Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Marketing strategy & techniques -Three stages of Marketing Strategy

Need for strategies
As I discussed earlier in another chapter, marketing applies both scientific and artistic approaches towards creating customer base and selling your products. Selling your product requires a great deal of wooing your customers. Gone are the days, when the businessmen used to simply keep their shops open and wait for the customers to come and exchange your goods for their money. There is much competition now and nobody will approach on his own to buy your product unless you attract him with your Marketing Strategy.

So, selling your product requires use of alluring and effective strategies so as to attract buyers and establish your market. Marketing Strategy is aimed at increasing your sales and promotion of your business. It is a package of the plans and techniques employed for establishing and promoting your business. It involves use of many different techniques at different levels of business. Before starting business,you need to find out the tastes of buyers and locate your prospective buyers and the areas for your market. Then, you need to advertise your products and services, give discounts and incentives to create market for your goods and establish your strong hold in your area.

Apply strategy according to your business
Different types of products or different areas of market require different marketing strategies typical of their own markets. So strategies can differ from product to product or from area to area. Agricultural product requires its own typical strategy and electronic product requires its own strategy for marketing. Similarly, more advanced cultures need their own typical strategies whereas rural culture has its own strategy for marketing. So, each strategy applies its own marketing technique to promote its business. But overall, the principles are the same. We need to find out our market and prospective buyers. Then we establish our business choosing the products and areas of operation according to the requirements. Then it involves in retaining the customers with incentives so that they may not shift to other products and sellers.

Three stages of applying Marketing Techniques 
Any type of business involves three stages of your Marketing Strategy for setting up the business and its market. These stages are as follows:
  • Locating business opportunities and areas before starting business through study and research.
  • Promotion of business after setting up your product and market.
  • Retaining the market base and customer confidence through good quality, after sale service and support.
All these three stages of business require employment of appropriate and efficient marketing techniques. Let us study the techniques employed at each of these stages of business.

Techniques employed before establishing business
  1. Conduct research to study the culture and tastes of the area where you want to establish your business. This will let you know what options are available for you to trade in and you can choose one that is most suitable to you. For example, if the people are more cultured and like fashionable dresses, advanced electronic items or continental foods, you can choose one of these items as your business.
  2. Know about the resources available for procuring or producing your goods and about available transportation facilities for conducting your business.
  3. You need to keep knowledge of the local laws and restrictions that are in effect in your business area to protect yourself from any later complications. 

Marketing Techniques to be employed after business commencement
  1. Ensure good quality of your products. Your product should be preferred by customers as a better one in comparison with other sellers. Then only will they come to you.
  2. Pricing to be done reasonably. Fix your product price at a reasonable level which can be a bit lesser than other traders so that customers get attracted by the low price. The difference need not be much. Even a fraction of 1% can attract more customers to your product.  
  3. Ensure continuously ready availability of your products. If customers do not get whatever they want readily available at your store, they will look for other shops and you can lose your customer base.
  4. Promote your business through various methods like distributing pamphlets, erecting posters and banners at different places of your area so that people come to know of your business. You can advertise through TV channels and by placing advertisements in news papers also. Showing a celebrity using your product can be a more effective tool of publicity for your product. Sometimes using sex appeal also works out to great extent. These are all publicity stunts for growing your business.
  5. Make your on-line presence felt by maintaining a website and posting the salient features of your business and all your products there on the website. This will facilitate the prospective buyers to find out the sellers of their products easily.
Marketing Techniques for retaining, evaluating and improving your customer base
  1. Best technique to retain customers or attract more customers is to offer some value added services and discounts to regular customers. Offer some discount, or a coupon or a reward points card to allure and satisfy the regular customers. They get pleased to know that they get points or discount coupons every time they shop with you and they turn around more frequently to enjoy this satisfaction.
  2. Offer free appraisal and usage/maintenance tips on your products. Let the customers know some important features and facts of your product which they do not know. Also instruct them how to use and maintain the product for yielding longer life benefits. This will make them more confident about your products.
  3. Another most important technique to be employed in business is packaging and brand image of your product. A nice package with good design and appealing colours will enhance your product. They get associated with your brand image as an identity for good quality. 
  4. Ask for feed back from customers to know their opinions about your products and services. Thereby you can know about the likes and dislikes of customers, why they are choosing your product instead of others and how you can improve your quality to satisfy them. This will always help you in improving your business and growing your customer base.
  5. One more technique is to interact with customers in a cool manner when they come to you or are on-line. Applying gentle manners and sweet voice enhance your image in their minds and creates a great image of your business and goodwill among customers.
  6. Sometimes adding new items to your business can keep customer base intact and also create new customers.
  7. Finally, be prepared to adopt yourself to the changes in tastes, culture and technology.

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