marketing, n. \mar-ket-ing\
Most small companies—and large companies, for that matter—are in the business of selling a product or service for profit. But selling does not equal marketing. And, if your business is going to succeed, you need marketing.
Marketing is the process of knowing and understanding your customers, then satisfying your customers’ needs or wants (sometimes before your customers realize it) with a product or service. It’s providing value to your customers in exchange for profit. Everyone wins!
The recipe for success looks something like this:
- Identify something your customers need or want. Don’t be afraid to research—it’s worth it.
- Develop a product or service that will make your customers happy.
- Determine appropriate pricing.
- Distribute the product or offer the service in a manner agreeable to your customers (not just convenient for you).
- Promote your product or service.
- Sell your product or service.
- Deliver, on your product or service and your promises!
- Retain your customers by proving your value and earning their trust. Give them reason to be loyal.
Like other aspects of your business, marketing isn’t always so easy or straightforward. Dedicating the time and resources to developing a detailed marketing strategy is a critical step toward building relationships with your customers and, in turn, maximizing your potential profits.