budget, the message you want to convey, and your target market.
Place as a focus of your marketing techniques answers how your consumers would be able to buy your product or service. As a whole, this is your point of sale. Your product or service must be accessed by your potential customers. You have to make sure to catch the eye of your potential customers, making it easy for them to access your product or service.
There are a few distribution channels you should consider, such as direct retail to the public via an outlet or a store; selling products through wholesalers; online retailing; and using consultants, distributors, or agents in selling your products.
As you decide on the place, you must keep in mind your logistics and target market so as to bring to the people your products or services. You have to deeply understand your target market so you can efficiently position your product or service and distribute them. There are a number of distribution techniques you should consider, like exclusive distribution, franchising, intensive distribution, and selective distribution.
As you create and develop your marketing technique for your place, consider the following questions first:
- Where do your customers search for your product or service?
- What sorts of stores do your probable customers go to? Do they shop in standalone stores, in a mall, online, or the supermarket?
- How can you get access to various distribution channels?
- How different is your distribution technique from your competitors?
- Would you need a good sales force?
- Would you need to go to trade fairs?
- Would you need to sell online?
Whatever the case may be, keep in mind that in establishing your approach towards place, you may have to pay a premium to get the right place. Actually, always remember the overused saying, “location, location, location.”
Keep in mind there are two groups of people you have to consider.
- First are your potential customers. You should know that there should be a sufficient number of people in your market that would demand your product or service.
- Second are the people needed to bring your product or service to your market. You would have to deal with distributors, suppliers, wholesalers, employees, and stakeholders. You have to make sure that they comprehend the significance of offering quality products or services to your customers. This second set of people is significant in your marketing because they deliver your product or service. When you find the right people who believe in your product or service, it is most probable that the employees would perform their best. Moreover, they will be more open towards honest critique on your business and give their original thoughts and passions that can increase your business.
It is important to consider people in your marketing techniques because this can be a competitive advantage to your business.
Processes refer to the procedures you have to go through to support your marketing objectives. This is important because they affect how your service is being provided.
More importantly, a process that is well tailored can decrease your costs. These could be the processes of when you order new inventory, when you guarantee that your product or service is timely delivered, when you offer opportunities for your consumers to give their feedback, and when you always review your financial and sales reports.
The good thing about monitoring your processes is that you can tweak and enhance them as you go along as you seek to maximize profits and minimize costs.
All these considerations for marketing techniques combine product, price, promotion, place, people, and processes. In addition, they also impact one another. They compose the marketing techniques needed for a company to achieve business success.
However, if you handle this mix incorrectly, it can take your business many years to achieve recovery. You need to understand this marketing mix well, through research and consultation among many people.