Saturday, June 20, 2015

A guide to winning customers Part 1

                                        A guide  to  winning  customers

                                                           Part  1

   What  is  Marketing?

The  American Marketing  Association  defines  marketing as  ''the process of  planning  and  executing  the conception , pricing , promotion and  distribution of ideas, goods, and  services  to  create  exchanges  that satisfy  individual  and  organizational  objectives''

A  lot  of  words, but the key  word  is  - ''satisfy '' .  your  products  and / or  services  should  provide  a  solution to an unfulfilled  need  in the  market  place.

The  process  of  marketing  begins  with  discovering  what  products  customers  need  and  want  to  buy.  you  will  be  facing  an  uphill  battle  if  you  provide  something you  want  to  produce  and  then  try  to  convince  someone  to buy it. 

The  marketing  process  continues  by  establishing  prices, letting  potential  customers know  about  products  &  services  and  then  making  them  available  -  while  generate  profits  for  the  business.

Simply put, marketing  is  based  on  the  importance  of  customers  to the  business. Two  key  principles  stand  out.  first, company  policies  and  activities  should  be  focused  on satisfying  customer  needs.   second  , profitable  sales  volume is  far  more  important  than  maximum  sales  volume.

Market   research  is  key

It  all  begins  with  research. you  can't  be  successful  selling  in or  to  a  ''market'' you  don't  understand.  It  can be  as  simple  as  surveying  a crosssection  of  your  customers.

Other  market  research  techniques  include  analyzing  demographic data  such  as   population  changes, gender, income  levels, age  ranges, education  levels  and  other  information.

Whatever  method  you use, your focus  should  be  on  gathering  enough  information to determine  who  your  potential  customers  are; what  their  needs  are; and  what  products  they  would  consider buying  from  a business  like yours.

Market  research  should  answer  questions  such as:  

-Who  are you  existing customers  and  potential  customers?

-How  would you describe  or profile  your  customers?

-where  are  they  located?

-And, most importantly, are  you  offering  the kinds of  products  and  services customers  want  -  at  the  best  place, at  the  right  price  and  in the right  amounts?

There  are  many  ways  to  conduct  research.  some  hopeful  methods  include:

-Use  the  internet.   -  Develop  simple  customers   surveys.  -Review  local  maps. -Use  economic  development  agencies  and  trade  groups.  -  Review  census  and  labor  department  data  and  publications.  

-And  lastly, Do not be  shy  about  learning  from  your  competitors -  studying  their customers, what  they  sell, traffic  levels  and any  other  market  information  you can  find out.

Source:  www.sba.gov




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