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Marketing Basics - Wise Counsel

May 27, 2008
When we ponder the world of marketing, we will discover that there are several concepts and misconceptions that need to be addresses. The basic definition of marketing describes the various tasks that determine your continuing efforts to meet the needs of your customers and, of course, that you are getting a valuable return for your efforts. One consistent misconceptions of marketing is that marketing only concerns your advertising your product or service. Though marketing your product is a serious consideration, it is only one component in the marketing process.

Developing a good understanding of the needs and wants of your customers and developing a plan that addresses those needs is the essential element of 'marketing.' For a business owner to want his business to grow is a natural aspiration. Giving close attention to 'organic growth' is the most effective way to help your business grow.

The most effective way to grow or expand a business is to focus on 'organic growth.' In order to understand 'organic growth', we need to realize that a business is a living organism. We can either let it fend for itself or we can determine what it needs to help it grow. By determining what the business needs we can thus determine what we need to do to make it thrive.

We should look at two basic components of marketing in order to get a better idea of the things that we need to create a successful business. The first component of marketing that we need to consider is 'developing a marketing plan.' The second component is the 'ongoing promotion.' One mistake that many business owners make is to create a product or service and immediately jump into an advertising campaign. When we define these two basic components, you'll understand why this mistake can be a disappointing and costly one.

Developing a 'marketing plan' or 'marketing strategy' is essential to the well being of a business. The first step in creating a marketing plan is to do a little research and analysis. Don't slap yourself on the forehead in exasperation. This is not as difficult as the name implies. It may take a little time but is well worth every minute.

To help us get started, let's begin by looking at a simplified explanation of 'marketing analysis.' We should apply two of Solomon's Keys to Success at this point.

Proverbs 1:5 (Amplified Bible) "The wise also will hear and increase in learning, and the person of understanding will acquire skill and attain to sound counsel [so that he may be able to steer his course rightly]" Wise counsel can be found in many forms. We should also remember, for those of us who think we understand better than others, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise." Proverbs 12:15 (Amplified Bible)

A well planned market analysis contains the following:

1.) Determining our 'market' or the groups of potential clients that exist,

2.) Determining our 'target market' or those clients that we prefer to serve,

3.) Determining the needs of our target market,

4.) Choosing the best products or services that might meet the needs of our target market,

5.) Determine the customers' possible uses for those products and services,

6.) Keep track of your competitors' activities,

7.) Determining the pricing formula that we should use and

8.) Decide on a plan for the distribution products and services to your target markets.

Various methods of 'market research' are used to gather information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, etc. A little Internet research will reveal many sources of specific information. We must remember to target our searches. We do this by beginning from a broad area of possibilities and with each subsequent search we can get more specific until we have discovered as much as possible about our market in general and our target market. The resulting information will become our 'niche' market, our specific area of a market that is best for our product or service.

After having developed our marketing plan, we should look at our plan for 'ongoing promotions.' Our plan for ongoing promotion will include advertising, public relations, sales and customer service to name a few. These terms (advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations and publicity, and sales) can easily become confusing. These are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, they refer to different but similar activities.

Look at a list of simplified definition of each term.

1.) Advertising -- presenting a product (or service) to potential and current customers. Advertising should be focused on one particular product or service. It is important to understand that an advertising plan for one product might be different from that for another product. Advertising is typically done with signs, brochures, commercials, direct mailings or e-mail messages, personal contact, website banners, etc.

2.) Promotion -- Promotion can be defined as the tasks that maintain the product in the minds of the customer (product recognition). The ongoing effort of advertising, sales and public relations are often considered aspects of promotions.

3.) Public Relations -- ongoing processes we use to ensure that our business has a strong and positive public image. This is referred to as "PR."

4.) Publicity -- Publicity is public or 'media' attention, whether favorable or not. These are the review that others present of your product or service and can include news releases. These are only a few terms that are good to learn.

These are a few of the many terms that need to be learned. The health and well being of our business, your business, is determined by the extent of diligent study that you do and the application of the principles that you learn through study. To best know your product or service or clients or competitors, you must develop a sincere determination to become as diligent as possible.

Remember these principles in Solomon's Proverbs to help you develop a growing and successful business.

Proverbs 10:4 (The Amplified Bible) "He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."

Proverbs 12:24 (The Amplified Bible) "The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor."

Proverbs 13:4 (NASB) "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat."

Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty"

Memorize this last Proverb. It will help you to focus on the tasks at hand.
About the Author
Good marketing strategy is necessary to a successful venture. Visit Rev. Bobby at The Christian Success Institute to learn Solomon's Success Principles through an intense study of the Book of Proverbs. Earn a residual income while you learn Biblical Marketing Principles
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