Marketing has the allure of being the “glamorous” side of business, especially when compared to I.T., Finance or Accounting.

Inarguably, there is a creative facet to marketing and the results can be a slick, glossy output and delivery. No matter how glamorous marketing may appear, be assured that marketing is serious business.

The best marketing is the outcome of a well-developed marketing plan and impeccable attention to details.

Stellar business principles, offering value-based goods and/or services and the application of ethical ideologies are the foundation of good marketing.

Marketing is not just for profit organizations. Nonprofits can use marketing to tell donors and foundations about their good work and achievements, as well as, expand market share.

By being resourceful and disciplined you can increase public awareness and growth in your segment. You may have an extraordinary product or service, but if no one is aware of what you have to offer, your enterprise is sunk.

Marketing may seem like a costly, burdensome task. Upon closer investigation, you may find there are distribution channels within your budget.

A Quick and Dirty Review of Marketing 101

Marketing is the instrument that creates the buzz and stirs consumer action. A strong marketing strategy includes a schedule of promotions that incorporates a mix of marketing venues. Whatever marketing tools you chose, the strategy should be flawlessly executed.

Marketing is composed of four pillars; Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

Product or Service, or Both

The product can be a physical product or a service or a mingling of the two. For example, a mechanic shop offers services in automotive repairs, while a jewelry store offers products such as rings, bracelets and necklaces for sale. The jewelry store may also offer jewelry repair which would be a service.

What are your unique products or services and what exactly do you want to promote and grow?

Price

Without a doubt, the American consumer is well informed and “price obsessed”. The Internet has made finding the best price easy. Knowledgeable consumers can effortlessly “shop” competitor websites for products, services and price. The smart consumer easily finds coupons and product deals. In many ways, retailers have “trained” consumers to only purchase when a deal is offered.

Location, Location, Location! (Better Known in Marketing as “Place”)

The place focuses on the channels of distribution, and the logistics of how, when, where the product and/or services is offered.

If you are a non-profit offering services and programs to low-income clients, your location is particularly important. Are your clients/customers community members and can they walk to your location? If clients depend on public transportation, too many bus transfers can make access complicated and expensive.

It makes sense to find a location where there is a concentration of need and not a cluster of purveyors.

For example, if you are providing equipment, clothing and services to equestrians, you best location would be in a rural area with a density of horse farms and equestrian sports, i.e., Lexington, Kentucky, if in fact, the market is not already saturated.

An equestrian appeal shop located in Maine probably will not prosper, unless it is an online enterprise whose market can potentially be worldwide.

Promotion-creating a stir and a need!

Promotion is about communication, needs/wants and sales. An old marketing axiom is that a consumer hears a message three times before it is absorbed.

In our world of instant messaging, I suggest that a larger number of hits are required. My guess is that it may take more like seven hits before the message is fully received.
When creating your campaign focus on how your target audience likes to communicate.

If your target market is teens, Twitter maybe your best channel. If you are segmenting senior citizens, a direct mailing is among your best choices.

“What gets measured gets improved.”
Robin S. Sharma, “The Greatness Guide, Powerful Secrets for Getting to World Class”

Measuring promotional outcomes is a gauge of the success of the promotion and may uncover information that you may have never learned otherwise. Be clear from the beginning about what you want to accomplish. Before you launch a campaign consider the best way to measure results.

Final Word

Marketing is both an art and a science. There is no “holy grail” leading to success. Good promotional campaigns are an equal blend of common sense, business sense, ethics and a splash of excitement.

Make sure your marketing campaign honestly depicts your operations and makes promises that you can deliver. This is your public image. Make sure your promotion is well executed and represents your organization in a flawless, positive fashion.

Good luck and best wishes, Kathi

Believe in possibility and in yourself.