Most people think that marketing is the same as advertising. However, marketing actually covers the following four areas:
Product policy: The product policy determines which products and services a company wants to offer to their specific market.
Pricing policy: The pricing policy concerns which products and services will be offered at which prices. For example, should they be more or less expensive than the general price level?
Distribution policy: How will products and services be sent to the customer? This question is answered by the distribution policy.
Communication policy: This area covers all communication, including advertising.
Advertising is therefore only one part of marketing. However, this area is not without importance. In trade in particular, advertising is becoming more and more important. For this reason, I have compiled all of the most important information about this subject for you here.
What uses does marketing have?
Marketing is about adjusting the company's offers to meet the customer's wishes and requirements. Orientating itself to the market in this way can make a considerable contribution to the success of the company - as long as the four areas are compatible with each other. Product policy, pricing policy, distribution policy and communication policy are therefore not independent of each other. They should complement and support one another.
If for example, as a tiler, you offer your customers a unique service, price, sales and communication are not the most crucial factors. However, if your competitors also offer a similar service, the situation is quite different. If this is the case, you must investigate whether you can gain an edge over the competition though a lower price, better sales or more effective advertising.
Where does your company stand - and where could it stand?
Just analyse your market and your situation! It's not that difficult - you just have to answer the following questions:
1. How large is my specific market - and how is it developing? 2. Which products and services are on offer? 3. Which customer groups can I sell to - and how are they different from one another? 4. How does the product get to the customer? 5. Who are my competitors?
These questions will help you to analyse the market situation realistically. In the second step, you should try to describe your own profile as precisely as possible - by answering these questions, for example:
6. What are my strengths? 7. What are my weaknesses? 8. What are my risks in this market? 9. Which opportunities are available to me? 10. How am I different from my competitors? 11. How do I position myself - what is my profile?
If you know the market situation and your own profile, you can also estimate your company's potential more precisely. The following questions will help with this:
12. How large is my turnover? 13. How large is my share in the market? 14. Which share of the market would I like to reach?
You should answer all of these questions in as much detail as possible. You can obtain exact figures for your specific market from trade associations, the chambers of trade or the Federal Statistical Office, for example. If this research is too time-consuming for you, you can also get support from a marketing consultant. However, you should definitely carry out the analysis, as its is only when you really know your profile and your market and recognise your full potential that you can develop a strategy for success in order to move your company forward.
How can you make use of your opportunities?
The best way is to make a plan of how you want to achieve your goals. This is important because otherwise, in the hectic daily routine, marketing often gets overlooked. Your plan should definitely include the following points:
1. Objectives: Firstly, you should define concrete objectives. For example, you can aim to increase your turnover by a certain amount within a certain time frame.
2. Strategy: The strategy describes the path you want to follow to achieve your objective. It is important here to consider your customers' wishes and requirements - but also your competitors' strategies.
3. Measures: If the strategy is the path to your objective, the measures are the individual steps on this path. The exact nature of the measures depends on the strategy - a change in the services which you offer can be just as useful as a specific advertising campaign.
4. Implementation: Set deadlines for all of your measures and determine concrete budgets - and try to make sure that you keep to them! Only by doing this can you come nearer to achieving your objective.
5. Check: Have you achieved your objective? Were the measures successful? You can always try new things in marketing, but you should always check carefully as to whether they are effective or not.
Who is going to implement the measures?
Depending on the size of your company, it may not necessarily be worth employing an advertising agency. It is usually better to commission different providers to create and implement the concept and check how successful it was yourself.
When developing your marketing concept, it is best if you get support from a consultant. This is a good investment as the success of your measures is largely dependent on how coherent your concept is. For the implementation, however, you can employ a freelance designer for relatively little money. You just need to make sure that your measures fit with your strategy. You can check this yourself or with the help of your consultant.
How much success can I expect?
Measures to boost sales aim to have an immediate effect. If, for example, you offer a particular type of tile at a special price, your advertising must ensure that you immediately begin to sell more of these tiles.
All other marketing measures, on the other hand, take effect in the long-term. For example, if you become involved with sponsoring and sponsor a sports team, this will not immediately give your turnover a huge boost. However, this measure is still useful and will ensure that you get new orders over time. You should always keep this in mind so that you do not lose patience too early.
What can I do to ensure that people recommend my company?
You probably know from your own experience that: Nothing is more convincing than recommendations from relatives, friends and neighbours. This is why you should offer your customers a service which prompts them to recommend your company:
Politeness: Your employees should always be friendly and polite towards the customers, even when complaints are made.
Transparency: Your employees should always exactly inform the customers of the state of affairs. For example, they should tell the customers at the end of a working day what they have done, what they plan to do the next day and when the work will be finished.
Reliability: You must make sure that you stick to agreements made with the customers. This applies to deadlines but also to invoicing. The invoice should therefore always correspond to the offer.
Cleanliness: Your employees should always leave the construction site clean and tidy.
You must keep to these rules. It pays off: When your customers are happy, they will commission you again in the future and also recommend you. They will therefore provide free and highly effective advertising for you. Unhappy customers are a real risk for any company.
1. What are my objectives? 2. What strategy can I use to achieve these objectives? 3. Who will advise me on the development of my strategy? 4. Which measures evolve from my strategy? 5. Who will support me with the implementation of these measures? 6. When should the measures be implemented - and how much will it cost? 7. How successful were the measures?
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