One of the costliest mistakes I did when I first ventured into business is investing so much in products and business set up but very little in marketing.
I spent a lot of money on establishing a decent office, products that I thought would sell, hired good employees but paid very little attention to marketing.
Many firms repeatedly commit this blunder. They see marketing costs as discretion rather than a-must-have investment in business. As a result, they struggle with customer acquisition and retention as well as finances to run other operations due to low sales revenue.
Marketing is no doubt the single greatest determiner of success in business. However, marketing must be put in the right perspective. It is here that many in business miss the point.
Marketing is not an activity that starts when the product is in the warehouse or is stuck in shelves. Marketing ought to be the first activity to be conducted long way before business takes form.
It then continues during and after the product is introduced in the market and lasts as long as the product exists.
The primary aim of marketing before business takes form is to find out what customers need, how they need it presented and at what price. This enables the entrepreneur or business person to develop or provide the market with what is needed in the manner in which it is needed and at the price the customers are willing and able to pay.
If you involve customers and other stakeholders right from the beginning you can never go wrong in business.
If you ignore this priceless advice and produce products that fascinates you, or which you think customers need or should need, you will always be struggling to find customers.
It is said in some quarters that if you want to succeed in life you must do what you are passionate about. This does not apply in business. Its not about you; it’s about customers.
Even if you are passionate about pets and your customers are not, your passion will at best drive you to early bankruptcy.
Most of problems that are bedeviling businesses today could have been avoided had the owners did initial marketing to establish what customers really need instead producing products first then looking for buyers.
When marketing is done before a product is developed the work of sales people is reduced to informing customers the availability of the products in the market rather than that of persuading or convincing them to buy what one has. In other words, it is far much easier to first find out what your target customers what and provide it than to look for people who may need what you have.
As we leap into new year 2020 one thing that can radically transform your business is taking time to study what your target customers want. The mantra for business success is: Do not do what you are passionate about; do what your customers are passionate about.