MARKETING AT A GLANCE
Marketing is the process through which you create – and keep – customers. Marketing is your business lifeline. It's more than advertising, or sales, or public relations, or customer service. It's a non-stop cycle that involves all of these steps:
* Customer, Product & Competitive Research involves learning everything possible about your target customer and marketing environment
* Product Development involves creating an offering that serves your target market niche in a unique, meaningful, and desirable manner
* Pricing involves establishing a pricing structure that achieves profitability for your business while also reflecting the value and brand image of your offering, your competitive market position, and the ability of customers to purchase what you're selling
* Packaging and/or Labeling involves presenting your product in a compelling manner consistent with its price and brand image
* Distribution involves establishing points of purchase that are accessible to customers and in sync with their shopping preferences
* Advertising, Promotions, and Public Relations involve communicating with marketing messages that grab attention, inspire interest, win interaction, and move prospects to the purchase decision point
* Sales involve presenting your offering, making the case for its purchase, guiding customers to the buying decision, and processing the business-to-customer payment and product exchange
* Customer Service is the all-important marketing step where you develop customer satisfaction leading to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth, and lasting customer loyalty
Marketing Tip: ENHANCE YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY
A marketing question I get asked often has to do with online identity, presence and activity. Here are three tips regarding your domain name:
* Try to register your business name plus .com. If that domain name isn't available, avoid grabbing your business name plus .net. Why? Because most people automatically type in .com. If you register your name plus .net, people trying to reach are likely to be misdirected to the .com site instead.
* If your business name plus .com isn't available as a domain name, see if your business slogan or positioning statement lends itself to an online address. For instance, www.justdoit.com takes you to the Nike site, and www.gohawaii.com takes you to the site of the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau.
* If people frequently misspell your business name, capture more traffic by registering various misspellings as alternative domain names. Then redirect all traffic to your primary address. For example, if you type www.googel.com into your web browser, you'll be automatically redirected to the primary www.google.com site. Be similarly smart with your own web strategy.