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Hitting the bull?s eye

india Updated: Oct 03, 2006 15:45 IST

The term marketing, as defined in the Living Webster Dictionary, refers to the "entire process of storing, shipping, advertising and selling" that promotes something and enables you to realise a sale. Marketing, therefore, can be an overwhelming concept.

To be a successful marketing manager, you need to understand various aspects about the product you handle. You should know how the product was conceived, developed, launched and managed throughout its life cycle.

All big business houses have full-fledged marketing departments whereas most small businesses often do not have marketing plans. But even the latter need to make one. Once a plan is in place, it requires the right launch to hit the bull's eye. According to marketing gurus, there are four important marketing tactics as given here.

1 Establish a memorable and unmistakable brand identity. The brand image should be powerful and distinct because it is necessary to effectively communicate what your business is all about.

2 Find out who wants and needs what you want to sell. It is not correct to say “everyone” requires your product. You must identify the people who do or may require your services or products. The better you define them, the more effective your marketing will be. Create a deep connection with your core target clientele or consumer base.

3 Design offers that attract potential customers. When people buy things, they want to know how they will benefit by purchasing these. If you can perceive what your customers want and can visualise how to meet their needs, you will be able to draw prospective customers.

4 Develop a personal and workable marketing plan. Your plan should outline the big picture and focus on the four 'Ps' of marketing — product, price, place/distribution and promotion.
Marketing managers must estimate the demand for products and services their organisation and competitors provide.

Then comes product marketing, which refers to the specifications of the actual goods or service and how they relate to a customer's requirements. Marketing personnel identify potential markets and develop a pricing strategy that will help the firm maximise its profits and grab a substantial share of the market.

Placement is about how a product reaches a customer. It also refers to where a product is sold, that is, in which region and segment (young, old, families, men, women or children). Marketing executives should also devise strategies for product promotion, which includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity and selling as well as the various methods to promote the brand or company.

Managers need to develop strategies that can influence the decision criteria of potential buyers so that they purchase the company's product. For, marketing is about creating, winning and retaining customers.

To make fact-based decisions about marketing strategies, a company needs a detailed analysis of the market in which it wants to operate. Hence, market research is an important aspect of marketing. Once managers have identified the company's objectives, selected the target consumers and determined the position of the company or product, they decide how to implement the strategy.

This often leads to the development of the marketing plan that mainly covers the company's goals, the marketing strategy, the implementation model, the required investment, the financial analysis, a time frame, and the associated risks and strategies to manage these. 

Marketing, thus, involves researching, developing, promoting, distributing and selling a product.