Marketing, promotion and sales effort

Someone said to me once that you only need to do two things to succeed in business; make more profit and spend less. Of course that is a gross over-simplification but it does hold a grain of truth. The key qiestions all revolve around how to make more profit and how to spend less. The forum divides here into two broad headers. One relates to what we can do in these troubled times to ake sure we sell more and the other invites conversation on the subject of efficiency, saving time and getting value for money.
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nhcbr900
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 am

Marketing, promotion and sales effort

Post by nhcbr900 »

The distinct nature of these elements seems to have got lost in recent times with too many instances of being grouped together under 'marketing', when understanding what fits where in the path from the germ of an idea to shaking hands with a customer can help greatly in creating opportunities, then making the most of them.

nhcbr900
Site Admin
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 am

Re: Marketing, promotion and sales effort

Post by nhcbr900 »

The word 'marketing' is possibly one of the most mis-used in business. It is often mistaken with promotion, which is a part of marketing, true enough, but it is certainly one of the later stages. Estate agents often call their sales office a marketing suite, largely i believe because they are afraid to use the word 'sales' due to the negative connotations attached, largely due to their own practices. Just my personal opinion of course.

Why is it important to recognise the difference? Am I just being pedantic? To answer those questions in reverse order, I don't believe so and because it can really help you to profitable business.

One way I explain this is to consider the business timeline in comparison to the earth. Marketing should start in the pre-history, promotion just after the second world war and sales is now. To start with, marketing needs to encompass questions like 'Why should I start a business?", "What will I be selling?", "To whom?", "How many of those people would buy it?", "What share of that market can I expect?", "Where do those people get their information?", "What criteria do they use in making a decision?", "How much effort and cost is involved in getting my information to them?", "How much profit will it leave when cost of sales is counted?", an many more.

By assessing the questions, the decisions about whether it is worthwhile from your point of view, what resources you will need to stisfy the market and where you can make your promotional effort count can be made. The answers will also give you yardsticks against which you can measure performance as the business evolves.

Promotion can now be factored in. Too many businesses fail to make the right decisions before this point and you hear phrases like "I have some great products, so can start marketing them". By the time promotion starts, it is too late. Promotion is the baited hook, marketing is the choice of water and the nature of your quarry, to use an angling analogy. Understanding where your potential customers look for what they want is vitally important in order to get the best value out of promotion. The choice can be bewildering, exhibitions, press advertising, radio, television, the internet, clubs and associations, signage on buildings and vehicles, plus many more possible channels all have a part to play. Word of mouth is still the most important tool in any businesses promotional mix, and cultivating that in the right circles can be a very low cost and very powerful tool.

Finally, provided the marketing has provided effective answers and the promotion has been placed in front of the right people, someone, somewhere is going to ask the question "How much?" or "When can I have one?", or any one of a huge number of ways that amount to "I want to buy something, why should I buy it from you?". Be ready for that question! This final moment in the process makes all the rest of the work worthwhile. Anyvbody can sell, it doesn't require any stereotypical 'gift of the gab' or similar. The key is that we all can do this in our own way, but that is another subject all on its own. There is no 'one size fits all' solution to making sure that the order ends up in your pocket but we can all do it. Watch this space!

nhcbr900
Site Admin
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:22 am

Re: Marketing, promotion and sales effort

Post by nhcbr900 »

They say "Never forget a customer, never let a customer forget you". All that is fine and well but with the current data protection and privacy laws, it becomes very difficult to keep in touch remotely with the people to whom you wish to promote what you do.

However, the current virus crisis has opened up a door for emailing the people in your database. One of the reasons for sending emails, which is sacrosanct in GDPR is 'The Public Good'. This means that as long as you are telling people how to deal with you safely in the light of possible infection, they have no grounds for complaint.

Naturally, you can't go beyond that in this communication but there is always a subscribe link that they can follow to make sure they keep in touch with the businesses that have treated them responsibly in these times of trouble.

Broadcast email is easy to do and with a little time on your hands, this may be a good way to spend it.

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