Have you forgotten the basics in Marketing?


I read a great article this morning written by Steve Howard, author of Powerful Marketing Minutes and Corporate Image Management,
11 key marketing trends. In a vast world of marketing opinions this article hit me as very intuitive, and well thought out. It tackled the question that many of us are asking ourselves about the new marketing world we live in today.

The tip that caught my attention was number 6) Marketing fundamentals

— Marketing Fundamentals are as important as ever. Too many marketers and organizations have gone astray in recent years jumping on the bandwagon of “hot” marketing trends like customer generated content, viral marketing, and mass email marketing.

The marketing model mixing 1) product, price, place, and promotion with 2) positioning strategies based on customer needs, wants, desires, likes and dislikes and 3) an understanding of customer perceptions of the product and corporate brands to create a compelling value proposition to customers is not broken.

It has merely been misused in recent years by a) inexperienced neophytes who think naming a product is equal to branding, and b) by senior managers more focused on quarterly profit statements than on building brands that open vast marketing opportunities unseen and untapped by competitors.

Those who focus on knowing and understanding what customers truly value will create sustainable businesses that deserve customer loyalty. Those who do not will continue to fall by the wayside.

Product, Price, Place, Promotion, four simple marketing basic that we often forget when the next trends come swooping in a create the panic to catch up.
Do you have the right Products, at the right price, where the target consumer wants to get them, and have you told them about it?
I can recall hundreds of business visits I have made where the store had a fantastic product that I had no clue they carried. How often do we as business owners go to trade shows and buy inventory in a great new product line but then come back and not promote the item? Instead hoping that our current customers will find it their next visit and just have to have it.
So let’s take a step back here from Steve’s marketing tips and get a solution for these key marketing practices in todays media environment.

  1. Product – Do you have the right product? In todays information super highway It is hard to understand how a business can not know what their target consumer wants? It seems that with a simple Google search you can find trends and analysis on almost anything. But maybe the most organic approach today is best, use twitter and Facebook to ask your consumer base what they want and need, imagine being at the next trade show, snapping a picture with you phone of a new design and posting it on Facebook seeking feedback. (of course I assume you have developed a Facebook fan page and base of targeted consumers) Todays Social network are a great sounding board for likes and dislikes. A business must invest in the relationships prior to these tactics but can you se the potential?
  2. Price – Again with the world of information at your finger tips and Social networks filled with people sharing information you can determine both market value and competitor pricing with the click of a mouse. No you just need to decide on a pricing strategy and implement.
  3. Place – Location, Location, Location – the most basic marketing principle most often ignored. Location or place has become complex, with the growing inventory of shopping outlets online and the ability for companies to literally buy locations on the internet, place has changed. If you are a bricks and mortar store front location is still crucial to your goals and future. But on the web, you can be in any location you wish and can target consumers at the very place they wish to meet you. The challenge is that the locations are often changing, so you need staff or expert help in how to place your business in the multiple locations that your target consumers are at this month.
  4. Promotion – Wow has this category changed in the last 10 years. Don’t let the new technology scare you in promotion, think of the added connections you now have to promote your products at a value that still will give you ROI. I understand that in the past you could not afford to place a new product in your newspaper or TV ads because you would never receive the ROI needed for that single product to make it worth the expense. However with the internet and social media, you can now have independent marketing campaigns for every one of your products, targeted, geographically, social economically, behavioral etc…. and the cost can range from Zero to a couple hundred dollars per qualified lead.
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