A very important business activity
Without a market, and more specifically the customers, business cannot stay up. In fact, it is said that business actually exists for its customers. An idea, thought or opportunity has to meet the market or it will cease as a business.
In another talk with the Consultant who READS management, he told me that every step in the marketing activity must be adding value. I will cover here just three basic steps in marketing – knowing the market, preparing the product or service and creating the opportunity for the market and the service or product encounter.
1. Knowing the market
The market determines what service or product gets sold and by that the business that will thrive; knowing the market ensures there can be business. Here is a broad description of the market.
The market is a specific group of people. There are parameters that turn population into market, and market into customers or clients. Businesses also classify markets by geography, thus there are Asian markets, and more specifically Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian or Philippine market. Further, characteristics like demographics and psychographics are also important parameters to determine the market. And so there are male and female markets, adult and children markets and so forth. More so, there are still differences among male and female markets. Some of them are professionals and others are blue collar workers; some live lives in the fast lane while others are bored in a seemingly slow-paced lifestyle. These characteristics allow for the so called marketing segmentation. That is, the potential market gets grouped according to particular characteristics for analytical purposes.
Another important concept, which I learned from the Consultant who reads management is the C – NEWS or customer needs, expectations, wants and specifications. Here I will loosely refer to the market as customer as well. After all, until the market becomes customers the business still fails and it is best to turn all the market into customers. So much for that. In the past, marketing and sales were almost exclusively based on needs. Thus, for the need to eat there is food sold in the market; simple clothes satisfy the need of the body to be covered. Almost everything was basic even in the advent of automobiles. Cars may have any color for as long as it is black. Today, there are more colors of cars than there are in a rainbow.
Further, knowing the market goes more than mere collecting data and information about them. It also means building good relationships with them founded on and projecting trust. The market needs to know that the supplier and the product or service can be trusted or reliable. This one can cover a full length of talk. I will end it for now and go to the next topic in my outline.
2. Providing the service or designing the product
Most products and services are generic or one-size fits all and that is ok for most products, but there are products that can be customized or tailor-fitted. Basic goods like food need not be customized for the market. Fresh meat, vegetables, fruits and fish does not need to be modified for the consumer. They can be sold in their natural form for as long as they are fresh and consumable. Nonetheless, there can be value adding before they are sold. Fish fillet or dried fish have its specific market. More so, cell phones can be very basic but the market also looks for phones that meet more than the basic function of communicating – the smart phones. How the smart phone looks can be customized, like the cover photo, ringtone, and so forth, unlike the basic phone. Trouser length is cut according to the length of your legs and then sewn before you bring it home. And your name gets carved as you purchase a particular pen. These are just some ways products or services are prepared for the market.