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    Marketing basics part II

    Today Kirsten Norton continues her series on marketing... read part one here!

    After you’ve pulled the hard yards analysing and working out who your target market is: you need to set about developing your marketing mix. The “mix” (also known as the 4Ps in marketing speak) includes:

    • Product
    • Price
    • Place (distribution)
    • Promotion
    Your product needs to occupy a clear and distinctive place relative to your competitors in the minds of your target consumers.Things to consider here include: the quality/finish of your product, attention to detail, durability, the brand, packaging, available sizes/variations (range/product line), your returns policy and extra services if you provide any.
    Just a word on brands (again – a massive subject area which Jen Henderson covered comprehensively in previous weeks):

    A brand is a perception formed from:

    • Experiences (eg: what contact has the consumer had with your brand?)
    • Communication messages (what do they know about your brand?)
    • WOM (ANOTHER acronym! = WORD OF MOUTH, linked to above. The best way to achieve positive WOM is with a great product and great service – then people WILL talk about you!). WOM is VERY powerful because it’s seen as CREDIBLE.

    Your brand is a promise of value to your customer – it’s a cognitive shortcut. When they see your brand –a consumer should immediately know what they’re going to get. That’s why consistency is important.

    Things to consider: your RRP, discounts (do you give any?), allowances, credit terms. Have you determined your breakeven quantity? Clearly your costs set the price floor and these can vary depending on your level of production, how long it takes to manufacture/craft. The market and demand set the price ceiling. Customer oriented pricing involves understanding the value the customer places on a product, then setting the price accordingly. This may be a good way to approach your pricing – convene a (not so scientific) focus group of your target consumers (friends?) and workshop your pricing. Remember you want to make a profit yourself and also provide a margin to a retailer (if you’re not selling it yourself). External factors to consider here: competitors’ pricing, economic conditions and your re-sellers.

    When we say ‘place’ we mean distribution – where are consumers going to find your product? Ensure your distribution is suitable. Will the retailer do the right thing by your brand and display it appropriately? Does the retailer understand the story behind your product? Will the consumer have a good experience when shopping in this store? Perhaps you need to think about exclusives for a particularly supportive retailer? Can they get an exclusive product or a headstart on a new product line before other retailers do? If you’re selling online you need to think about the experience: is it seamless, easy and straight forward? Does it encourage the customer to return and/or purchase more? All of these interactions or ‘touchpoints’ (as marketing people like to say) affect the way your brand is perceived.

    Stay tuned for next week’s biggie – the fourth “P” – promotion! The importance of managing/evaluating your marketing efforts will also be explained.

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    Posted by: Tess McCabe
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Marketing and Social Media Basics | Comments Off on Marketing basics part II

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