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What Is Marketing?

Marketing is an important part of starting and running a business.

It is the effort to identify and satisfy customers’ needs and wants. Marketing involves the knowledge and all the processes you undertake to sell your product.

Marketing answers the following questions:

  • Who are my customers?
  • What are my customers’ needs and wants?
  • How can I satisfy my customers?
  • How do I make a profit as I satisfy my customers?

In depth…

Before starting a business, it is absolutely important to know the market conditions in which the business will be operating. The market analysis, or market research, provides data about customers, products, services, prices, advertising, competition, and consumer behavior.

To do market analysis, you can:

  1. Talk to potential customers. Ask them:
    • What products or services do they want to buy?
    • What do they think about your competitors?
  2. Observe your competitors’ businesses. Find out about:
    • What products or services do they provide?
    • What prices do they charge?
    • How do they attract customers?
  3. Ask suppliers and friends in the business:
    • Which products do they sell the most?
    • What do they think about your business idea?
    • What do they think about your competitors’ products?

You can also use sources such as trade publications, magazines, the Internet, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals, financial institutions, Chambers of Commerce, libraries, consulting firms, town/city councils, government agencies, and interest groups, to acquire more information about the products or services you want to provide, your competitors and new trends.

The market analysis will help you to develop your marketing strategy, which should be based on the information about the 4 Ps:

  • Products/services your customers want. Products/services you sell should relate to the needs and wants of the customers. You should always analyze which of your products or services sell well and which don’t, and listen to the feedback from the customers to improve your business.
  • Price your customers are willing to pay. Pricing refers to the process of setting a price for a product/service. Your prices must be low enough to attract customers to buy and high enough to earn your business a profit. To set your price, you should know your costs, how much the customers are willing to pay, your competitors’ price and how to make your price more attractive.
  • Place where your business should be located in order to reach your customers. Place means the different ways of getting your products or services to your customers. If your business is not located near your customers, you must find ways to get your products/services to where it is easy for customers to buy. For example, you can sell products directly to the consumers or use retail distribution and wholesale distribution.
  • Promotion to use to inform your customers and attract them to buy your products or services. Promotion means informing your customers of your products and services and attracting the customers to buy them. Promotion includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity and personal selling.

How To Set Prices?