Marketing is a course in which people earn degrees. However, our approach for this discourse is not on theoretical but practical aspects of marketing. Marketing is focusing on your customers’ needs rather than on your product or services.

Marketing experts will say that marketing is about advertising, branding, and promotions. A whole lot of the time, we do many of those things and waste money. Sometimes, advertising can be a colossal waste of money for an organisation, especially for a growing business. The underlining factor that a lot of the time causes marketing to fail is the fact that it focuses a whole lot on the organisation, product or service rather than the customers’ needs. Business is about getting customers and keeping them. There is no amount of advertising you can do for a product which people are not interested in that will cause such an advertised product to succeed in the market. On the other hand, the product may be fantastic, but the customer may not have a good perception of it, and that affects the buying product.

The starting point for marketing is knowing what the customer needs and then designing products or services to meet that need. You may want to ask yourself (if you are doing some advertising or promotion already) whether it is working? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for once and look at your marketing drives from behind your customer’s eyes. Forget that you are the one offering the product or services. Become the customer look at your adverts. If you see this advert as a customer, will you buy the product? If you wouldn’t, then the customer to wouldn’t.

How do you determine whether your marketing effort is productive or not? Will this effort bring a customer and the result in a sale? For instance, if you have this small advert running in the newspaper for two months, how many customers has it brought? Sometimes, interestingly, the problem with a business is not the number of prospective customers coming but about the percentage of potential customers that make a purchase. Getting more prospective customers to come in may not be the answer. The answer may be doubling the percentage of prospective customers that buy thereby improving your turnover as a result.

Hence, you have to find out and be able to pinpoint where the problem is. A good strategy question to ask is, “at what point do you consider your marketing effort to be effective?” Is it at the point at which this advert of yours or promotion brings a customer in, and the sale is made? You should be able to identify your customers’ needs. Do a lot of research. Instead of spending a lot of money contracting a company to go on research for you, why not ask the customers directly. If your spread is extensive and you need somebody to do it, that is fine. But my point is, instead of sitting around assuming that you know what the people need, you should ask them.

Regarding sales and making money, the best product is not always the best product. That is very important. In other words, having a fantastic product or service does not necessarily guarantee that it will translate into massive sales. You may have a tremendous product or services that people may or may not be interested in.

Also, it is imperative that you ensure there is a big enough market for your product or services. How many people are you going to sell the product to? If it is something that is going to be useful to only ten people, why set it up? Your market must be big enough.

You will succeed!

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