Ideas and Actions that grow your business
The anecdote before the lesson:
During one semester break, mid-way in to my Management degree at the University of Lethbridge, I went back to Vancouver to visit some friends.
For two of the nights I stayed at a hotel and it was there where I truly gained an appreciation for marketing theory. Theory is often the stuff people make fun of because it's not "real-world" and lacks practicality.
While in the hotel lobby I overheard a man, who later introduced himself as Richard, making a deal on the telephone. After he was off the phone I walked up to introduce my self. Richard was quite enthusiastic to share his plans with me.
He had a tube filled with city engineering drawings for the arm of the Fraser River between Vancouver and Richmond. As we discussed his plans he stopped me and quickly said, "you're a real text book aren't you." I stopped talking and a look of "maybe I don't know what I'm talking about" crossed my face. He noticed this and interjected, "That's not a bad thing. I want to tell you my whole plan and you can tell me how everything fits in with today's marketing theory. You really know your stuff and that will keep me honest."
The above photo was one Richard always took with him. As much as I am sharing this story, Richard told me the story that belongs to his favourite picture. So, with Richard's respect for marketing theory, let me share you what I think are the essentials.
This lesson will be presented in a way that assumes the impossible... you only have five minutes to learn the fundamentals of marketing.
Start! 0:00 Marketing is the discipline of connecting two or more parties to enable an exchange. Others define it as "Understand to serve." Marketing is the process of taking a good, service, or idea and finding an appropriate market (group of buyers) for that good, service, or idea. It often entails a plan for constant and sustainable transactions.
0:45 The basic components of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. Otherwise known as the 4-Ps. This model is expanded to People, Positioning, and Packaging which makes a 7-P model. Any "P" model, whether it is 4P or 10P is really just a strategic checklist.
1:30 Is advertising marketing? This is an important question. Yes, but advertising is less than 1-percent of marketing. Advertising is product and service education on a mass scale. Advertising is what you do when you can't speak to all of your customers and potential customers individually.
2:00 The basic marketing process is: (1) Know the market's needs and wants (2) Create a customer-oriented strategy (3) Create and constantly revise tactics to enable your strategy (4) Built a growing and loyal customer list where both you and the customer gain from the transaction (5) Update these steps as the market changes with different customer demands and greater competitive forces.
3:00 Avoid the BS. For example: At some point you may hear someone mention a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a list of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Other than the recognition of the items that fall under each heading, a SWOT is a poor way of understanding the current situation of your (potential) business. In the SWOT model, consider one strength and two weaknesses of a business. If location is a Strength and price and customer service are weaknesses then the model would say that you have a weak business. But business is almost never black and white. If the location was so great and price and service where only marginally poor then the SWOT fails to recognize this. Be wary of good-bad comparisons. SWOTs might be handy for snapshots but when considering that it is your income the SWOT model is addressing then go for something a little more robust. Put the items that you are measuring on a spectrum of +10 to -10 and then assign values of the probability of each item having a negative or positive impact.
4:45 Always treat the customer with respect. If they are rude you can ask them to leave, you can walk away from them, but always always, be respectful.
FINISH - Congratulations!
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