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 customers.

The marketing process for any business is the transfer of products (or services) to a market.

The marketing process broadly involves:

  • Environmental Scanning (marketing research) – this is the collection of important information on which you can base marketing decisions.

  • The development of your market offering (product or services) at a specific price and a convenient place for your consumer.

There are many factors which influence markets, such as:

  • The economy – macro and micro economy.

  • Industry changes and developments such as legislation, technological advancements, etc.

  • Competition – new competitors entering your market can impact on pricing and distribution.

  • 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 short-term sales.

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.:

  • Product.

  • Price.

  • Place.

  • Promotion.

Market Research
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 customers.

Step 6: Analyze your sales records. Knowing your best customers and most profitable products can help you to better focus your marketing efforts.

Step 7: Organize the research data you've collected and determine - or re-evaluate - your marketing strategy based on the results.

Market Segmentation
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:

  • Demographic.

  • Geographic.

  • Lifestyle.

  • Behavioral.

  • Call Account

Marketing Activities

  • “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 for?”

  • “What will your profit be?”

* Buy the SME Toolkit for more details