Small Business Marketing: Overtaking Your Competitors

Written by Ben Botes

Few businesses keep tabs on competitors, yet such knowledge can give you a distinctive competitive edge. Building a file on them, looking at everything fromrepparttar customer’s viewpoint and asking suppliers and employees what they know about them can be worthwhile. Keeping a jump ahead ofrepparttar 150479 competition means knowing precisely what they are up to. Here are some tips to help you stay one, if not several, leaps ahead.

Step 1 Get clear on your marketing mix

You will often here someone onrepparttar 150480 website refer torepparttar 150481 marketing mix. This refers torepparttar 150482 five P's of marketing. Product, Place, Price, Promotion and People. Any business who combinesrepparttar 150483 5 P's effectively will be successful.

Who is Your Customer? In order to tailor your marketing and advertising strategies to appeal torepparttar 150484 tastes and interests of your market, you must first identify your customer. In order to do this, you it is necessary to conduct thorough research ofrepparttar 150485 consumer marketplace. Keep in mind,repparttar 150486 more information you have about your target market,repparttar 150487 better able you will be to develop a successful marketing plan.

A market profile typically uses primary and secondary sources to answer key questions about a potential market. A profile is a picture or an outline. Information that makes uprepparttar 150488 social profiles ofrepparttar 150489 people in your target market is called demographic information, and includes: age, usually given in a range (20-35 years) sex marriage/partner status location of household family size and description income, especially disposable income (money available to spend) education level, usually to last level completed occupation interests, purchasing profile (what are consumers known to want?) cultural, ethnic, racial background

A clothing manufacturer may consider a number of possible target markets--toddlers, athletes, grandparents (for grandchildren), teenagers, and tourists. A general profile of each of these possible markets will reveal which ones are more realistic, pose less risk, and which are more likely to show a profit. A test market survey ofrepparttar 150490 most likely market groups, or those who buy for them, such as parents for babies and toddlers, can help you separate real target markets from unlikely possibilities. The Right Product What are your customer's needs? What do they expect to get when they buy your product or use your service? The right product isrepparttar 150491 one that best fits their requirements. People who eat in restaurants want more than a good meal. They might expect quick service, a reasonable price, a vegetarian menu, a children's menu, entertainment, a drive through window, or to be identified with a trendy crowd. It becomes a difficult and probably an unprofitable venture trying to satisfy everyone's needs.

If you have identified your customer and listed their expectations, you can design your product or service around their requirements.

The more you fulfil your customer's expectations,repparttar 150492 betterrepparttar 150493 quality of your product. Think of your product or service as more than just whatrepparttar 150494 customers pays for. When you are planning your business consider howrepparttar 150495 whole transaction meetsrepparttar 150496 customer's needs.

It is important to note that developingrepparttar 150497 product or service COMES AFTER you have identifiedrepparttar 150498 customer and their need. If you have an idea you think might be worth pursuing, developrepparttar 150499 concept only when you have determined a genuine need and interest inrepparttar 150500 product.

Then letrepparttar 150501 market help you develop it and strengthen it. Most small businesses fail becauserepparttar 150502 market was not enthusiastic about their idea andrepparttar 150503 entrepreneur was too vested to listen torepparttar 150504 market early inrepparttar 150505 process. Positioning your Business Positioning refers torepparttar 150506 image customers have of your business. The goal is to create a business image that enables you to position your business in such a way that, in essence, it acts as a natural magnet for your intended customers. A number of factors that customers often look for include: price (i.e. cheapest price, fair price, price for quality, etc.) assortment parking service sales personnel quality fashion convenience location atmosphere

Your overall position should emphasize those areas that your customers value most, and those which make you different from your competition. Pricing Techniques The importance of pricing can not be underestimated as incorrect pricing can often result inrepparttar 150507 failure of a business. New businesses often makerepparttar 150508 mistake of either charging too little or too much for their product or service. So to help you avoid making one of these mistakes,repparttar 150509 following section will outline some ofrepparttar 150510 guiding principles of price determination. Price is a key part of marketing. Setting prices is called pricing.

Pricing torepparttar 150511 Market Compare prices with your competitors for similar products and services. Setrepparttar 150512 price range that customers will expect. You can use that market price range--what is acceptable torepparttar 150513 market--as a guide to set your prices. Businesses or people to whom you sell may also price torepparttar 150514 market by telling you what they will pay for your product or service. As you keep records of actual costs,repparttar 150515 cost approach to pricing will help you make sure all your costs are covered, which may not be true in a market approach to pricing.

NOTE: Be careful about under pricing in order to compete or make sales. Use competitor's prices to establishrepparttar 150516 price range for similar products or services but don't under price; if your true costs are higher, your final prices will have to be higher.

Cost Approach to Pricing Price must cover all costs of goods/services sold, including production costs of supplies, materials, fixed overhead, and time/labour, plus a profit. Costs should include costs of production, labour and non-labour, including overhead or fixed costs as well as supplies and materials. Use this simple formula in setting a price (per unit): Total Costs of Production Per Unit + Desired Dollar Profit Per Unit.

Marketing Hat For Graphic Designers Or Wannabe’s

Written by Joy Gendusa

Many people think thatrepparttar quality of any graphic design is determined by how aesthetically pleasing it is: Although makingrepparttar 150478 card look good is important, this couldn't be further fromrepparttar 150479 truth. The only true measure of any design, at least commercially, is "How well does it pull?". By pull we mean what type of response does it elicit? Does it pull in calls, or pull people intorepparttar 150480 store? In essence, doesrepparttar 150481 design accomplish what it set out to do?

From this fact it is not a reach to come torepparttar 150482 conclusion thatrepparttar 150483 merit of a graphic designer is based onrepparttar 150484 performance of his or her designs. You may be able to put togetherrepparttar 150485 most beautiful ad thatrepparttar 150486 world has ever seen, but if it doesn't makerepparttar 150487 phone ring it isn't worthrepparttar 150488 paper that it is printed on.

By giving clients designs that are not only attractive but, more importantly, that get themrepparttar 150489 response they need to turn a profit, you are making it much more likely that they will be willing and able to come back to you for future services. In short, ifrepparttar 150490 ad doesn't make your client any money, you don't make any money inrepparttar 150491 future.

The following text is a breakdown ofrepparttar 150492 different actions to take and ways to make sure that your beautiful design is also a big time moneymaker for both you and your client.

Chapter 1: “BE”repparttar 150493 Target Market

There is a monkey loose in your office and you can't seem to get any work done. The only solution is to catchrepparttar 150494 little distraction and FedEx him back torepparttar 150495 jungle that he came from. Question: How do you catch a monkey? You have to get into his head, think like him. You have to “BE”repparttar 150496 monkey to find out what is going to bring him close enough for you to catch him.

What does an annoying monkey have to do with Marketing Design? Keep reading.

Every potential customer is likerepparttar 150497 monkey. They are going to do whatever they want unless you can persuade them to listen to you. You have to get into their head, think like them, “BE” them. A monkey is a simple animal so you can probably get his attention withrepparttar 150498 stereotypical banana.

Human beings onrepparttar 150499 other hand are extremely complex. Then you add inrepparttar 150500 fact thatrepparttar 150501 mailing list is targeted and it can get quite challenging. Following are a few examples:

1) Product = Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream.

Who do you need to “BE”? Probably a woman overrepparttar 150502 age of 40. Try it. Pretend you are a woman over 40 with crows feet (wrinkles aroundrepparttar 150503 eyes, for all you guys) and they are getting worse and worse each day. Did you do it? Are you her? Good.

Now, how bombarded with advertising is this woman over 40 that you’re being? Just think about it. PLENTY! So how are you going to communicate to her in an ad to get her to respond?

You may have a headline that pushesrepparttar 150504 button of how upset she is about those crows feet like, “Crow’s Feet Getting Worse as You Age?” You may want to show a before and after shot.

2) Product = New Golf Ball that goes farther and straighter thanrepparttar 150505 competition.

Your target market is Senior Citizen golf enthusiasts inrepparttar 150506 state of Florida. So what isrepparttar 150507 number one benefit of this particular product for that target market? To answer that question you should use three things:

• Reasoning

• Experience

• Research

In this golf case, in particular, I can tell you from others’ stories thatrepparttar 150508 olderrepparttar 150509 guy,repparttar 150510 straighterrepparttar 150511 ball goes. Practice makes perfect and older people have generally had much more practice. Also, as people get older they start to lose strength over all. This means that they will start to lose distance on their shot. It is relatively easy to tell thatrepparttar 150512 distance factor is going to berepparttar 150513 biggest benefit and therefore should berepparttar 150514 focus ofrepparttar 150515 ad.

Sometimes it's really easy, most times it's not.

3) Product (Service) = Refinancing.

This example has you trying to determinerepparttar 150516 biggest benefit of refinancing a mortgage for families with a household income of $75k, revolving debt of $15k and 2+ children. Sound complicated? It can be. Mayberepparttar 150517 benefit is getting cash to pay off their debt, maybe it's paying for college, or even lowering their monthly payments. There is no real way to tell just by looking atrepparttar 150518 situation. Now you are going to have to do some research.

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