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For most small businesses, highly effective marketing is a make-or-break necessity. It's really impossible for you to be successful without good marketing and sales techniques that's what brings the dollars in the door. You've got to let people know about all the wonderful things your business can provide to them, which means that your business must first provide those wonderful things that people are willing to pay for. And that, in turn, means knowing who your customers are and getting so close to them that you can virtually anticipate their needs and desires.
Our discussion here is intended to introduce you to some of the concepts and strategies that professional marketing experts in large companies use and show you how they can be adapted to help your small business thrive.
- Overview: the marketing challenge presents a basic theory of marketing and introduces some key terminology.
- Analyzing the market environment discusses the competitive environment and cultural trends you need to examine in order to assess your business's place in the market.
- Market research describes research techniques that you can adapt to fit your needs and budget.
- Developing and refining your product emphasizes the importance of providing products or services that meet customers' needs, even before the first sale.
- Packaging and pricing your product is a look at the impact presentation and price on your product's success.
- Choosing distribution methods describes some of your options in getting your product or service to your customers.
- Promotion, advertising and PR present the primary methods of communicating your message to your target customers.
- Building a successful marketing plan shows you how to put it all together into a cohesive planning document that will become your blueprint to marketing success.
- Total quality management (TQM) is a look at an approach that many businesses have used to create continuous improvement in their products and services.