engage magazine issue 004 \'07 - Page 76

76 ASK ENGAGE Quick Guide HOW TO PART 4 Marketing your bu Marketing is crucial to your business. But what is marketing? engage magazine’s Business Editor Colette Machado unravels what marketing is all about and why it is so important to your business. Most people assume that marketing is the promotional side of the business – advertising, exhibiting, direct mail. It is, but it is also much more than that. It is in fact, everything that drives the business along and helps it to develop. Your business cannot do without marketing because it is what your business is about. And to have a successful business you need to be in a good position of making good marketing decisions, well, at least the majority of the time. In simple terms marketing is about the market – about your customers and potential customers and what they want to buy. Focusing on your market (which is what you should be doing) is called being market-led or market-driven. Focusing on the products or being driven by your products is called being product-led and is dangerous. are going to get there (including cost and how you are going to pay for it). It is therefore needed at the very beginning stages of setting up a business. It also forms part of the business plan. So, what are the rules of business marketing? They can, in my opinion, be narrowed down to six basic rules. These are: When drawing up the plan there are three groups of questions: Where the business is now? 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pretend you are a customer Set objectives for everything you do Know your limitations Make your mistakes in your head You don’t have to always aim for perfection Make sure you have a marketing plan. You need to ask yourself questions about the product or service, the customers, the business and the competition. Where is your business going? This is your objectives and should include your sales forecast, as well as other marketing objectives ie. to expand the customer base to represent 40% of turnover, for example. How your business is going to get there? This is the way in which you intend to achieve your objectives and meet your sales forecast – your strategy. List all what you need to do in order to meet your objective(s). How long will it take and what will it cost to get there. The Marketing Plan In business you cannot know what you can and can’t spend your money on if you don’t know what you are going to need to spend it on later. A Marketing Plan is like a route map. It consists of: where you are, where you are going, and how you Market research Performing market research on potential customers and your competitors will give you an engage | uk ISSUE FOUR 2007