The difference between marketing and promotion
People often use the words “marketing” and “promotions” as if they mean the same thing. However, they are not. Marketing includes all the plans you need for product development, pricing, and distribution. Advertising, promotions, and public relations use this information to get their messages across to consumers. Follow the “Four P’s” formula to make good marketing and promotion plans.
One of the most important ways to market something is to make a product that people want. This can be done by figuring out what consumers want and making a unique selling point based on that. You might need to add features if what customers want is a certain result or take features away if what they want most is a low price. You can develop or improve your product by using focus groups, surveys, and research on your competitors.
Setting the price of your product is a marketing task, not an accounting one. It’s important to know how much your product costs to make and sell, but your final price will depend on how you market it. Depending on the competition, the type of customer you want to attract, and the image you want to give your product, you might set your prices lower than the competition and try to make your money on volume. If your sales costs are low and your target customers are wealthy, you might set your prices higher than the competition to make a better impression on a smaller number of customers and make more money.
Choosing the right places to sell your product or service is another important part of marketing. If you make a product that’s great for seniors but only sell it on the Internet, that’s not a good way to market it. If you know how to make a product but not how to sell it, your best bet might be to use wholesalers and distributors. Find out where your competitors are selling, and poll your customers about where they would like to buy from you to develop a winning distribution plan.
Once you know what you’re selling, what makes it special, how much you’re going to charge, and where you’re going to sell it, it’s time to promote it. Before you spend all your money, try out a mix of advertising and promotions. Use a mix of in-store and outside promotions, such as sales, discounts, displays, and demos at the point of purchase. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to get people to tell their friends and business contacts about you. Instead of looking at how many sales each promotion brings in, it can be helpful to figure out the return on your investment for each one. For example, a celebrity endorsement might bring in the most sales, but by the time you’ve paid the celebrity, made signs, put up ads, and set up press conferences, you might have spent more money on this type of promotion than you would have on a free or cheap social media campaign.