|INTRODUCTION TO SALES AND MARKETING
In order for any business to survive it needs to make a profit. In order
to make a profit, your business needs to meet the needs of your
The marketing process for any business is the transfer of products (or
services) to a market.
The marketing process broadly involves:
There are many factors which influence
markets, such as:
The economy – macro and
Industry changes and
developments such as legislation, technological advancements,
Competition – new
competitors entering your market can impact on pricing and
Location of business –
this can increase or decrease your exposure to customers.
Timing – your entry into
the market must be timed correctly – for example, designing and
selling Christmas cards in January will be too late for
All of the above factors need to be taken
into account when conducting your market research.
“Marketing is a management task – that meets opportunities and threats
in a dynamic environment, by developing a “need-satisfying” offering to
consumers– that will ensure the objectives of the business, the consumer
and society will be achieved.”
From a new venture perspective, we want
to focus on understanding that Marketing is the process by which you
decide what you will sell, to whom you will sell it, when and how you
are going to sell your product or service, and then doing it.
In order to achieve this, we need to ensure that the “4Ps” of
marketing are applied, i.e.:
Market research should focus on the information you need to help you
to develop your strategy and make business decisions. Ideally, market
research should be done before you embark on your new venture. This will
assist you to assess the viability of your business idea.
Steps in the marketing research process:
Step 1: Determine the goal of your research. Do you need to
improve customer service or increase sales? Are you looking for the
right market/s for a new product?
Step 2: Use trade journals, marketing magazines, government
reports and Chamber of Commerce market profiles to determine the
demographics of your market. These publications also provide data on
purchasing trends that will assist you to identify the buying habits of
your target market.
Step 3: Conduct mail and telephone surveys using randomly selected
addresses and telephone numbers in your local area.
Step 4: Collect information from existing customers. Use
questionnaires personal interviews and focus groups to get feedback on
your products and services. If you have a Web site, start a chat room or
message board and encourage customers to participate.
Step 5: Observe customers at various points of contact in your
business, including reception, sales, and customer service. Watch for
glitches in your operation and how your employees interact with the
Step 6: Analyze your sales records. Knowing your best customers
and most profitable products can help you to better focus your marketing
Step 7: Organize the research data you've collected and determine
- or re-evaluate - your marketing strategy based on the results.
One of the most important aspects of marketing is being able to
segment your market. But what does this mean? If you had to imagine a
whole orange, you would not try and eat the whole orange at once, you
will break it up into its segments to eat. The orange may represent the
whole market (e.g. the whole of Tanzania), while the segments represent
pieces of the whole market.
Any market can be divided into segments using the following criteria:
“What are you going to sell?”
“Who are you going to sell this to?”
“How are you going to sell it?”
“How much is it going to cost you?”
“How much are you going to sell it
“What will your profit be?”
* Buy the SME Toolkit for more details